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"Crafter"
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a short topic guys updating the progress of the Yew forks I harvested. I don't like to micro fry dry my forks instead I let them sit until I feel like working them. Well I was excited about the splated Yew fork I found when I cut it so waiting for it to season is painful. We have had a lot of snow in the UK at the moment much to my frustration so I have not been doing anything slingshot related to be honest except today where I decided to de bark my spalted Yew and reveal my hunch. I have trimmed down to size and removed a lot of the rotten wood now it sits in a boil bag of Tru oil to help "harden" the wood until it is fully dry in the spring perhaps

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The view down my range...

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Premium Member
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2,377 Posts
That has some real potential, just look at that spalting!
 

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2,121 Posts
personally i love using the microwave to dry forks. but for what ive read, yew sawdust is dangerously toxic. so microwaving them might produce toxic fumes? especially if you accidentally overcook them and they end up smoking up the kitchen?

if anyone more knowledgable could chime in on this, id be very greatful.

sorry for hijacking your thread like this bro. im really curious what youll make of those forks though, especially that spalted one.

cheers, remco
 

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"Crafter"
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Microwave is an effective way to dry but exactly as you stated I am dubious of using my only microwave to fry my toxic lumber :) , I also have many many forks stored upwards of 60! so drying in a hurry is not am issue I just take ones from the dry pile, regards to the fumes I am not sure I know its all parts of the tree including the wood that poison so I assume moisture trapped then vaporised would contain the toxin ...
 

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Member, Brotherhood of Slingshot Nutz
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First, that is a very beautiful piece of wood. But I do not understand how you expect to dry it when you have immersed it in oil?

I suppose if you leave it immersed in oil long enough, the oil will displace the water and sap in the fork, but then you will really have to dry it, and that will take a lot longer than waiting for the water content to evaporate.

... maybe I don't know anything about the qualities of tru oil? ...

In such situations, I have kept the fork sealed in a plastic bag and only took it out for an hour or two every day to work on carving it. Once it was roughed in, I would continue to slowly release it to the air for an hour a day. If a small crack started to develop, I would add a few sprinkles of water to re-hydrate the wood a little and keep it in the bag overnight. Then continue with my controlled drying -- leaving it out of the bag a bit longer each day -- for about a week to three weeks, depending on fork size. But that depends a lot of the type of wood. It could take months for some.

You also have the option of boiling that fork in heavily salted water for 45 min. to an hour. After a day or two of drying, it should be ready.

It just seems that soaking it in oil at this stage will just lengthen the process.
 

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"Crafter"
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Excellent point Dayhiker! I am doing exactly what you discuss by allowing the fork air time each day/every other day. The yew was incredibly soft at the extremitys due to the rot setting in, after using tru oil to finish several forks I know that it sets hard giving the piece a solid feel. I was guessing with no great expertise that allowing the tru oil to soak deep into the yew would aid in stabilising the delicate wood. I now have the fork in a clear seal bag minus any excess tru oil drying very slowly until I am ready for final shaping.
 
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