anyone try to roast wood at home?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by funkymann1, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. funkymann1

    funkymann1 Tele-Holic

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    the new thing is roasted maple necks....i like mine with some gravy personally....
    on a serious note, i found this link on it & someone had some luck....

    http://lumberjocks.com/topics/52092

    i would love to put a basswood body blank in the oven to see if i can get this effect that FMIC is getting on the new Guthrie Charvel
     

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  2. Maxbra

    Maxbra Tele-Meister

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    I tried that in my owen at home.

    [​IMG]

    Maple neck blank, Heated it up slowly to 195° Celsius - let it stay for one hour, then cool down,
    then up to 215° for 45 minutes ( a bit to long i reckon, will do 20 minutes next time.)
    Temperature is just what the dial on the owen said, not actually measured.

    Weight before 821 gr
    [​IMG]

    Weight after 734 gr
    [​IMG]

    No change in pitch of taptone, and can´t really say i heard to much of a difference in any other way either.

    Did get a lot darker ( used the same piece of stock for both necks on the pic)

    [​IMG]

    The baking gives a pleasant odeur somewhere in between a hot Sauna and baking cookies. But it irritates eyes and nose, so open windows.

    The wood feels a bit different to work with afterwards, but no problems really, but I think it´s really no good to bake it to much of what I´ve read.
    It´s just as dark "inside" when sawing or planing away material.

    Baked neck at top, Normal unfinished maple below..
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  3. barbrainy

    barbrainy RIP

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    Quite a few people on here have done it.


    I can't fit a full size neck in my oven, but I could fit a ukulele sized fretboard in (the neck and the fretboard were from the same piece of maple):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. O.S.V.

    O.S.V. Tele-Meister

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    The color comes from the Maillard reaction, a complex set of chemical reactions between proteins and the natural sugars in the wood. Maple contains lots of natural sugars (maple syrup is boiled maple tree sap), so it lends itself well to the process. I don't know what the sugar content of basswood is, but I would imagine it probably wouldn't respond well to the treatment. No harm in getting a scrap and trying it out- if you can find a small scrap, you could even test it out in a toaster oven.
     
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  5. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    The equation commonly used in the process of artificially aging something via time and temperature is called the Arhennius Equation. In my industry, we use it in relation to artificially aging medical device packaging in order to ensure the sterile barriers remain intact to a certain shelf life value.

    I used it on my Challenge build a few years ago and it noticeably improved the tap tone of the neck blank. By doing this process you are artificially aging the material. Does this improve the tone of your instrument? That's a great "can of worms" question. :) I do think it makes maple look beautiful. It did make my kitchen smell like cookies but that smell is probably related to carbon monoxide being generated in the process. Only do this with plenty of ventilation.
    Rob
     
  6. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Last year's Build Challenge, I roasted my maple ukulele neck, 360° F for 4 hours:

    Before and After:

    [​IMG]

    Shaped and with Tru-Oil:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Dodo-Lurker

    Dodo-Lurker Tele-Meister

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    This is a great lecture by Juha Ruokangas about thermo treating wood: . It's a method that originates from Finland, and is pretty much only used this way in Finland. It's probably quite impossible to do it in a home environment, but a cool method never the less.
     
  8. O.S.V.

    O.S.V. Tele-Meister

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    Aged maple, or even antique maple, does not darken to anywhere near the extent that roasted maple does. It's a heating process, a roasting process, not an artificial aging process, even though you may use heat to artificially age medical packaging.

    Also, unless the medical packaging contains an exceptionally high level of sugar, I wouldn't imagine the packaging darkens to the extent that the maple does, either.

    The "cookie" smell comes from the sugars in the wood.
     
  9. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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  10. Maxbra

    Maxbra Tele-Meister

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  11. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just to clear the air OSV, per ASTM F1980, Section 6.3, "Accelerated aging techniques are based on the assumption that the chemical reactions involved in the deterioration of materials follow the Arhennius reaction rate function. This function states that a 10 degree Celsius increase or decrease in temperature of a homogenous process results in approximately a two times or 1/2 time change in the rate of a chemical reaction (Q10)4."

