Here in northern CA we're lucky to have regular access to madrone. While it's glorious to turn, it's difficult to dry intact since the wood warps and wiggles a lot along the way. Boiling, steaming or pressure-cooking the wood seems to stabilize it. I've heard folks mention that one should use a "non-reactive" pot for this, but it's unclear what reaction I'm trying to avoid. For example, I've successfully used steel, stainless steel and aluminum pots for this. Are there any woods for which aluminum would _not_ be appropriate? And are there other woods for which this process would be useful? I'll certainly experiment with olive next time I get some fresh.