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Re: autoclaving driftwood

Davis Gailitis wrote:

> Hello everyone:) I have a large piece of driftwood
> 36"x16"x20" that I pulled out of a back woods fresh
> water river and I was wondering about steralizing it.
> I am a foundry tech at York U and I have access to an
> Autoclave which has enough room in it to put three of
> this size in it. I was wondering if this sounds ok
> instead of using a bleach solution on the wood. I
> would still soak and boil it in water for a while, I
> don't think the Autoclave would get rid of the exess
> sap or tannins in the wood. Your comments would be
> most appreciated. Thanks much Davis:)

I have autoclaved large pieces of driftwood and it has worked fine 
for me. The driftwood swells and becomes more porous, and the 
steam forces some moisture into the wood, so your soaking phase 
will take less time than it would have without autoclaving. I put the 
wood into a plastic bag after sterilizing to maintain the moisture 
until I could get it home to soak it. Be prepared for some funky 
odors emanating from the autoclave though!

Cathy Hartland
Middletown, MD