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We have some old dogwood (cornus) that has fallen and I'd like to see if I could use some for kitchen mallets or other tools. Can any of you offer advice on how to get this wood ready for use? Do I remove bark? Do I leave as a log, or cut into boards? Is the dark heartwood going to cause splitting or deteriorate? How long to air season? Any advice appreciated. WJP
 

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I have a big chunk of dogwood that's been sitting around for years and I'm not sure what to do with it. It's not a very nice looking wood, kind of grayish when dried. As a general rule you should leave the bark on to slow down the drying process. coat the ends with a thick coat of latex paint. if it dries too quickly it will split. I have heard that air drying takes one year per inch of thickness, but it depends on a lot of variables. Obviously if you rough cut it first, it will dry faster. Post some pics when you're done!
 
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