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Re: I do not recommend the microwave method

Sgian Dubh
Bill, my experience using a microwave to undertake the oven drying test is somewhat different to yours because I've never experienced either of the problems you describe. The ability to establish wood MC in less than about 30 - 45 minutes in a microwave oven isn't especially challenging, requiring only the use of a wad of paper towels under the sample(s) under test, low settings, short bursts, frequent weighing of the sample, and short rest periods between cookings. The results are accurate enough to provide useful information to the woodworker, all depending upon the accuracy of the scales of course. And this method does save setting up a cooker (domestic, for example) for a long period, which may, or may not be popular with other household members, ha, ha.

I've heard a few tales of people overcooking their wood samples (not me) ... with similar results to your burnt example, but in all the cases I can recall it was the result of rather over-enthusiastic cooking, i.e., too high a setting and cooking for too long, with too few rest periods. Slainte.

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