Wood is a very popular material that is used in the construction of houses and as decorative elements. But in order to use wood, it must be properly prepared. To do this, dry the wood. Home conditions allow you to do this. But you should know certain rules. How to quickly dry wood at home? Consider in our article today.
During construction, only dry wood is allowed. The main problem is that this material not only contains a lot of moisture initially, but also absorbs it well further. If you take wet wood for a construction site, then it will dry out over time. Shrinkage of the structure will occur. Wet boards are substantially deformed, and cracks appear on the surface. The design becomes less durable. The larger the trunk, the slower the wood drying at home. For example, an oak plank dries in seven years.
You need to understand that during this period, moisture evaporates from the surface, but the internal parts dry much more slowly. Therefore, it becomes relevant to use means to accelerate drying.
This operation is performed in several stages:
- First, the wood is brought to the moisture level that is necessary for atmospheric drying.
- Next is the final drying. If the tree will be used in open air, the moisture level of the material should be from 12 to 18%. Typically, this is sufficient to perform drying under atmospheric conditions. When using material for interior decoration, the humidity level should not exceed 10%.
How to determine the exact moisture level of a material by drying wood at home? For this, a special hydrometer is used.
The cost of such an apparatus is from 2.5 thousand rubles. This device allows you to accurately determine the percentage of drying. Some determine this by eye, but experts do not recommend doing this. We also note that the shavings of wet wood are compressed when pressed in the hand, and the dry ones break.
We dry under atmospheric conditions
How to dry wood at home? To do this, you first need to free the site, clean the soil and make good drainage around the perimeter. All chips and debris are removed from the site to eliminate the possibility of rotting material. Next, the workpiece is laid on a special floor of poles. The first row is formed with a slight slope, after which it is covered with dry boards. Then the second row is formed, the third and so on. From above, the material is also protected by boards, so that after rain the material does not absorb moisture again.
If this is a log for the house, you need to dry the wood without removing the bark. The latter will be an excellent protection against cracking. When dried, such a material retains its integrity and does not lose quality. Experts recommend treating the ends of the logs with liquid glue or a solution of sodium chloride. Alternatively, you can use a solution of sodium chloride. So we will prevent rotting of wood. But the upper edges still necessarily protect against precipitation.
Is it so effective? Thanks to atmospheric drying of wood at home, up to 75% moisture can be removed. This is a very good result. But the duration of the process will depend on weather conditions and the type of wood itself. If it is deciduous and coniferous, it takes up to two years to dry. Hard larch varieties dry twice as long. But on average, in a year the tree dries up by one centimeter. Since wood drying is a long process, it must be started long before construction begins. But if you need to dry a couple of boards, everything is much simpler. It’s not necessary to prepare the site. It is enough to put the material on the balcony or attic. The main thing is that the room is well lit by the sun. Well, if these are very small products, you can use a microwave oven.
Methods can be very different. For example, some use newspaper drying. But this method is only suitable for small volumes. So, the material is wrapped with a dry newspaper, and then in a plastic bag. After 8 hours, the film is unfurled and the newspaper is replaced with a new one. To dry the material, you need to repeat this procedure about five times. But it all depends on the type of wood. Too many newspapers cannot be used. Boards may crack. It is also recommended to tightly wrap the film so that air does not penetrate inside.
Another option is drying wood at home with straw. So, the boards are laid with dry straw and laid under a canopy. In the absence of such material, dry sawdust can be used. Replacing straw or sawdust daily is not required.
Drying wood at home in this way is one of the most effective methods. But it is suitable for relatively small pieces of wood. What is its essence? The material is placed in a large container of water. Next, the container is placed on the stove and for three hours the boards are boiling. Then they are laid out in the open space, where they are dried. This method allows you to remove natural moisture. You also need to ensure that the room in which the drying is not too damp.
You must understand that the duration of the drying of the material will depend on what kind of rock is used. For example, oak is processed for a very long time. Some rocks may crack when dried. This only worsens the surface quality. Therefore, if you are not confident in your abilities, it is better to immediately purchase ready-made, dry wood.
Experts recommend using two methods:
- The log is skinned in the middle, but the bark is left at the ends. The width of the tape is about 10 centimeters.
- The bark is not removed, but logging is done across the trunk (in order to provide oxygen access). The bark is not cut along. In this case, it serves as a tightening collar.
It is also necessary to know which breeds respond to the drying process and which do not:
- Birch, poplar, alder, linden and aspen are not deformed during this process. Over the entire period of processing, the surface remains high-quality and smooth.
- Larch, fir, cedar, pine and spruce crack to a small extent. Moreover, these materials are often used for construction, as they have all the necessary characteristics. These are strong woods with a pleasant aroma and are able to withstand heavy loads.
- Maple, beech, hornbeam and ash crack significantly during drying. Therefore, when buying, you should give preference to ready-made, dried boards. They were processed at the factory by technology. Drying wood at home quickly does not work. In addition, material can be easily damaged.
Drying wood in the microwave at home
Consider another method of drying the material. If you need to process a small volume product in a short time, a microwave is quite suitable. Almost everyone in the house has such a technique. In addition, it does not need to be further prepared. Drying is pretty fast. How it's done:
- The workpiece is pre-weighed.
- Take the product and set in the microwave.
- Set the defrost mode for one minute. The larger the diameter of the product, the longer it must be processed.
- After a minute, you need to remove the workpiece from the microwave.
- The product is wrapped in a newspaper, or a plastic bag with a hole.
- After the workpiece has cooled down (this takes about 30 minutes), it is removed from the newspaper or bag.
Then the workpiece is again weighed. If the result is insufficient, you can repeat this procedure again. By the way, in the last drying cycles, a little moisture evaporates in the material, so it is not necessary to wrap it in a newspaper or in a bag. The number of cycles can be different - from two to twenty. It all depends on the type of tree and its initial condition. If the dish does not rotate in the microwave, it is recommended to rotate the workpiece 90 degrees with each cycle. This contributes to a more uniform heating of the product. This completes the microwave drying of wood. This method is perfect for those who do not want to spend a lot of time, and who need to process a small product.
How is drying in this oven? When the workpiece is in the microwave, moisture absorbs the energy of electromagnetic waves of superhigh frequency. This generates heat. The wood itself begins to warm up from the inside. Thus, only the wettest sections of the material are heated. This contributes to uniform and quality drying. By the way, the less moisture in the material, the lower will be its temperature after processing. This protects the workpiece from the risk of cracking.
So, we found out how wood is dried. As you can see, the methods can be different and the result as well. You need to know which rocks are not afraid of drying, and which are cracked. It should also be remembered that during this process the material not only loses weight, but also in volume. When it comes to microwave drying, it is not recommended to process an already finished product here. This should be a workpiece.