ronald rig1

pecan tree

12 posts in this topic

i just cut down a huge pecan tree in my back yard! can i use the wood? if i can is there any thing special i have to do with it.

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The wood needs to be properly dried down to around 6% moisture before it should be used. Kiln drying is best but it can be air dried. I have heard of people microwaving small pieces to speed the process up. The only real way that I know to know the moisture content is to check it with a moisture meter. I you work with "wet" wood it will dry on its own anyway and as it does it will change. It will probably shrink some, and could possibly crack and/or warp and twist.

mossy maker

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I would cut it up into rectangular blocks the size you need for lures, avoiding the heart core of the tree. The heart core gives the wood an axis to twist around.

Then do some test dryings, one sample piece at a time, in a microwave, starting with short bursts, like 30 seconds, and increasing until you find you're cracking the wood. If you can, put some triangular strips of another, already dry wood under the blocks to raise them up off the glass tray, so moisture can escape evenly. The triangular shape is to keep the contact from the test block to the strips as small a possible.

Then back off to the last time increment before the cracking, and do a final test drying of one of the samples.

After the drying run, cut the blank open and check the moisture content of the center.

If it's at that 6 percent, or something in that range, you'll be good to go.

You should also be able to see if the wood is going to shrink or cup, which can be a problem for lure making, when it's been microwaved.

Lots of hardwoods also have a high oil content, and that can be a problem in painting and finishing. The microwave test should make any oils come up to the surface, so you can see if that will be a problem.

Good luck, and let us know what you find out.

Edited by mark poulson

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A re-circulating drying box with a lamp heater, like the PoP dryer project, would be a less brutal approach, but still efficient time wise. Increase the length of the box and enough timber to make a hundred bodies, could be dried in a few days.

Dave

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Dave,

You're right, a drying box would be more cost efficient and would allow drying larger quantities.

I was suggesting the microwave just for testing to see what happens to a small sample when it's dried, to find out if the wood is actually usable for lures, before making an investment of time, energy, and money on a larger scale drying system.

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When microwave drying wood you need to be careful that you don't "cook" the wood too long and ignite it. Yes, it will burn!

To dry your wood, wrap it in a paper towel and for a small block of wood (say 1x1x4) microwave it for about 20-30 seconds and remove it and let it cool for a few minutes and then nuke it again and so forth. The paper towel will absorb the moisture so that you will get an idea of how dry your wood is. Once you microwave your wood and get little-to-no moisture on your paper towel, your wood is ready to use. The key is not to rush the process.

Gene

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Gene,

Do you have to worry about Case Hardening with a microwave, like you do with a regular kiln?

I mean, where the outer layer dries out too fast, and the insides are still wet.

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thanks for the help! i will try a few of the suggestions to see what happens. but on another note! i just ran into a guy at the bank that had a truck load of scrap red wood. waited until he came out asked him what he was going to do with it. he said he was going to the dump so i asked him could i have it he said yes. i gave him my address an today when i came home i had a hole load of red wood. so tonight i will make some blanks for a lip less crank. so that pecan tree will probable go in the bbq. thanks again for wealth of knowledge

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Gene,

Do you have to worry about Case Hardening with a microwave, like you do with a regular kiln?

I mean, where the outer layer dries out too fast, and the insides are still wet.

Mark,

Yes, you do. But if you dry in installments, it will lessen the problem.

Gene

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"A bass is a bass". I guess that applies to wood, too.

Thanks for the info and tip.

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We just got hit by a recent tornado and it pushed our huge pecan tree over onto the house....needless to say i've got ALOT of pecan stacked out beside the shop....lol....i'm set for firewood for a few years.....lol...I might try to dry some out and carve a bait out of it myself.

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