In our last blog we talked about harvesting our wood that we use for handles. By foraging our broom sticks, we get the opportunity to chose the handles that we feel have the most character. Today we are going to share with you the method we use to dry the wood that will eventually become the perfect handle for our brooms. Alright, lets go!
We have already cut these broomsticks to length and removed any unwanted side branches. Now it's time to load them into our kiln and begin the drying process. We built our kiln using mostly reclaimed lumber. It isn't pretty, but it holds heat quite well!
Looks about full, but nope! We will add another wall and continue stacking broom sticks.
The bamboo drys faster than the hardwoods and will be taken out of the kiln much earlier, so we stack it on top of the pile. Now that the kiln has been fully loaded, lets fire it up and dry some wood!
Our electronic temperature controller is totally plastered in stickers (we are also home brewers!). The controller is connected to probes that go down into the broom sticks that we use to monitor both temperature and humidity. We follow a kiln schedule that slowly increases the temperature over time to protect the wood from defects, creating a nice finished broom handle!
After 2 weeks, these handles are ready to go. Even the moss was preserved on these lovely handles! We will stock the finished handles in our wood shed, and load the kiln with the last round of drying.
We would like to give a shout out to Jason Gulliford for giving us access to his land, and Jesse Harman for his support.
You can see our finished brooms in our gallery at backwoodsbrooms.com, also on Facebook and Instagram.