The Blog for GW Pens

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Brown Bagging It

Chances are, if you talk to 5 different wood workers and ask them how they dry freshly cut wood, you will get 5 different answers. Although there is a science behind the methods, I doubt very few of us fully understand….myself included. I know for my method it has to do with the wood reaching a balanced humidity level. I also know there are specific terms related to the wood being as dry as it will get in that controlled environment. But more importantly, I know what works for me and so that’s what I do.

I have a some spalted Horse Chestnut cut into blanks that are currently being prepped for drying. I have a bunch of them (about 30) sitting on my front step. Just inside my front door I have a table set up with a roll of brown craft paper. I bring the blanks in, a few at a time, and basically wrap them like a Christmas present. The only real difference is taping the flaps down isn’t good enough. I need to -seal- the wood in there, so any spots where the paper overlaps has to be taped, running the length of every seam.

Brown paper bags will work too, by the way. I used as many as I had on hand, but so few places use those for bagging anymore.

Once the blanks are wrapped they are stored in my workshop in a way that allows air to circulate around the entire piece. The wood will dry, but much more slowly than if it was being exposed directly to the air. The bag helps slow things down and reduces the risk of the wood developing cracks, which happens easily with Horse Chestnut.

The wood, which I expect will dry rather fast, should be ready by late Spring. I just wonder, when I make something from it and somebody asks me how long it took to make, do I tell them 5 months?


2 comments on “Brown Bagging It

  1. BarbS Woodworks
    January 10, 2012

    That is a Good idea, John. Thanks for putting that into print.

  2. GrecoWoodcrafting
    January 10, 2012

    Thanks, Barb 🙂

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This entry was posted on January 10, 2012 by and tagged , .
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