10-19-2010, 11:13 PM
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Agree on hardwood only, and definitely remove all bark. And, it must be thoroughly dry, not still fresh off the tree. Ironic that you must then waterlog it, but if it is not dry, all sorts of stuff can leech out that the drying process gets rid of. I am not aware that drying fresh wood in the oven solves this aspect of the process; once dry, it serves to rid the wood of parasites, insects, worms, whatever, same as boiling. The "drying' naturally of wood removes all sap, oils, etc.