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Keeping green wood fresh

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  • #16
    I carve wet birch when I make spoons, ladles etc.
    Initially the reason I do it is because it is wet from the tree when I get it, and it works well like that, so well that I like to keep it wet so that it is just like it is when it is fresh. I have carved dry birch too, but find that the wet wood is easier to work.

    Drying the wood takes a fair bit of effort to do it without significant checking. When the green wood is carved into thin spoons etc., cracking is not a problem, if reasonable efforts are put forth to prevent the piece from drying too fast. Do not leave the finished product in the sun or on a heat vent for example. I usually put the finished product in a paper bag for a week or two and put it in the shade, and never have problems with cracking. If the project takes a few sessions to complete, the piece should be kept in a plastic bag or back into the vinegar solution between carving sessions.

    So for spoons and such, I don;t start with dry wood and soak it. I start with wet wood and keep it wet. I found that when I attempted to keep it wet by putting wet blanks in a sealed plastic container, that they would get moldy after a few weeks. In the vinegar solution this does not happen.

    I typically cut a lot of blanks at one time when I have access to some green birch, and I want to keep them in good condition for my students. If I had an extra freezer, that would be a good solution too.


    • #17
      Will they dry in plastic bags or is it best in paper bags ? And is it the same when doing Luisa's from green wood? Thanx ... Mack


      • #18
        I've dried spoons in both with chips. I don't know about Luisa.


        • #19
          Wet spoons etc. should not be kept in plastic after they are finished. They will mold. I put them in paper because that will let them dry more slowly than if they are just left out in the air. I suppose if the spoons were put in a plastic bag with chips and the bag was left open, that they might dry slowly and not mold.
          I think a lot has to do with the climate that you live in. The drying procedure will be different in dry areas, from that in humid conditions. I live in a pretty dry place.