Anybody ever hear of this?

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Forum topic by WoodArtbyJR posted 08-05-2010 04:18 PM 1292 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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428 posts in 3470 days

08-05-2010 04:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: greene and greene question

I remember an article published a year or so ago in a popular woodworkers mag and bought into it but now I’m not so sure. The article dealt with green wood. It stated, by some woodworker,s that they took green wood and submerged it into a cheaper (not costing much) dish detergent (Costco brand was stated as being used) and by being submerged the detergent would seep into and displace the sap thus helping to eliminate the cracking and splitting of the wood during the natural drying process. At the time I thought, “WOW, what a great way to speed up the process”. Now I’m not so sure. Anyone ever hear of this process? Did I totally misread this article? I know, here in our area, we boil madrona to get the sap out so it can be worked because it cracks and splits so badly when naturally drying.

On an other level, is the greene & greene (refered to in the style prompt) in reference to the architectural designs of Greene & Greene? I had never heard of them until this weekend when I was at my son-in-laws fathers shop (being introduced and schooled on the use and need of a drum sander) when I found out that he was an avid follower and semi expert on their design. He said that he has toured about half of their homes and even noticed a piece of art, by a local Washington artist that he had sold one of his Greene & Greene style frames to, hanging in one of the homes.

Just curious on these two questions.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

6 replies so far

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3665 days

#1 posted 08-05-2010 04:23 PM

Many methods for drying wood:

Boiling Method-
Microwave Method-
Kiln Drying Method-
Air Drying Method-
Alcohol soaking method-
Food Dehydrator-

And Yes, the Soap Method too.

See also the Spring 2002 issue of the American Association of Woodturner’s Journal by Ron Kent and Phil Wall

You should be able to Google for more examples.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View patron's profile


13653 posts in 3846 days

#2 posted 08-05-2010 04:24 PM

i’ve never heard of this ,

but if it doesn’t fit in my dishwasher ,

it’s not going to happen !

green and green rock !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 3470 days

#3 posted 08-05-2010 04:39 PM

rance – that is the article. Thank you.

patron – I know what you mean irt the dishwasher. I had to warranty one of my cutting boards last year. The owner thought that since it needed to be cleaned and it would fit into the dishasher, that’s where it should go. DUH, I told my daughter (the board owner), wood and water really don’t mix. The one positive out of this is that it was constructed using Titebond lll and it took almost a year of several washings in the dishwasher to get it to come apart. I think the wood itself had more of a problem with the water, heat and the strong detergent then the joints did. Needless to say, the replacement DOES NOT GO INTO THE DISHWASHER…........I guess when she got her Masters Degree, Wood 101 wasn’t part of the curriculum.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View taidsturning's profile


233 posts in 3900 days

#4 posted 08-05-2010 05:10 PM


I saw the same article years ago and used the idea on some bowls made from green wood and felt it had merit. I was always a little worried about whether any of the detergent leaching into a salad in the bowl might not be a problem.

As to speeding up drying, I don’t think so. I tested water loss on small green wood samples after being soaked in plain water and water & detergent. I found very little change in rate of weight change when they were dried side by side. My samples were too small to see any difference in cracking. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that the benefits (if not in my imagination) probably came from lubricating the fiber to fiber movement of the wood when it was dried.

Of course, as anybody who has looked at my work knows, I solved the problem for me, by giving up green-wood turning for the last few years.

-- Bill Roberts -- Steal one idea it's called plagerism. Steal a bunch - it's called research

View taidsturning's profile


233 posts in 3900 days

#5 posted 08-05-2010 05:14 PM

As to the dishwasher issue, most people who see my bowls at the craft shows seem to know instictively that they should not be put in the dishwasher, although people do ask occasionally. I emphatically tell them no and tell them my motto is:

“It may float, but its not a boat”

-- Bill Roberts -- Steal one idea it's called plagerism. Steal a bunch - it's called research

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428 posts in 3470 days

#6 posted 08-05-2010 05:54 PM

Bill – I agree irt the dishwasher item. I can not print what I said to my daughter when she told me what she had done….....Though, in her defense, she left home before I retired and got back into woodworking. Paying for her and her sisters college was a little higher priority in the budgetary department then getting my woodshop set up. She has a Masters and her older sister has a JD, so as far as coming back home to roost, probably not (and that was the plan). The pay back on this is the daughter with the JD works for the State Department and this allows us the opportunity to visit her ALL OVER THE WORLD. Next visit, New Delhi. The down turn to this visit is that it is almost 24 hrs of flight time…...UHG. Won’t be traveling coach on this one…..

Thanks for the info Bill.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

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