drying the wood

This discussion area is for basic structure building concepts. Not intended for advanced concepts.
*Good Example: Balsa can bend with the addition of boiling water.
*Good Example: Triangle is the strongest shape for most applications of bracing.
*Bad Example: Balsa can hold X pounds under these conditions.
*Bad Example: Use this shape for this application.
Basically I want you to think a design through with the basics instead of someone else thinking through your design for you.
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NYomer11
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:21 pm

drying the wood

Post by NYomer11 » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:08 pm

I'm not sure if this would fall under OA or not, but what are everyones experiences with drying wood for weight reduction? I think it may make the wood more brittle, but wouldn't the wood soak the moisture back up(for the most part)? What are your opinions? does the wood lose considerable strength if you choose to overbuild and lose the extra gram drying(approximately)? I ask because it seems when I dry the wood, I tend to lose strength, and through sources I have researched, there isn't really any advice upon the subject.

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ClarkInMI
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:55 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Drying Wood

Post by ClarkInMI » Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:50 am

There are plenty of resources available with information on the impact drying has on the strength characteristics of wood. Far be it from me to recommend how to dry your balsa wood, and how to maintain its relative moisture content once dried. But, consider the type of information you're asking about then consider where, in general terms, such information would be available.

You could do worse than scan the list of Balsa research sources available on this web site to see what kinds of information has been found useful for others. I know of at least two sources on that list that will tell you precisely what you're looking for. I'm sure you'll be able to find them, or others like them, readily available to the public in your area. Mind you, you may have to do some digging and most likely some legwork, but don't let a little hard work come between you and your search for knowledge.
ClarkInMI

NYomer11
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:21 pm

Post by NYomer11 » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:39 pm

thanks Clark i got the info i needed

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ClarkInMI
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:55 pm
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Drying Wood

Post by ClarkInMI » Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:21 am

That's good, NYOmer11. We,too, were concerned about drying the wood our first year, and maintaining a stable relative moisture content. That was the year World Competition was held at the University of Maryland, an area that is notorious for high humidity. We did our research into drying methods and hit upon the one we use to this day.

Maintaining that moisture content has been a little tougher and we've heard horror stories about various methods other teams have used. Again, we came upon an effective solution early on and still use it. Our drying and maintaining methods are both pretty low-tech but very effective. Mostly they're based on common sense and some basic research.

Good luck to you this year. Were you by any chance one of the teams that posted the high weights we heard about coming out of New York?
ClarkInMI

NYomer11
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:21 pm

Post by NYomer11 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:22 pm

nah, the weights weren't that high... we held an intermediate amount for regionals (reg. 7-660lbs) although i dont know if the scores are posted yet.

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