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Ok im wanting to go and find some natural forks tommorow however it has been raining where i live as usual and i was wondering how do you dry them out once collected? All i can think of is putting them in the oven at a low tempurature for a long period of time.also what tree are the best to collect this wood from?

Thanks.

Powelly.
 

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As a bit of a natural fork aficionado, I have a small room in my shed devoted completely to the drying of natural forks. I cut all mine from natural deadfalls and limbs left by logging operations. I leave mine to sit for a minimum of six months if they are cut green. If the limb was dead when it fell, I will monitor it for cracking for a month before touching it. I also cut mine at least 1 1/2 inches long.

A ******* method I use is to put my forks under the seat of my truck. It sits in a parking lot in New Orleans for a month at a time while I am offshore, baking in the subtropical sunshine. I have used green forks that have sat in there for a month that were fine as part of an experiment. I wouldn't do it with a special or rare fork, though. I would let it sit in the truck for a while and then monitor it for further checking.

Finally, like I said I prefer deadfalls. If they have been dead for at least six months you normally can just cut them, monitor for checking for about a month, and if nothing is going on then get hot with the pocket knife and sandpaper. It's good to hear from a natural lover and good luck in your fork-hunting endeavours; I've still got three weeks offshore before I can do much of anything!
 

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im not sure what woods are the best in england and there is a way for drying forks in the microwave i think you put it in a freezer bag and put it in the microwave then set it to like 20 seconds or until the bag puffs right up. you should do this about 3 times and then when you get the frame out leave it to dry naturally for a couple of hours.when it is dry go over the fork for very tiny hairline cracks if you find any just apply some wood glue to the crack but make sure the glue goes into the crack for the maximum strength once it it in put some spring clamps on the crack unti the glue is totally dry.
that is the way i have dryed my natural forks.
 

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I use forks that come from dead falls or the local brush pile so the are at least not freshly green, the mirco wave method works well, there is a thread here somewhere that covers it, but basically you wrap it in a paper towel put it in a zip lock bag and zap it for 20 - 30 sec or untill the bag starts to inflate, take it out dry it off (watch the steam and the hot wood) let it cool and repete, 4 to 5 times usually do the trick...you can boil them in highly salted water for a about 20 min, I beleive then let dry ( I've never used this method but I hear it works well).. you can bake them at 250* fr. for 2 to 3 hrs, or if I'm not in a hurry I toss them in the car trunk for a few weeks..

any hard wood tree is fine, oak, ash, hickory, dogwood, blackthorne would work, maple etc.
 

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i was given a sugestion a while ago, boil heavily salted water and place the forks in it.
Yes this works great! If you put it in the oven, it will crack most of the time. Boil in heavy salt water and then dry it out over a week and it is perfect!
[/quote]

how long should i boil for? i have never tried this but want to for my next fork.
 

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I used 1/3 - 1/2 a cylinder container of salt I got from the Dollar store and boiled it for 30-45 minutes, with the bark off. Try taking a few test pieces and put one in the salt water, one in the oven, and one in a paper bag in the car in the hot sun. The only one that worked for me was the boiled one. Make sure it goes in the water right after you pull the bark off. I have found that most bark comes off very easily right after you cut it. Also cut them longer and then cut them to size after you boil and let dry.

Good luck!
 
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