When it comes to woodworking, the wood must be adequately dried to prevent any warping or cracking from occurring in the construction process. That being said, there are many ways that you can efficiently dry your wood, whether that be simply leaving the wood alone or actively drying it yourself!
One of these active drying methods is the use of desiccant beads, a hygroscopic substance used to draw out moisture and sustain the dryness of an object.
We’ll be going over where to get desiccant, how to use them, and other related questions that you may have!
For those who would like a quick answer, we have that right here for you: For smaller woodworking projects (wooden bowls or pen blanks), the desiccant is commonly used to dry the wood.
Wood can be dried with desiccant by simply submerging the wood in a container of desiccant beads. Use caution when curing wood with desiccant as it can quickly dry the wood too much. This method is excellent for small pieces of wood but can cause large amounts or thicker boards to warp and crack. Warping occurs when the desiccant beads dry the outer edge of the wood while the middle is still damp.
What are Desiccant Beads?
Desiccant beads are a hygroscopic material mainly used to keep the moisture out of an item.
Silica beads are the most common example of a desiccant. You can find the packets of silica beads in foods and other products where moisture may be a problem.
You can also use these beads to draw the moisture out of wood that you are working on!
In their packaging, they are safe, odorless, and non-toxic. However, it is imperative that you never ingest the individual pellets. If you do accidentally, it is best to contact poison control for assistance, as it can be detrimental to your health.
Where Can I Get Desiccant Beads?
You can find a wide selection of desiccant beads in both online marketplaces and in general or home improvement stores.
Depending on how much you need, you can purchase these beads in more miniature packs or in giant jugs.
You can find desiccant beads being sold online from marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. Plus, retailers like Michael’s, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart often carry them.
How Do I Dry Wood with Desiccant Beads?
The best way to dry wood with desiccant is by having the two together in an enclosed space. You can choose anything to store them in, from a sealable bag to an airtight container.
Firstly, you will need to create a layer of the desiccant beads before placing the wood down on top. Once that is done, the beads will begin to draw out the moisture by themselves, and all you have to do is wait until it is finished drying.
How Long Does it Take Desiccant Beads to Dry Wood?
It is important to note that the wood’s size, thickness, and shape will ultimately decide precisely how long it takes the desiccant beads to dry the wood.
However, with smaller wood pieces, you can expect the desiccant beads to dry the wood in a little less than twenty-four hours. As the wood pieces you are drying grow larger; you can expect the time to dry to increase accordingly.
Why Should I Use Desiccant Beads to Dry Wood Over Other Methods?
There are several reasons why a woodworker may choose to use desiccant beads as their preferred drying method. These include:
- Convenience: Desiccant beads can dry wood by themselves without needing constant monitoring or user-operation to work. That means if you are busy with other projects, you can put the wood with the desiccant beads and let the drying do its thing.
- Widely available: You can easily find desiccant beads for sale in many online and physical locations. On top of that, they are sold in various sizes, so you can get the amount you need without much hassle.
Desiccant beads work quickly and efficiently at drying out the wood. They are widely available, generally affordable, and have a quick setup and usage life.