Hi everyone. I am from New York City. I joined the forum about a month ago. I am new to the hobby and the forum has been very helpful . I have learned many helpful tips and have begun making my own forks. However of the many tips posted, there is one I am hesitant to experiment with... That tip, is the one about how to speed up the drying of forks by using the microwave... It just sounds more like a gamble than good advice... Given the likely hood of cracking... Being that I live in NYC, coming across a good fork in the concrete jungle is not as easy as in rural areas and the idea of a nice/ rare wood fork cracking is not a gamble I am willing to take... However, despite my hesitation to speed things up with a microwave, the 6+ month wait for the wood to naturally dry seems much to looooooooong. It is said, that "Necessity, is the mother of all inventions".... So given my particular necessity, I began to experiment with some ideas to (un)naturally speed-up the natural process. I came up with a pretty good method and wanted to share it. I hope that some of you give it a try. Please share your experiences using this method if you decide to give it a try... I would love to know how it works for others... STEP 1: I first seal the ends of the fork with regular old candle wax ( beeswax is o.k. too ) to ensure that the fork will later dry evenly, rather than having moisture wick out off the fork ends quicker... (This causes cracking as the wood warps.) STEP 2: -2A: On a paper towel which has been folded in half ( to add strength ), pour a small mound of salt. -2B: Wrap the mound of salt in the folded paper towel and then tie it using either a rubberband, piece of string etc.. (Rubberband works best) *See Image(s) ( make several of these.. but make sure to make a minimum of 3. ) STEP 3: -3A: Place the fork in a plastic bag which has been partially filled with dried wood shavings or saw dust. -3B: Place the previously prepared salt-baggies around the fork. -3C: Cover the fork and salt-baggies with extra wood shavings or saw dust. -3D: Seal the plastic bag by tying it with as little air in it as possible, put it in a second plastic bag & tie this one too, and then again with a third plastic bag (preferably a black one...) The three bags ensure that no outside moisture/ humidity can get in... STEP 4: After a few weeks time (2-3) , come back open the bags and SURPRISE the salt baggies are heavy and soaking with moisture... (The amount of water absorption per salt-baggie is very noticeable. I like to weight the salt-baggies before and after to get an accurate idea of how much moisture remains in the fork throughout the process... *See picture) STEP 5: Repeat steps one through five until the newly added salt-baggies are no longer drawing moisture. HELPFUL HINTS: 1. For best results, make sure to use sea salt, kosher salt, or powdered rock salt etc.... Many commercial brands of table salt, include agents ( magnesium carbonate or calcium silicate ) in their product which minimizes salt's natural ability to absorb /draw-in moisture & clump.... Which is exactly what we want to occur. 2. Replace the wood shavings with new shavings each time you switch out the salt-baggies. The wood shavings help retain some of the moisture drawn out by the salt-baggies. You can save money/resources by reusing the wood shavings, after allowing them some time to dry out in the sun. I use cedar bedding purchased at my local pet store and it cost me about $3.00 US for 1500 cubic inches... Think GREEN, use resources available to you like saw dust from your last project... or ask a local wood shop etc... if you buy store bought cedar shavings like myself, you can reuse the cedar shavings if you are on a budget for your pet bedding, chicken coops, fire tinder, garden mulch, absorbing agent to help clean up motor oil accidents etc... 3. On hot days put the bag out in your car, dashboard, the sun, etc ..the extra heat will speed things up & help draw out moisture from the wood quicker. Also ensure to use a black bag for the outer bag as the color black attracts light/ heat... ----Good Luck & Best Wishes From NYC!