Storing the carving in a different environment than it is used to will result in this cracking. The disadvantage is you have to look some weeks ahead – you cannot buy wood as you need it, you have to maintain a stock. Anyway are there any wood carving courses in Plymouth area, there is one in exeter but I would have to get B&B and that is adding to the expense if you see what I mean. I buy cheap wax, heat it up in an old tin pan and dip the end grains if the wood in it twice then that will stop the cracking and help the wood dry slowly.
Taking care to prepare carving blanks that have good grain and wood fiber orientation, they rarely lose more than a few percent to excessive checking and warping, but that takes experience in reading the wood. This is the main shaping stage where a carving knife or chip knife is used to get the spoon as close to its finished form as possible. I’ve no idea how or when it will whole business of using green wood is a nightmare – personally I spend too long on a piece to risk it. They can be seasoned free from defects with moderately rapid drying conditions (i.e. a maximum dry-bulb temperature of 85 °C can be used).
Turning green wood is kind of a messy affair as depending on the wood and its density can leave you soaked in sap that gets flung out by centrifugal force when the piece is spun on the lathe. You may not know that a freshly cut tree may hold 300% more water than it will after drying Due to the inevitable drying process, your wood may change drastically. If you are inexperienced in gauging moisture levels, you should buy or borrow a wood moisture meter and periodically check the wood to determine your progress.
Boring the hole will be very labor intensive, but your big enemy will be preventing the wood from splitting once it is cored. The general effect of the water content upon the wood substance is to render it softer and more pliable. Waiting about four weeks before turning the burl will allow initial moisture release to help stabilize the wood so there’s less chance of distortion. Hah and I’d like to hear and try whatever y’all think the best process is to dry my wood pieces! You’re nearly ready to remove waste wood from the center and to rough shape the sides.
Although there are about a hundred times more species of hardwood trees than softwood trees, the ability to be dried and processed faster and more easily makes softwood the main supply of commercial wood today. Despite the generally higher volume fraction of rays in hardwoods (typically 15% of wood volume), the rays are not particularly effective in radial flow, nor are the pits on the radial surfaces of fibres effective in tangential flow (Langrish and Walker, 1993).