My Method for Speed Drying Natural Forks

Discussion in 'General Slingshot Discussions' started by Cubanizm, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Cubanizm

    Cubanizm Junior Member

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    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!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. flicks

    flicks ...lost in the woods....

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    Very interesting. Definitely worth a try! Thanks for sharing:cool:
     

  3. EnesK

    EnesK Call me the boss

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    i'm gonne try that whith the next natural i find,
    good job[​IMG]
    accually why i didn't came up whith this i have to use my brain some more quz if i go jogging or something and i come home i put salt bags in my shoes you may know why

    Enes
     
  4. onnod

    onnod Im from Holland, isnt that weird?

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    Smart! makes me think about putting forks in bags of rice and salt...
     
  5. Thistle

    Thistle RESIGNED

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    Great advice! Thank you. I just purchased a quart of Next Generation Wood Sealer today before I saw this post. I'm trying to save some Manzanita that I have recently collected. It is a very beautiful hard wood, widely used by artists, but notorious for cracking. :eek:

    I'm going to try this as well. [​IMG]
     
  6. Brazilviking

    Brazilviking Thread Hijacker

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    Interesting indeed!!!
     
  7. Arturo Borquez

    Arturo Borquez Administrator

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    Maybe some silica or molten carbon pills with salt mix could dry even more ? just an idea ...
    Cheers
    Arturo
     
  8. Hardtimes

    Hardtimes Member

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    In my lab we use Color changing desiccant that readily absorbs moisture. I think that is what you want. Best part is that it goes from blue to pink when completely saturated. This will let you know when to change it. The desiccant is re usable by drying it in an oven at low heat, turning back to blue color.

    Cheers.
     
  9. Slagskimmer Mike

    Slagskimmer Mike thinks TBG smells better than roses

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    Hobby stores sell dessicant powder for drying flowers. It is reusable, i think, don't know how it works on a fork.

    Cool idea.
     
  10. Flipgun

    Flipgun Well-Known Member

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    Looks Good! The use of a real desiccant is the logical extension. I think you can get tubs of the stuff at Lowe's or Home Depot.
    I would suggest weighing the fork as part of the process.
    Sounds like a New Idea.
    Good Work!
     
  11. Cubanizm

    Cubanizm Junior Member

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    All great ideas!

    I think I will try onnod's suggestion of salt & rice....

    @Arturo: The silica idea is genius! I am now disappointed to not have considered it before.

    @Hardtimes: What is the name of the desiccant you guys use? I Would like to try it.
     
  12. Will

    Will Thread Hijacker

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    Thanks for a great tip! Always love learning new things!!
     
  13. tokSick

    tokSick Senior Member

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    Great idea!!
    You should put a link in LW' s thread HERE
    Thank you so much for sharing. I HATE CRACKS !!!![​IMG]
     
  14. Thistle

    Thistle RESIGNED

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    [​IMG] Thanks the for the heads-up on that! I had not considered it.

    The color-changing stuff sounds really cool! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  15. Courier

    Courier Senior Member

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    Very interesting and simply amazing method!
    Well done!! :)
     
  16. Hardtimes

    Hardtimes Member

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    here is a link to the DRIERITE we use, it also has very specific instructions about regenerating the desiccant 210C for 1 hour in the oven.

    DRIERITE!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
  17. Thistle

    Thistle RESIGNED

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    Thank you for the product link, Hardtimes! Pretty hot at 410F for 1 hour. I figured it would require less. I'm betting that here in the desert (minus monsoon season), the humidity indicator properties would return quickly and naturally by just laying it out on a fine screen for a few days.

    My mom: What are you baking now, Sweetheart?
    Me: Ohhhh... I'm just regenerating some desiccant granules. Nothing to worry about, mom. I'm carefully following instructions -- like I always do. :eek:

    Nowhere in the instruction does it say it explodes, so we're safe. :p
     
  18. onnod

    onnod Im from Holland, isnt that weird?

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    hahaha, in my experience instructions aren't always telling the truth, it didn't say on the chocolate or on the marshmellow package that they would catch fire or blow up to the size of a footbal in the microwave :eek::rolleyes:
     
  19. Thistle

    Thistle RESIGNED

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    [​IMG] Ha-ha. No more chocolate and marshmallows for you, Sir Onnod!
     
  20. tokSick

    tokSick Senior Member

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