In today's post I'll be talking about the way I dry wood for resin casting.
Before we get started, there is a few things you're going to need:
- Piece of wood you're planning to dry (in my video I'm using poplar burl and maple burl)
- Toaster oven
- Moisture reader
- Small kitchen scale
- Temperature reader for oven
So, you might wondering how long it will take to dry it? The answer is simple, the thicker the wood, the longer it takes for it to dry. So we're talking about 24 - 48 hours depending on the thickness of the wood that you're going to be using. Before you start, check the moisture level in your wood. I have purchased a moisture reader that I put on the wood and that will tell you how much moisture it is in your wood. In most of the cases the moisture will not get lower than 4 - 5% and we are looking for 0%. Now, how we're going to make sure the wood dried to that level? I'll share with you the method I've learnt on Zak Higgins channel:
a) First of all, mark each individual piece of wood
b) Then weigh each individual piece of wood on a small kitchen scale
c) Make a note of the weight of each piece of wood you're planning to dry
Why we're doing this? Basically when the pieces of wood loose moisture they would loose water and as a result they will loose weight and that will indicate whether they are ready.
Right, so what am I using to dry this wood? I have a limited budget so I'll be using the toaster oven which for my needs works just fine. Regarding the temperature, we just need to set it up to the level slightly above boiling temperature for water. So I'm setting up my oven to 105 degrees Celsius. I'm also using a temperature reader for an oven to make sure the temperature is exactly 105 degrees Celsius. When the temperature is set, I'm going to put my wood inside and leave it in there for at least 12 hours.
Once 12 hours pass, I'll take the wood out and weigh it to see what's their current weight and how it compares to my initial notes. And then I'm going to put the wood back in and wait another 6 hours. After those 6 hours will check the weight again. And then they will go back into the oven again for another 2 - 3 hours and after that I'll again check their weight. At this point, if the weight has not changed since the last reading that means my wood is fully dried but if it's still loosing weight that means you have to repeat the process again and give it another 2- 3 hours and then check again. It's a long process but if you want to achieve really good results with your resin casting this is a must do as the moisture of the wood needs to go down to 0%.
When you finish your drying process I highly recommend to store your dried wood correctly so that moisture will not get into it again. What I do is I wrap my dried wood into the foil (2 coats) and then put them into the freezer bags that you can get from any supermarkets. As an additional precaution I and also put a few silica absorbing gels. Seal the pack correctly and there you go, that's the way I store my dried wood.
Full video on drying wood is available here.
Hope you found it useful! If you want to share your ways of drying wood or have any questions, please drop me a line in the comments section!
This process can be very dangerous and could lead to a fire, never leave the oven unattended. You are responsible for your own safety.