Nowadays, one of the difficulties that have occupied the attention of most people who work with wood is carving and engraving on wood, which is a challenging process, particularly for newcomers in this business.
People may ponder cutting on a piece of wood but abandon the idea due to the complexity. The issue now is if it is feasible to soften the wood by soaking it with water.
Undoubtedly, soaking the wood makes it much easier to carve on it, but it is important to note that it becomes much more notorious for breaking when the wood dries.
Mixing half and half substances such as isopropyl alcohol and water and spraying it on the wood before engraving with a sharp knife is one method for softening wood.
This technique has advantages and disadvantages, which we want to analyze in full in continue.
Soaking Wood; Yes or No!
If you buy wood from a store or somewhere else, it has undoubtedly lost its moisture and dried, and even wood dealers frequently dry it in the oven to speed up the drying process.
Special procedures are used to decrease shrinkage and cracking in industrially dried woods. It expands by absorbing water and drying after engraving when you wet the wood.
At this point, the following occurs:
The shrinking process occurs when the moisture level of the wood reaches 25 to 30 percent. Regular wood shrinks in length but not in breadth or thickness, and it always shrinks toward the skin.
More dense woodlands decline faster than less dense ones. Controlling the shrinkage procedure is critical because the wood will shrink too much and leave a gap half an inch wide if it is not done correctly.
These flaws on the surface of the wood will undoubtedly make etching difficult and detract from its attractiveness.
To summarize, soaking the wood causes it to expand, then shrink as it dries, resulting in cracks and fissures along the wood grain.
The process of expansion and contraction can make engraving on wood difficult, if not impossible.
Another thing to bear in mind while soaking wood is that depending on the type of wood; it may take a few days for the wood to be thoroughly wet and ready to be engraved, anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.
Now you get information about soaking the wood to prepare it for carving. To continue, let’s compare wet wood and dry wood and learn their pros and cons.
Soaked wood vs. dry wood carving
Among the key differences between wet and dry wood that should be taught about wood carving is the difference between wet and dry wood.
Depending on the type of wood, it is best to carve it dry or wet, and the risk of wood breaking must be considered.
We have gathered numerous dry and wet wood carving elements for your convenience. Please continue to follow us.
Advantages & disadvantages of soaked wood
|Simple to carve.||A damp wood that holds a lot of moisture will frequently cause the wood to break.|
|It’s ideal for use with hand tools.||Outdoor tasks are better suited to it.|
|It is possible to turn it to dry wood.||Not ideal for delicate detail.|
|Because it may be obtained from a forest from freshly fallen branches, it does not need to be purchased.||It creates a residue on your tools that is difficult to clear.|
|When it dries, it shrinks.|
Advantages & disadvantages of dry wood
|Because it does not contain moisture, it is less prone to break.||With essential tools, it is more difficult to cut than soaked wood.|
|More stable and well-suited to indoor applications.||Some wood that has been allowed to cure for an extended period may become stone-hard and challenging to carve.|
|It is improved for fine detail.||More instruments are required to work with, such as chisels.|
|It is appropriate for all levels of competence.||It isn’t easy to season oneself without prior expertise. Thus it must be purchased.|
|Ideal for power carving.|
In the above tables, we have briefly explained the advantages and disadvantages of dry and wet wood.
Now that you know some approximate statistics about the characteristics of both types of wood, you can conclude the best uses of each of these two types of wood.
Soaked Wood Carving Techniques
If you want to carve with soaked wood, as stated above, you must first learn how it compresses, so you know exactly what happens to your carving in the following weeks.
As you may be aware or have experienced, your wood can crack and split. However, there are several steps you can take to prevent these issues, one of which is to wrap the wood in a plastic shopping bag while not in use.
This delays the drying process, which is advantageous because it may crack if the wood dries too rapidly.
The last word,
As we discussed throughout the post, it is preferable to soak the wood, which is one of the easiest ways to soften wood for carving. Some woods are tough and long-lasting for carving.
Irrespective of the nature of art you aim to produce, you must be extremely careful in selecting what sort of wood to use and under what circumstances to avoid future problems. That’s why we discussed how to moisten it and its benefits and drawbacks.
We hope you will find this article’s content helpful and that you enjoy your engraving.