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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Central Ohana For the Ohana in warmer climes...
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For the Ohana in warmer climes...
Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5810
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2005-12-17 1:45 pm   Permalink

Cold Tiki Wannabe


 
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Raffertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 31, 2003
Posts: 1527
From: L.I.
Posted: 2005-12-17 2:21 pm   Permalink

Unga, I never pictured you as a vanilla sort. Where's the pineapple sorbet?

 
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amiotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 125
From: Wilson, North Carolina
Posted: 2005-12-17 6:48 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-12-11 21:03, Lake Surfer wrote:
Poly or not... if the wood has moisture in it and it is in your dry house in the winter it may crack. If the wood is dry it probably won't crack.
Wet wood is swollen, when wood drys it pulls apart because there is no moisture to fill in the gaps This is known as cellular tension collapse and it is irreversible (amiotiki).

Coating with poly for outdoors helps shed water and moisture for the most part... cracking and checking is a natural process wood goes through anyhow when it drys,
you just hope it doesn't get too bad.



I've been doing some coursework on stabilization and conservation of wood (mostly from an archaeological standpoint) - and it can be very tricky. You don't want wet wood to dry quickly, and you DO want the cells to maintain their structure when the water leaves them. The trick to this is keeping the vacating water from collapsing the cell walls, which leads to shrinkage, cracking (both radially and tangentially), and face checking. You can 'bulk' the cells with immersion in a sucrose solution (regular old sugar), and that will help a lot (you're exchanging the water with the sucrose).

I guess it all depends on how you want your tiki to look...but if you want to avoid cracking, etc. - the best bet is to protect it from waterlogging right from the gitgo, so a poly coat or some other kind of sealant is a really good idea. Just make sure the wood is properly (slowly) dried out, keeping relative humidity around 50-60%

Sorry to 'hold forth' on you (gosh, I could go on for pages)...I know how much work you all put into your carvings - and I just love giving wood and other artifacts a chance at 'life'!

amiotiki


 
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SilverLine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 02, 2004
Posts: 630
From: Kansas City
Posted: 2005-12-17 7:18 pm   Permalink

[quote]
On 2005-12-17 18:48, amiotiki wrote:
Quote:

I guess it all depends on how you want your tiki to look...but if you want to avoid cracking, etc. - the best bet is to protect it from waterlogging right from the gitgo, so a poly coat or some other kind of sealant is a really good idea. Just make sure the wood is properly (slowly) dried out, keeping relative humidity around 50-60%



Wouldn't this time of year, in our colder climates, be the best time to harvest deciduous trees for carving? I'd guess that wood moisture should be at it's lowest right now. Good time to follow tree-service trucks, maybe?

(Waiting for the next ice storm . . .)
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3379
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2005-12-17 9:35 pm   Permalink

It's wierd... sometimes it is a roll of the die if a log cracks on me. I harvested pine back in November and everything split lengthwise...
Dried too quick with the low dew points in my basement. I've had other tikis that I carved wet and they didn't crack a bit. And now I've got tikis that were carved a year ago and new cracks are forming. Sometimes I can hear then in the corner of the room... snap, crackle pop.

The Midwest is gotta be hell on wood... hot-cold... moist-dry

I learn to deal with the cracks... have then form on one side and carve the other

Good info amiotiki... mahalos for sharing!

I'm wondering if salt water would do the same as sugar water?


 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3379
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2005-12-17 9:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:
Wouldn't this time of year, in our colder climates, be the best time to harvest deciduous trees for carving? I'd guess that wood moisture should be at it's lowest right now. Good time to follow tree-service trucks, maybe?

(Waiting for the next ice storm . . .)





I've found it is tougher to dry them out... this time of the year the water is frozen inside the wood...

The other problem I've had drying them slower is mildew... especially in the dark basement


 
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amiotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 125
From: Wilson, North Carolina
Posted: 2005-12-20 10:14 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-12-17 21:35, Lake Surfer wrote:I'm wondering if salt water would do the same as sugar water?


NO!!! Salt water is absolutely the WORST thing you could do! Conservationists spend gawdawful amounts of time carefully removing salt from everything it comes into contact with - has to do with chemical interactions. Salt is sooo destructive!

I really don't know much about how to 'season' wood for carving...Probably the best thing you could do to season freshly cut wood would be to let it dry as slowly as possible - if necessary, spray it with water periodically to maintain a steady rate of dehydration. Soft woods, pine, spruce, etc. will behave the worst because of their cellular structure. Hardwoods have a smaller cell size, so they will behave very differently. It is the rapid collapse of the cell walls that cause the radial cracking that is so frustrating for carvers.

Maybe you could experiment with bulking your wood with sugar before carving? If anybody is interested in this process, let me know and I will put up a longer post on how to do it and what you need to have.

My work is primarily done with old archaeological wood - wood that has already had something done to it. In our cases, our primary job is to see that the wood does not dry out until it has been stabilized - that is, the cellular structure shored up with a bulking agent (like sugar or low molecular weight PEG). That way we can retain as much of the original shape as possible.

I'm kind of rambling here - stream of consciousness writing I guess. Hehe, guess I need to start carving so I can better understand the dynamics of fresh vs old wood.

amiotiki

P.S. Mold and mildew are bad news for organics like wood - they can get deep inside and be really tough to get rid of. You might want to spritz your wood with Lysol periodically just to keep organic critters from munching down.

[ This Message was edited by: amiotiki 2005-12-20 10:17 ]


 
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WooHooWahine
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 04, 2005
Posts: 3103
From: Mission (Impossible) Viejo, Ca
Posted: 2005-12-20 8:10 pm   Permalink

WooHoo! Season's Greetings from SUNNY Southern California!!!

 
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Bete
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 490
Posted: 2006-01-02 5:37 pm   Permalink

Awesome pictures Lake Surfer (and awesome pictures posted by other people in this forum topic too)! What a fun forum thread topic here!

 
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