The theoretical predictions for equilibrium MC are approximations from empirical research done in the 40s. All well and good and they predict the MC of wood when left long enough at the stated temperature and humidity.
What is long enough? As a few have alluded to it takes significant time in a kiln or in the open air for drying to occur. One will never ...
Now I have two options:
You have a lot more options than that. A few more:
You’re a student, so see if you can take a class or join a club at school. Schools of all sizes often have shops or maker spaces that you can use, and someone there will make sure you know how to work safely before you’re allowed to use machines.
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the colour loss is only obvious from an acute angle
This seems to suggest that the colour difference could be due to a change in the surface texture of the wood1.
While this may be part of it as you noticed some faint brownish colouring in the water obviously something coloured was removed from the wood.
From googling around, it sounds like the colour I've ...
You've simply washed off some of the top layers of oxidized wood, exposing the lighter wood underneath. It'll oxidize over time.
Will it eventually match the oxidization around it? Probably. But since this is a natural product undergoing natural processes over time, who knows?