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How to storage wood for scale

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Natlek, Jan 12, 2018 at 5:23 PM.

  1. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Today I received from friend some walnut for scale .There are some beautiful pieces for scale . The problem is that it will take me several years to use them and I know nothing about how to keep them in this condition they are now :) I will be very grateful if someone tell me how to store them? I'm most afraid of bending ......
    Thanks for any help :thumbsup:
  2. Greenberg Woods

    Greenberg Woods Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict Dealer / Materials Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    It looks like they were cut rather thin. Thats not ideal, as you will have bending and cracking during drying.

    The most important step is to limit moisture loss through the end grain. You can use a commercial product like anchor seal, or you can paint the ends with latex pain or dip them in wax.

    The next step is called stacking and stickering. https://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/how-to-succeed-at-air-drying-lumber This is a pretty good guide. You want the wood covered from rain and direct sunlight, but so that the wind can blow through it. You need airflow to dry wood well.

    Depending on where you are, if you want to ship me a small piece of the wood I have a pinless moisture meter and could give you a moisture reading to tell you how long to dry it. Otherwise I think about 8 - 10 months should be good for walnut of that thickness.
    valknut likes this.
  3. chumaman


    Nov 13, 2012
    :) is that for both sides of the street ;)
  4. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    @ Greenberg Woods , sorry I did not mention they were already dry :( My friend live in another town and work with wood ,he told my that wood scale a ready for use ..............Thanks for offer , but I m on another side of pond :thumbsup: So , what you suggest in this case to do ?
  5. Spalted

    Spalted My name is Britt Askew I like making knives Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 9, 2010
    I would just find a place in the shop to put them stacked just like they are now. Somewhere not in direct sunlight. No need to paint the ends.
  6. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I would set them in a big plastic storage bin. That way they stay dry, clean, and you can find them when you want them.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 2:24 PM
  7. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Thanks for advice guys ! Now I must finish knife for my generous friend :) Choosing the best scale from this one he gave me ;)
  8. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    Thanks for this advice :thumbsup: It's good to know all this before I cut this walnut :)
  9. Natlek


    Jun 9, 2015
    What if I cut all of them in scale length and store them like you say , Stacy ?
  10. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    how dry are they ? i had a few sets of scales peel and warp off my tangs back in the day. if they are too dry or wet the wood will expand or contract/shift. i bought a $30 moisture meter from woodcraft and it has not happened since. they should be between 5-8% moisture. i learned this from cabinet makers.
  11. Burl Source

    Burl Source Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    You can get a rubbermade plastic bin at walmart for about $10.
    I would rubberband the individual sets together. Then stand them on edge in the bin and put on the lid.
    If the plastic fogs there is still moisture so remove the lid.
    Otherwise just keep the bin out of direct sunlight.

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