    This mathematical function absolutely applies to wood and ovens are used to heat the materials to specific temps for specific times. I agree with you that some of the roasting techniques out there result in something that is not natural looking. The process I used on my Challenge guitar however replicated the color tone of a 90 year old maple banjo neck I have with finish removed very closely.

    Rob
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  12. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Me neither, but about 375 F for 3-4 hours does the trick in my wife's oven.:D
    Rex
     
  13. O.S.V.

    O.S.V. Tele-Meister

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    All your quote is saying is that the American Society of Testing and Materials' protocol that's used to predict the loss of a sterile barrier system's integrity is operating on the assumption that the adhesive and cohesive bonds and their component packaging materials will break down following the Arhennius reaction rate function, which they may or may not do. It also states that the information obtained using this protocol is tentative, until real-time aging studies are completed on the sterile barrier system.

    In short, the protocol is used to help decide whether or not a container that is sterile today will still be sterile a year from today, until the results of a parallel real-time aging study can be determined.

    It says absolutely nothing about how the process of plastics and adhesives breaking down will effect an organic material like wood.

    The key word there is homogeneous process. You're trying to apply the function to a heterogeneous process. It doesn't work. You're mixing apples and oranges.

    How so? Organic materials and inorganic materials are two very different things. Homogeneous process and heterogeneous process are two very different things. You're trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

    The chemical reaction between reducing sugars and amino acids occurs most rapidly between the temperatures of 140°C and 160°C (290°F to 330°F), which is a relatively narrow temperature window. A heterogeneous, non-linear process.

    Above that temperature, an entirely different reaction (pyrolysis) becomes more prominent, again in a non-linear trajectory, around 200°C to 300°C (390°F to 570°F).

    These things and others do not apply to inorganic materials like adhesives and medical packaging, but they do apply to organic materials like wood.

    You got the results you were after, and that's what counts. Glad you got the look you were going for.

    Since the wood you used was maple, however, it doesn't really address the OP's question about whether basswood would behave in the same way as maple.

    Again, since the reaction depends on the reducing sugars and amino acids present in the maple, and because basswood has a lower sugar content than maple, I'd be inclined to think that basswood would not respond as well to the technique as maple.

    The best course of action would be to try the technique first on a scrap of basswood, fancy Arhennius calculations aside.
     
  14. O.S.V.

    O.S.V. Tele-Meister

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    I would suggest slightly cooler- around 325°F to 350°F.

    It would also be a good idea to bring the heat up very slowly in order to help prevent possible warping, splitting or twisting of the wood.

    I'd cool it down the same way in reverse, by gradually reducing the temperature over the course of several hours until the oven is off, then leaving the oven door closed for a few hours before taking the wood out.
     
  15. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Appreciate the suggestion. Perhaps I and the others on the thread I linked just got lucky, but 360-375 worked out fine and I got no warping or wood movement of any kind and a fine consistent coloring throughout the wood.

    I'll sure give it a try but as in the linked thread, I didn't quite get there after 4 hours at 375 F and had to put it back in for another hour.
    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/531784-roasted-curly-maple-quilted-sapele-custom-2.html#post6168790

    What benefit would I derive from using the lower temperature you recommend? (If that sounds sarcastic, it's not! I really want to know) I am hoping to roast a more curly piece now that I had such success with a plain grained piece.

    Thanks,
    Rex
     
  16. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    For the basswood, I'd be concerned that it would smoke too easily at high temps like we roast the maple. http://mb-soft.com/juca/print/firewood.html
    This site suggests as much. I wasn't sure what other searches might give you a better temp to try this at.
    Maybe just a much lower temp and longer duration to avoid being smoked out of the house ;)

    I've used Barncaster's method several times, very similar to Rex's and it works great. I have a convection oven with Bake / Convection Bake and Convection Roast as options. I've gotten the best results from the Convection settings and I believe that is because of the air movement in the oven. Mind you I use pretty much the same settings to bake my breads!

