The drying challenge
Only dry wood with a residual moisture of 10 to 15 percent can be processed further. But when it dries, wood loses moisture and literally shrinks. As a result, the disc does not remain without cracks. But it is important to avoid these cracks, as an intact wooden disc is usually required for decoration purposes.
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- Creating a tree grate - a practical guide for beginners
In winter, the water content in the tree is naturally lowest. This time is therefore ideal for felling trees when the wood needs to be dried more quickly afterwards.
The right wood
Each type of tree has its own characteristics, which are also evident during the drying process. Even if the different tree grates look equally beautiful at the beginning, the dry result can still be very different.
- Oaks and beeches almost always crack
- Birch, cherry and softwood, on the other hand, are rarer
The optimal strength
In most cases it depends on the later use of the wooden disc, in what thickness it is desired. But the thickness of the tree slice also has an impact on drying. The thinner a piece of wood is, the more susceptible it is to cracks. Experience has shown that panes with a thickness of 5 to 10 cm can be dried more easily without cracks.
The best methods
Tree grates dry very slowly in the fresh air, so the oven and microwave are often recommended. It's faster, but the results are disappointing. If you want a beautiful wooden disc, you simply have to be patient. The following methods promise more success:
- Dry the tree slice in sawdust
- Boil the piece of wood in salted water
- Soak the wooden disc beforehand
- Dry in the drying chamber
Tree slice dry in sawdust
Tree slices placed in sawdust dry gently and quickly. This releases moisture evenly to the sawdust. A large mortar pan is ideal, in which the tree grate and sawdust find sufficient space.
However, there is also the risk that mold or mold stains will form on the wood. You should therefore regularly check the condition of the pane and, if necessary, switch to air drying.
Boil the piece of wood in salted water
Boiling salt water washes sap from the cells of the tree disc. This allows it to dry completely in a room within a few days.
- Cover the slice with water
- Add about 500 grams of salt
- Cook for about 1.5 hours
Soak the wooden disc beforehand
If you have access to a body of water, this method is ideal.
- Place the tree grate in a basket around which water can flow.
- Tie the basket somewhere to prevent it from drifting away.
- Leave the tree slice in the water for two to three weeks so that the sap is completely flushed out.
- You can then dry the pane further in a room.
Let dry in the drying chamber
If a carpenter's workshop in your area has a so-called drying chamber, you can ask for support there. Depending on the type of wood, the tree slice will have dried sufficiently after about two to six weeks in the drying chamber.
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