NEW! Faster Search Option

Loading

rehydrating wood

Janet_Yang's picture

*
Is there any way to make old, brittle wood more flexible? I have an antique weaving tool called a reed. It looks like a giant comb, except the teeth are made of strips of bamboo (why it is called a reed and not a bamboo is a mystery).

I plan to reclaim the bamboo strips to make a new reed. I've done it before but these strips are particularly brittle.

Janet

AJinNZ_'s picture

(post #90054, reply #1 of 15)

*
As far as I know wood has a sort of "use by date". Once the fibres deteriorate the piece in general has had it.
It may be possible to soak it it some sort of resin, even oil will give it some flexibility but I wouldnt expect much strength from it.
best of luck.

Janet_Yang's picture

(post #90054, reply #2 of 15)

*
I was afraid that was the answer, AJin, but at least you have saved me a wasted effort; thank you.

Do you live in New Zealand? I have a hand spindle (for spinning wool) that was made in New Zealand from recycled wood. It has tiny letters that appear to spell RIMU, but this word is not listed in my dictionary. Can you tell me anything about rimu?

Janet

Danford_C._Jennings's picture

(post #90054, reply #3 of 15)

*
Janet, after doing a google search, I found that Rimu is a highly protected species of hardwood,
i rimus vitaenum,
there is a heavy fine for those caught having it in their possession.

'Course my first thought was that it is an acronym for Running In My Undershorts, sort of like ULBALS.

Dano

Janet_Yang's picture

(post #90054, reply #4 of 15)

*
Not to worry; the rimu is salvaged from discarded furniture. At least, that's what they claim. My spindle is warped--the whorl is not perfectly round and the shank is slightly bent. I assume that it started out being perfect...but if the wood was truly from an old desk, wouldn't it have finished shrinking by the time they acquired it, and shouldn't the spindle look as perfect as the day it was tooled?

I may be sorry for asking, but what does ULBALS stand for?

Janet

Danford_C._Jennings's picture

(post #90054, reply #5 of 15)

*
Janet,

Actually I was just pulling your leg a tad on the
i rimus vitaenum.

Wood will always continue to move.

ULBALS? That's the acronym for Upper Lower Body Apparel Layer Separation. Plumbers seem to be most susceptible to this condition as are some football and baseball fans, some refer to this as a "butt crack".
b :)

Dano

Dick_'s picture

(post #90054, reply #6 of 15)

*
I've always heard it called 'plumbers bum'. I guess that is because they are always bending over, and comfortable work pants have to fit loose.

James_Fuller's picture

(post #90054, reply #7 of 15)

*
Wood never stops lossing and gaining moisture. Wood does not become brittle when it becomes very dry, not to any degree that you can tell without technical testing equipment. If the wood is brittle it is because it has experienced decay.
Jim F>

Danford_C._Jennings's picture

(post #90054, reply #8 of 15)

*
James,

Have you ever worked with Gaboon Ebony? If you haven't, get yourself a billet and make a little piece of veneer; you might revise your statement after doing so.
b :)

Dano

Don_Rogers's picture

(post #90054, reply #9 of 15)

*
Janet
By now you are probably aware of Dano's evil sense of humour... I was ROTFLMAO when I read about Rimus vitaenum as I spent some time over in AJland where Rimu is used like you guys use cherry.

Dano
I recently came across a bunch of ULBALS deritives the other day - from memory they included Carp's crack, Sparkies gap & Brickies vent, there are no doubt many more..

BTW rimu is a conifer, Dacrydium cupressinum which was for many years the priciple NZ native timber species so stands of mature trees have been depleted pretty severly..it's been awhile since I was in the NZ bush so AJ may be able to give an update on the tree.

Don

Danford_C._Jennings's picture

(post #90054, reply #10 of 15)

*
Don,

Me evil? Wow, I had no idea Rimu is an actual tree, thanks for the info and the laugh....."brickie's vent", that's one I've not heard.

Dano

Sgian_Dubh's picture

(post #90054, reply #11 of 15)

*
Also known as a plumbers bicycle park Dano. Just shove the front wheel into the crack for safe keeping. Plumbers are reputed to not move much. Your bike will still be there several hours later,...............or so it's said. ;-) Slainte, RJ.

AJinNZ_'s picture

(post #90054, reply #12 of 15)

*
Aaah, plumbers. Now theres an odd species. A strong genetic disposition to not being on time.

Janet, yes I do live in New Zealand. Rimu as stated above is a native. It is a large primitive form of conifer. The timber is rated as medium on the 'hard' scale, but from experience I know that the heart wood can at times be like working cast iron. The colour and grain however can be exquisite. I will try to post a photo soon.

Logging on govt land has now been banned due to rapidly diminishing amounts, although it can still be logged on private land. Cost of the stuff is getting pretty steep. I have a good sized stock of it that I got out of older houses I work on. all for free. In my opinion the older stuff has better colour etc anyway.
In the pre Pinus Radiata days it was used for everything.........house framing, flooring, furniture, even boxing for concrete!

The timber has a habit of being a bit badly behaved with regard to movement. Once turned into something and finished it is fine, just be nice to it until then. I had some butchers block parts machined and ready one day. the sun was shining right on them for an hour or so. I could hear it going 'plink'. not a nice sound coming from a lovely piece of timber!
No matter how old it is, leaving it in a hot or sunny spot will make it warp. A liberal dose of linseed or similar will stabilise it and may revive it somewhat.
If you want to attempt to make a new one, I can send a bit over, just email me.

AJinNZ_'s picture

(post #90054, reply #13 of 15)

*
This is a bookcase I made a few years ago from recycled rimu.

AJinNZ_'s picture

(post #90054, reply #14 of 15)

*
and another.....

AJinNZ_'s picture

(post #90054, reply #15 of 15)

*
one more....