I am so disappointed.
I had a tower weighing 8.24g, held 17.1kg
Then, I build two more identical towers, using slightly less dense wood.
Ended up at 7.39g and 7.18g.
I turned up my heater to about 80-85degrees for 2 hrs or so.
They lsot about .03g.
Then I put them into a sealed plastic box with dessicants.
At competition, I used the heaver tower, which i built a bit more carefully,
It weight 7.09g....but broke at 8kg.
I don't know why, I may have used too little glue, or the reduced moisture weakend it substantially.
My other tower is 6.78g right now. I will test it at my school this week to see if my regional competition tower failed "accidentally" or because my glueing or the moisture reduction was the factor leading to failure.
Practically, I had a tower with efficiency of 27, then, I expected a 32 or so at regionals, but got a score of 8.
Still placed and got medal(dont know how that happened) but really, I am realllllly disappointed.
Also...my team didn't make it into state even though..
If anyone has any other advice for me, that would be nice.
there is alwyas next year since i'm just a freshman..but.so sad.
Well, before anything else: I'm very sorry to hear this, but congratulations; know that you must be doing something right to be expecting these successful scores. On the other hand, I know all too what your situation feels like; sadly enough, a nearly identical thing happened to me at our Regionals...But luckily there is a way to (mostly) prevent this from happening again for both you, myself, and anyone else who's suffered the same affliction:
1. Look at the surprise that was your early breaking tower - Where did it fail, and why? Sometimes it's poorly constructed joints, in others (like my own) it's a case of bad wood (usually determined by the break being in an isolated area). Either way, the only way you can know what to look out for is to realize what went wrong in the first place.
2. Prepare carefully - Personally, the preparation for building a tower can take at least as much time, if not longer, than the actual construction of the tower itself. Organizing and assigning appropriate densities to appropriate places in your tower
and weeding out the wood that is not up to par is crucial, as I feel I reiterate all the time... but only because it's true. If you're putting excess strength where it isn't needed and too little where it is, another chance for disaster can arise. I know I was definitely not nearly careful enough, and that was my ruin I think.
3. Construct at your own pace - Whether you're quick or need a little time to make things perfect, do whatever you've got and leave spare pieces in case something doesn't fit just right.
4. Check for breaks in transit & NEVER let anyone else handle your structure
- This is pretty self-explanatory in reason. I also don't think that your moisture reduction (if only .03) would've made that big of a difference strength-wise, especially because that could have been gained back by simple exposure post-drying.
I know plenty of other use strength testers and other machinery to ensure wood is sufficiently strong but if you've got a good eye for what's good vs. what's bad after a while you shouldn't make as many/if any mistakes. I'm interested to see how your other tower fairs, and know that stuff like this happens. Everyone had better watch out for you next year, though! Until then practice your technique. You'll get there.