    Incase anyone is wondering: I don not pre-heat the oven for this. I put the piece in the oven when it's cold. Set temp to 250, once it hits that I re-set it for 350-375 for a few hours (usually until the wife gets home from work) then shut the oven off and leave the wood in there until morning.
     
  17. jimdkc

    jimdkc Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    For the record, my maple uke neck blank was slightly twisted before roasting, and the roasting caused it to twist even more. The blank was thick enough that I could plane it flat and still use it, and there was no discernible movement after that.

    I did this on a pretty accelerated schedule (it was during the Challenge!)... I'd recommend longer rests!

    March 9 - Roasted
    April 2 - Planed flat
    April 6 - Cut neck outline
    April 20 - Attached fretboard
    April 25 - Carved the neck
     
  18. O.S.V.

    O.S.V. Tele-Meister

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    Bringing the temperature up slowly and cooling back down slowly is just one more precaution against warping, splitting, etc- it allows for a gradual and more even distribution of the heat. It's no guarantee against any of those things, just an added precaution. I tend to err on the side of caution, but I really don't see the advantage of taking any more risk than necessary.

    As far as the temperature goes, 360°F to 375°F will work just fine (the pictures more than prove that!). There are three reasons for my suggestion:

    1) The chemical reaction responsible for the color change happens most efficiently between the temperatures of 290°F and 330°F. That's the "sweet spot" for the reaction.

    Just as there is a sweet spot for audio recording levels, and if your level is a little higher or a little lower, you can still get good results, but if you get too much higher or lower, the results will not be good- or when driving a manual transmission, each gear has its own "sweet spot" where it performs the best, but the farther away from that sweet spot, either above or below, the worse the performance, etc. It'll still work, just not as well.

    You get the idea. Trying to use an Arhennius rate formula simply doesn't apply. The formula, as posted, states that for every 10°C increase in temperature, the reaction speed doubles, and for every 10°C decrease in temperature, the reaction speed is halved.

    Using that formula, if 4 hours at 375°F gets the job done, you could set your oven to 485°F and get the same results in 3 1/2 minutes.

    If you set your oven to 360°F rather than 375°F, the same results would take 8 hours.

    (The reason I suggested temperatures slightly higher than the ideal is to compensate for the inefficiency of the heat transfer in the oven. Air is not a great conductor of heat.)


    2) If you end up at temperatures around 390°F or above, an entirely different chemical reaction takes place (pyrolysis), which is not what you want. That's when the "cookie" smell turns into more of a "camp fire" smell.

    3) Many if not most home ovens, even the fancy expensive ones, are off by as much as 25°F in either direction, which means that you may have set your oven to 375°F, which would be fine, but it could potentially be baking at as high as 400°F, which could be disastrous. The temperature inside the oven can also fluctuate up and down by quite a bit. The temperature inside the oven can continue to rise of fall before that temperature registers on the oven's temperature sensor, especially if the sensor is dirty.

    I recommend oven thermometers in general, and that people go by the thermometer when heating their oven rather than the dial setting on the oven, but if you're not sure, there's no sense in taking risks with an expensive or prized piece of maple (or a prime rib roast, for that matter).

    A lower oven temperature will mean that you'd probably have to roast it for even longer, but what's an extra hour of hands-off time compared to the expected life of the guitar?

    It's possible that your oven is heating to a lower temperature than what the dial says. It's also possible that it was just that particular piece of wood. Things like moisture content, sugar content and pH will effect the amount of time it takes, and each piece of wood is different.

    Good luck with the curly- make sure you post some pics!



    *note: all temperatures assume a sea-level elevation.
     
  19. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Regarding sea level, FWIW, I live at about 2700' elevation. Might this slow things down, or would it speed things up?
    Rex
     
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