I was about to submerge fresh pieces of wood of various types in our barrel filled with water - to let the saps come out and after some time get good wood. These pieces will be used for small objects, kitchen utensils, carvings etc. And some outdoors elements that to become durable against rain.
But then my wife told me not to do it, because this should be done in a stream of water. Like the lumbermill nearby, they have their logs lying in their water stream for a few years and it becomes very good wood. My wife says that if I do it in our barrel, the barrel will be full of the wood saps soon and when the water isn't refreshed this will attract things like bugs and rot, etc. It sounds sensible but neither of us is an expert on soaking wood, I never did it before. Where I live (The Netherlands) This was a common practice throughout the ages but nowadays it is done rarely, which is why it's hard for me to find resources on it.
For instance I couldn't find any info on a second question I have; I remember once hearing that the best watered wood is the oak that was lying on the deepest bottom of the lakes. I remember the reason for that was that the deepest parts of the water have the least amount of oxygen in it, so the watering process takes place anaerobically. This makes the best quality wood, better than watering in undeep water.
So I was wondering: perhaps if I close the lid of the barrel airtight, the process will be anaerobic aswell? And produce better wood? I'm hoping to find some people here who have experience with soaking wood to answer my questions. I also find very little information resources online, especially in English. I don't seem to find the official phrase for this in English (in dutch it's called "gewaterd hout" but when I search in English I can only wood people who soak their wood for the BBQ grill...)
So these are my questions:
- Is it a good idea to use a barrel to soak wood?
- If so, is it a good idea to close the lid?
- And how much should the water/wood ratio at least be?
- Should I refresh the water once in a while?