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Heat Treating - General

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Just wonder whether everybody has the same annoying static charge on strips out of the oven.

It is so frustrating and annoying to have the shavings stick to the forms, the plane, the bench, my hands, clothing, even the broom when trying to sweep them up.

Trying to wipe them off simply transfers them to another place, from which in turn they have to be removed.

Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!  (Peter McKean)

    I often have static problems when it's cold and dry here. Lately that has not been a problem. Temperatures here yesterday reached 105 degrees F (40.5 degrees C) with  humidity  in  the 75% range.

    To counteract, set the strips aside for a day or two, or somehow increase the humidity in your shop. (Harry Boyd)

    Though I cannot speak to your specific question as I have not experienced it, I can address it indirectly and submit a potential cure for the problem. Second only to a dull knife, static electricity is the worst possible problem confronting someone making paraffin sections of diseased tissue for microscopic examination ( don't ask how I know!). The problem was related to the prevailing relative humidity; low in the case of misbehaving paraffin ribbons. The solution was to put a beaker of flask of water on a hot plate and heat to the point where there was a steady light stream of steam coming out of the container. I suggest you try increasing the relative humidity in your work area prior to removing your strips from the oven. This should cure it.

    Remember, it was in times, or geographical areas with very low relative humidity, where one would get "the charge of their lives" when they went to open doors, or touch anything metallic, after having walked on nylon carpets. This was never a problem in areas, or days, when the humidity was high.  (Frank Schlicht)

      Another reason to humidify your shop and/or your strips is to obtain the correct dimensions on your finished rod.  On average, bamboo will contain 6% moisture.  After heat treating the moisture content is 0%.  If you plane immediately out of the oven or if your ambient humidity is very low you’ll  wind up with what appears to be the right size.  But in a few months when the ambient humidity increases the rod will swell.  When it reaches 6% moisture content, the rod will have  swelled 4% in size.   That’s about 0.0025”  at  the  tip,  about  0.008”  at  the  mid  and about 0.012” at the butt. That will change the rod action by 1/2 to 1 line wt.

      I’ve just heat treated three sets of strips and it’s taken about 5 days at 60% RH to get to a stable point.  So now I can start finish planing.  (Al Baldauski)

        I have a moisture meter to determine the moisture level of wood.  Should this work to determine if the bamboo is at the correct moisture level to plane?  (Dave Burley)

          Honestly Dave, I have no clue.  I’ve never used one and don’t know exactly how they work.  I weight my strips after heat treating.  When they stop gaining weight I know I’m there. (Al Baldauski)



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