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post #1 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Bowl cracks

I have made a few Bowls just starting out and my bowls are fine until the next day and it never fails they end up with a split. What can I do to stop this problem?
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodturningpirate View Post
I have made a few Bowls just starting out and my bowls are fine until the next day and it never fails they end up with a split. What can I do to stop this problem?
green wood needs to be the same thickness all the way through the a good idea is to take your shavings and put the bowl and shavings in a brown paper bag for a few weeks or longer till it dries
it is drying to fast and cracking
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Makes sense, thank you for the advice I will have to try that.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 05:02 PM
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Most people I know don't use the shavings any more just the bags. The reason the wood is cracking is uneven drying. If the outside dries faster and shrinks before the inside has a chance to shrink, well something has to give.
What your trying to do is slow down the drying time and even out the drying. If the wood is thicker, say on the bottom than the sides, the sides will dry and warp and shrink and the bottom may not, so one or the other will crack.
Putting the wood in the bag slows down the air movement which slows the drying time.
did you leave the pith in the wood. It's very difficult to dry wood with the pith in and not get a crack.
there is a lot more to turning green wood. If this site has a search option try searching for green wood turning. If not google it and read what you find. I know I've answered this question at length many times on the various boards so you might just search my name.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 05:07 PM
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I have used Green Seal most often on the peices. The same goes as turning it to appoximately the same thickness throughout the entire peice and then put on the Green Seal. I normally let it sit for about a month or two and then turn the final peice. You can buy it in a gallon size or I think a little smaller. It works really well for myself because I live in a very dry climate (W South Dakota) where humidities during the summer are in the teens and possibly single digits. So therefore leaving it in a bag trick still tends to dry out too fast still and the Green Seal slows this process down.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 05:39 PM
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Sometimes use shaving in paper grocery bag sometimes do not after roughing. When use shavings line bottom, sides of bag and top of roughed bowl. Only use shavings for very wet bowls, try to dump shavings after a week or two to prevent mold and staining. If wood has been sitting in my woodshed for couple of months just use bags for week or two, then set aside to finish drying.

If wood cut down for several months before get it, usually just end seal after splitting, store until ready to rough out. Normally do not use paper bags for those blanks. Might be several months tree cut down, my processing & storing until get around to rough turning. I never seal roughed bowls, not worried splitting after roughing.

I do vary the plan somewhat based upon amount of wood to process, time of the year, and weather. Grain orientation and species of wood cause me to vary my plans too.

If were buying bowl blanks not sure if would store rough outs in paper bag or not.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 06:26 PM
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The way i was taught. Turning green wood you turn as the rest said even thickness but only rough it out the first pass. I use bags or boxes and the shavings. I use a scale weigh it before putting it away in the shavings. I check back every month to two weeks and weigh it again. Keep a chart when it quits losing weight it's ready for a final turning. Again that's how I learned and I'm still new at it but it does work.

I use boxes because I couldn't find bags when i was looking but had a ton of boxes around.

Good luck with the next bowl.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-20-2011, 08:34 PM
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If you are like me and don't have the patience to rough out and wait weeks or months to finish it, you can turn a bowl straight from green to finished without cracking. It will warp, and it may warp while you are hollowing so you have to keep moving. Turn, sand, and put a coat of finish on the outside then do the inside without delay. Like the others said, turning to an even thickness is key. If you get it to 1/4" or less you should be ok without bagging it because the finish should slow down drying enough.
As John said this is a well covered subject and there are lots of ways to skin this cat. This method does not give as nice a result as the twice turned method the others described, but it's an option.
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