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Posts: 1,179
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Heat - Treating Pine - Test 1
Whether you call it : Heat-Treating, Cooking Wood, Tinting Wood or Baking Wood, just to name a few, they all refer to the same process.

I would like to demonstrate to you the heat-treating process, using a common countertop toaster oven and show the results at various time intervals of the process, in the attached PDF document.

The equipment required is very common, low cost.
The process is quite straight forward.
The results are exciting.

1 Toaster Oven.jpg 2 Wood.jpg 8 120B Minutes.jpg 9 Cross Section.jpg 

The attached "Heat-Treating Pine - Test 1" PDF tells the story.
Hope you find it interesting and that it inspires you to try Heat-Treating wood for some of your projects.

pdf Heat Treating Pine Test 1 PDF.pdf     

As always, member reply posts are always welcome as are your stories of failures and successes on the topic of Heat-Treating Woods.

Happy Toy Making

Ken Martin

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Posts: 988
Reply with quote  #2 
Great Post Udie

Thanks for doing a test the way it should be done, and the way you document everything, makes it very do able for the rest of us.

We have had some of the same challenges you have faced in your test, in real life applying the burning of wood to our toys.

I did turn a set of wheels into charcoal like you mentioned in your article, and have some wheels that if put on a toy car would make the car go around in circles, because I warped them so bad.

Big No No:  Do not try this tec. with spooked wheels.  I did not think about the glue that holds the spokes in, and guess what?  I had to call on one of my toy Firetrucks to put out my toy spook wheels.

But as you said it is a learning experience, and it seems every piece of wood you do is going to react differently to the baking or burning process.

We have done some things that have turned out OK.  See Below DSC02702_mini.JPG The small Martin Motors Cars were my 1st attempt on toys.  This wood is just plywood, and it will burn different on the edges than on the flat surface.  Seems like you get a lot of oil spots around the edges, but not to worry, because they will sand out.

The Puzzle truck above was my first bigger thicker toy parts.  I did them along with the wheels and I should not have because 11/2" pine will burn or toast a lot slower than the wheels did.  As you can see from the above photo I almost over burnt the cars, they are really black.  However, they did sand and polish up OK. 

The farm tractor and the cows are a work in progress.  These are made from Alder wood, and burned real nice.  The cows have a poly finish on them, but the tractor is still plane wood.
With this wood I did see some shrinkage on the part that was burnt when I was gluing them back together.  No big problem on these parts anyway, we just sanded them out.


On the Bi-Plane above there were some differences across the length of the wing, due I think to warm and cold spots as Udie described in his article.  However, after sanding and polishing with Cynthia's Beeswax this plane came out really good.  
When I carry this toy with me shopping or to dinner, it is really getting a lot of attend ion.

The moral of this story is, to keep working with different woods and different sizes of wood, until you find what works for you.  It seems to me anyway that every time I do this it comes out a little different.

Have fun with this process and don't be in a hurry.  Again, like Udie said above for a full toaster oven full of wood it will take about 2 hours or a little more.  I put the wood in then check on it every 1/2 hour, for the 1st hour, then I start checking on it every 15 minutes until it is where I want it to be.

If you see smoke it is done or very near done.  Next step would be fire.
After a while you can tell by the smell when the wood is about done.  I like the smell, but my wife NOT SO MUCH.  That is why we say burn in a toaster oven outside.

Thanks Udie for the great post.
I need to check on some wood in the oven right now.

Kenneth W Martin

Posts: 153
Reply with quote  #3 
I am definitely going to try this. One of the models I'd like to build is a Muskoka runabout mahogany boat with the contrasting mahogany/pine/poplar deck. The thing is, mahogany is a rare commodity where I am even for shorts so I have been trying to come up with an alternative...I think this is it.

Udie, no matter what anyone says, you ARE the man!
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