We lost a few tree limbs from Hurricane Nicole. My wife suggested to cut them into sections to engrave. My question is in what order to cut them? I know I need to let them dry out a bit. My initial thought is to let them dry as logs, then slice them, but that will take longer. If I slice them while they are green, they will dry out faster. I am afraid that the will oxidize(?) discolor from being exposed to the air.
Glad you are OK ! First off what species are they? If there is too much shrinking too fast they could split. Live edge means critters under the bark from fungus to beetles keep their home. A hot attic with the insulation below could work well. or any way to increase dry heat beyond hanging out on the porch.
You’re experimenting, so… experiment.
Cut a couple of dozen or so to the size you want and let them dry, keep a few limbs to cut later. You can experiment with ways to make the cut ones dry faster, and try @rbtdanforth idea of a couple limbs in the attic.
I think your wife has a good idea.
There is shrinkage involved in desiccating the wood, but it is usually the larger diameters where shrinking induces cracking.
Handroanthus chrysotrichus or Tabebuia chrysotricha there seems to be some confusion over golden trumpet trees. I haven’t had any reaction to cutting or handling the flowers, leaves, bark, or saw dust. We did get from the Orange County Agriculture tree give-a-way years ago.
Logs will split more than slabs or slices. If you slice some slabs paint the ends with something (they have specialty paints but latex will work - anything to keep moisture from entering the ends as the flats dry). It will take about 1yr per inch of thickness to dry outside. You’ll want stickers between slabs (thin pieces of wood to keep them separated & so air can flow between them). You’ll get it to about 14-18% moisture that way. If you’re just making art pieces, that’s probably fine but for really high quality boxes, etc., the attic trick will help dry them some more. Kiln dried would get you to 9-10% but hard to do with home equipment. You can use an electric smoker to dry small stuff - I have a Masterchef cabinet style electric ;lsmoker I converted to a powder coating oven and set on low it can dry slices over the course of a week.
Thank you all for the advice. I knew I would get the best answer here.
BTW I love the Tabebuia trees. There is a pink and maybe(?) two different yellow versions (This may be a part of the confusion)
Glad you weathered the storm (pun intended ) okay, with only losing a few limbs. We are just getting the very edge of it in our area as of yesterday, with a little wind and less than 1/2" of rain.
We’ve spent all week cutting down two very large maple trees in our front yard because they were dying. One was overhanging our neighbor’s house, and the other had huge fungi growing out of the base. It had very little in the trunk that wasn’t rotten, and while it wouldn’t have hurt any houses if it fell, it could have taken down a power line. So we decided we needed to get them cut down asap.
As my husband was splitting the wood, all I could think of was how pretty the non-rotted wood was. Parts that split looked like cooked, shredded turkey breast, but other parts looked like butter. But I don’t have the patience to wait for it to dry (you could see the moisture being pressed out as it was being split), and my husband isn’t about to cut it into rounds or other pieces for me. He’s rather use it for firewood. I may still grab some and let it dry in my craftroom just to test it out.