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YosemiteSam

air drying wood for self

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There was some post I saw about air drying wood, where somebody did their own, then took it out, sanded it and the ends then suddenly developed cracks. I wanted to address that and maybe someone knows even more than I do; but I know that when a bowyer (traditional archery bow builder) cures a stave of wood, he coats both ends of the wood with paraffin/wax. The moisture seems to dissipate generally from the broad mid-section of the the wood. Maybe this will prevent cracking on the ends. Just a thought.

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If you are going to air dry wood, get big limbs or trunks, split them in half and put them away in a cool, quiet place to dry. Don't cut short sections. Make them at least 3 feet long. The end checking will occur about 6-9 inches in from each end. Once the chunk is dry, cut the ends off and you still have 2 feet of solid wood left over.

Peel the bark off while it's still green. Dried bark is hard to remove from some species. I have done this for 25 years with birch, box elder, chokecherry, willow, black ash, etc. Drying time is 1 year per inch of thickness. If you split out 2 inch X 2 inch chunks now, they will be ready to work in about 18 months (depending on how dry your winter is).

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Walt has an amazing amount of dedication Sam, you wouldn't believe the effort he puts into some of his baits. My suggestion, spend an extra few dollars and buy the wood dry and ready to use!! lol.

Jed

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