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"re-hydrating" dried wood?

1213 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Mahdeew
I got some ash logs recently (thanks to LJers for helping me identify the wood) and have started riving and shaving chair parts. But the wood is very dry (I don't have a moisture meter so can't give numbers, but it's easy to compare it to my experience working other species green). Very hard to work, to the point that it's probably not worth the bother. I've been debating sticking the logs into some water for a few weeks to make them easier to work. Anyone have any experience with doing something like this? Think it'll work?
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You can moisten it, put it in a container, wrap it in plastic or put in a small tent. Leave in the sun for few hours and do your shaping until you hit dry spots and repeat. Doing this you introduce moister to the outer 1/8-1/4" and probably won't experience too much checking and cupping. Good luck.
Thanks for the advice. I can't quite figure out why it's so dry, since it was part of a tree only a few weeks ago. Maybe just because it was cut in the winter (all the other drawknifing work I've done has been on summer-cut wood) or whether the tree was dead, although I don't think that's the case). In any case I guess I have nothing to lose trying to moisten it.
I have not had too much experience with ash mainly because I bought a few hundred b/f and by next year the boards were eaten by the bugs so bad that I ended up burning the whole thing.
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