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Drying Green Wood w/ Alcohol?

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Forum topic by Underdog posted 02-21-2021 02:02 PM 511 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Underdog

1649 posts in 3088 days


02-21-2021 02:02 PM

Have you ever used alcohol to help dry green wood a little faster?

When I was on another woodturning forum, some of the guys would swear by drowning their green bowl blanks in Denatured Alcohol for a few days, then air drying. I seem to recall it decreased dry time a great deal and reduced cracking.

Have any of you successfully used this method for green wood?

Back story:
I have some special Willow Oak that needs to get dried pronto so I can actually start making something for a show in August. I got a piece of log about 30” long by 18” diameter that was soaking wet. It had been sitting on the ground for years, so the outer sapwood about 3” in was all punky. I cut all that away, sliced it in half, and the sealed the end grain. It’s been sitting in my shop for about a year. One of the halves split pretty badly, so I cut it along the splits and made several approximately 7/8” boards out of it (quarter sawn orientation so the ray flecks are nicely prominent!). The other half is not so badly split and still intact, awaiting my decision on what to make of it. The moisture on the boards after a couple of weeks is still around 18%. I need to cut into the half and measure the moisture in a freshly cut piece, but I’m betting it’ll still be around 20% at least.

I’m contemplating buying 5 gallons of DNR and making a custom plastic bag to put the boards in to soak for a week or two. Then air drying to see how it does. If it works well, then maybe I can start cutting the other log into smaller chunks and drying it similarly.

Let me know if you have any experience drying wood with this method. Or if you have any other helpful advice it’s much appreciated.

Thanks!

-- Jim, Georgia, USA


12 replies so far

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Underdog

1649 posts in 3088 days


#1 posted 02-22-2021 02:28 AM

Anybody? Anything?

Is this thing on? Tap tap tap.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View 4wood's profile

4wood

93 posts in 1006 days


#2 posted 02-22-2021 01:45 PM

I never thought of doing it before, but it sounded interesting. I entered, how to dry wood with alcohol, in the search window at the bottom left of my monitor and all of this information came up. Perhaps some of it will be useful to you. I have never tried using alcohol. I looked through the results of the link below and this question was asked in 2009 on Lumberjocks and 14 people gave a response.

https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/8396

https://www.bing.com/search?q=how+to+dry+wood+with+alcohol&form=WNSGPH&qs=AS&cvid=c941e045131942f8a9d01a5baffd07d2&pq=how+to+dry+wood+with&cc=US&setlang=en-US&wsso=Moderate

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Kudzupatch

171 posts in 2261 days


#3 posted 02-22-2021 01:55 PM

yes and it worked. Been a few years. Lost interest in bowls but it worked.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

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rustfever

800 posts in 4363 days


#4 posted 02-22-2021 04:29 PM

Did it once to a large Claro Walnut bowl [12” d, x 5” t] that I rough-turned green. I then let it set for a week or two in alcohol, then air dry for a couple more weeks before completing.
It worked well [but 5 gallons of DNA was a bit pricey]. The alcohol was totally saturated with water, and thus not reusable.
However it was a special gift to a great lady, the mother of my grandchildren. She still uses this bowl daily.
Did this back in 2012 or 2013.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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Underdog

1649 posts in 3088 days


#5 posted 02-22-2021 10:53 PM

Thanks guys! I’ll dig into it.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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Underdog

1649 posts in 3088 days


#6 posted 02-24-2021 02:31 AM

This afternoon I pulled the trigger on 5 gallons of Alcohol. I’ll let you know how the drying turns out…

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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AlaskaGuy

6480 posts in 3362 days


#7 posted 02-24-2021 05:01 AM

I can think of better uses for alcohol.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Underdog

1649 posts in 3088 days


#8 posted 02-24-2021 12:19 PM



I can think of better uses for alcohol.

- AlaskaGuy

Hmmmm…. I think that kind might be a tad more expensive by the gallon.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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AlaskaGuy

6480 posts in 3362 days


#9 posted 02-24-2021 09:56 PM


I can think of better uses for alcohol.

- AlaskaGuy

Hmmmm…. I think that kind might be a tad more expensive by the gallon.

- Underdog


We are do it youselfers .......you can make make your own cheap.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Underdog

1649 posts in 3088 days


#10 posted 02-24-2021 10:03 PM

And what is your base material?

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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AlaskaGuy

6480 posts in 3362 days


#11 posted 02-24-2021 11:22 PM



And what is your base material?

- Underdog


Muktuk of course

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Underdog

1649 posts in 3088 days


#12 posted 02-25-2021 02:38 AM

LOL!

Yuk. I bet that’s some greasy stuff… We used to get some snowmade “ice cream” made from that stuff. I never did like it.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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