This is where "ponding" is your friend. The idea originated from the (totally environmentally-friendly) transportation methods of Stradivari's day: logs were cut in the alps, bundled together, and floated down any convenient waterway to their final destination. Along the way, surplus oils and minerals were washed out of the cells of the wood, which helps it dry faster and more thoroughly; some hold the cell structure is altered in the process.
Definitely, it goes on a detox diet, losing some weight.
My friend and fellow teacher Lisbeth Nelson-Butler suggested we do some ponding of our own. Following the method outlined by David Folland in the latest "Strad" magazine, we immersed our dense pieces of maple in distilled water for a period of several weeks. The wood has to be kept fully submerged (we weighed it down with jars filled with water).
We'd go into the spray room at the school to check on its progress. After a few days, a smell developed. There was a layer of foamy scum on the surface. The smell intensified with time. It would not be exaggerated to call it "putrid".
After six weeks, Lisbeth removed the wood, rinsed it off and set up a drying hut in the back of our classroom. The wood is supposed to dry out slowly; too sudden a change can cause cracking.
The next day, a crew of custodians came in, in order to clean up what they assumed to be the aftermath of a particularly enthusiastic student party. We moved the wood to a different location.
Sadly, some cracking happened -- winter is very dry around these parts; it would probably have been safer to pond in the spring, with all of the nice, humid summer to dry them out. I took my pieces home and gave the ends a wax bath to arrest the splits, and have been storing them in the bathroom, easily the most steamy room of my house. A few more weeks, and we'll be able to do definitive new density measurements.