Messages Archive

Re: How hard could it be to steam?

David Weaver
Yes on the sealing ends. I have gotten some side checking on billets, but most is on ends. I could tolerate the amount of side check loss.

IIRC, horizon was experimenting with steaming beech before or as part of the drying cycle perhaps to speed things up (and I'm guessing they will probably not be doing more drying of their own, at least as of now).

I received some billets from them that were "good" drying loads that had honeycombing in them, and at least once, I was waiting for wood to come out of the kiln only to receive a message from them that the entire load was a loss. I think just due to time.

There must be steaming and then productive steaming. Thermal modification of beech seems like an interesting idea, but it's not one I'm going to explore. What it does to maple (in terms of making the wood much slower to absorb moisture) is interesting, and it's cliquey in the guitar world right now - I suspect the greatest value is places that sell overpriced parts can charge extra for it and use less well sawn wood at the same time (pictures of some of the fender replacement necks would suggest the latter is definitely occurring).

Smells like a house fire when working the wood if the target temperature was achieved, though.

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