Drying small pieces in microwave

You can dry lumber in a microwave oven, under certain conditions. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

Is it possible to dry small pieces of wood (1x1x10) in a microwave? I have found some unusual woods that are small in diameter, could be useful for small crafts.

You can dry wood in a microwave oven but there are a few problem areas. First, you need to use very low power to avoid burning the wood. This means a long time in the oven, which means money if the tube burns out. You also need a carousel tray. Then you need to control the moisture content so that it doesn't over-dry the wood. This might be very difficult, as each piece will dry at a different rate. Finally, you need to dry each piece so that it isn't touching another piece of wood--if they touch, you will get burning. So, I guess that the answer is that you can dry wood, but not with much quality consistently.

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
Your advice is right. My house burned down because many small pieces of wood burned. Don't leave the oven!