How to Dry Wood in a Microwave Oven ? 

juNE 23,2021

👋 Can you dry wood in a microwave? Everyone asks this question after they hear about this technique for the first time. And it’s okay to have concerns. Because according to our common sense, drying wood in a microwave is supposed to be dangerous. But in reality, this technique works. Although, you won’t get the same feel as the sunlight treatment, but you’ll get some time savings. 

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  • "The fastest way to dry wood at home is to use your microwave!"



"The fastest way to dry wood at home is to use your microwave!"


How To Dry Wood in a Microwave Oven? 

In this post, we will guide you through a complete step by step guide on drying wood in a kitchen microwave oven. The steps might require expertise in using the microwave. So, make sure you have that before you begin.


Note: Unless you have access to an industrial wood drying microwave, this process is really only suitable for smaller pieces of wood.

STEP 1: WEIGH YOU WOOD


Use an electronic postal or pocket scales. They can be purchased from office suppliers and big-box stores. Set it to measure grams, place your wood onto it, and take note of your wood's weight. If you'd like to keep your scale clean, place a container onto the scale, hit "Tare," and then place the wood in. As much as possible, accuracy should be at least within 0.035 ounces (0.99 g) for the best results. 

STEP 2: MEASURE THE MOISTURE CONTENT


Use a moisture meter. Purchase moisture meters from home hardware stores and online suppliers. Measure the moisture content of each piece of wood. Take note of the moisture content, which will be a percentage between 0 and 100. This will be used later to calculate the moisture content after final heating. It will be your guide in understanding how much heat you should apply to your wood.

STEP 3: SETTING UP


Set the microwave on its lowest setting. On most microwaves, this is "defrost" or lower. Whatever your microwave's settings, choose one that runs on roughly 200 to 360 watts. Place three to five paper towels underneath the wood to absorb the moisture the wood gives off as it dries. As you turn on your oven, don’t leave it and always look out for any smoke because it could be a sign that your wood is burning. You may place more than one piece of wood in the microwave at a time as long as they fit on the outer edge of the carousel and none of the pieces touch each other or they can light on fire. 


Do not increase the heat in an attempt to dry the wood faster. You may burn the wood. If a piece of wood catches on fire, submerge it or leave it outside until it burns out. Do not place smoldering or flaming wood in the trash can.

STEP 4: HEAT THE WOOD 


Microwave the wood for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Never leave the wood unattended while it is drying. 

- Woods with 15% to 25% MC must be in the lowest heat setting and put in the oven for 45 to 60 seconds.

- Woods with 30% and above MC requires at least 1.5 minutes to 3 minutes.


We set the dry time in accordance with the size of the wood:


Dry time according to the size of the wood 


1. Wood with size less than 20 cm : 1 minute 


2. Wood with 20 -30 cm size: 2 minutes 


3. Wood with size larger than 30 cm: 3 minutes 


Remove the wood from the microwave with oven mitts or heavy work gloves. Place the wood on the counter to release the steam.

STEP 5: WEIGH-IN YOUR SAMPLES AGAIN


Lift the wood off of the counter after 30 seconds to check the amount of condensation underneath the wood. Then allow it to cool to room temperature and to release the moisture removed by the microwave. Weigh your samples on the scale and record the weights. When drying wood, you will notice each piece loses weight, which is a sign that moisture is leaving. The goal is to continue heating your wood pieces until there is no weight change and each of their moisture contents is stable. Note that different types of wood are dry at different levels. Don’t be shocked if some pieces lose moisture faster or slower than others. 


IMPORTANT! As you continue heating your wood, leave at least 45 to 60 seconds intervals with 1-minute rest in between.

STEP 6: CONTINUE HEATING YOUR WOOD AND WEIGHING IT UNTIL THERE ARE NO WEIGHT CHANGES


When the weight of the wood no longer decreases after you’ve taken it out of the microwave oven, you can stop. The wood is dried!  

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There you have it, a solid methods for drying wood fast for woodworking. Just remember, whatever you do, make sure the wood has less than 7% moisture contained in it. Once you do reach this wood moisture level, your wood is ready to work with, and you can now produce beautiful wood crafts without any potential defects due to unwanted water content in your wood.


Josh J. Gur - CEO

CEO of Sanrico

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