Bowl moisture content - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-14-2011, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Bowl moisture content

What moisture content do you like bowls to be. Before you rechuck and finish them.

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-14-2011, 04:48 PM
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Here in NC, anthing below 15% is good to go for me. It doesn't get much, if any, below 12% but you should check your local average humidity.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-14-2011, 05:21 PM
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If your talking about twice turned bowls I let them dry until they quit losing weight which in my shop may be around 13% during the dryer months.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-15-2011, 06:39 AM
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When I first turn them the moisture is around 25-35%. After the first turning I wrap it in newspaper and date it. I check it from time to time and usually a few months later it will drop to about 9-13%. It will now bw ready to finish. I have alot of bowls that have been sitting on a shelf for about a year now and they all are ready to finish.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-15-2011, 05:21 PM
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No hard and fast rules apply to MC and finish turning. MC can change while rough turning, in storage, finish turning, after finish applied due to relative humidity.

Factors affecting MC:

Average annual relative humidity for your area
Species of wood
Open or closed grain wood and ratio of sap to heartwood
Thickness and to some extent diameter of blank
Size of bowl or spindle blank and what part of tree wood comes from base, limbs, crotch, and burl

You can rough turn some species of wood having MC above 30% and finish turn two months later. Am finish turning Yellow Poplar, storm damage from hurricane Irene. Also finishing Crape Myrtle bowl harvested last Feb.

Finish turning too soon may or may not be dealing with lots of torn end grain no matter how many times you sharpen your tools. Again, that goes back to species of wood.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-16-2011, 09:36 PM
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I am in Ontario, Canada.
I will assume a 12 inch diameter bowl with a green turned thickness of about 1 inch.
I put the wet turned bowls in the garage in paper shopping bags and/or coated with end seal wax or pentacryl for at least 3 months by with time they have usually reached equilibrium at about 12%. ( I use a moisture meter)
I them bring them into the house which is centrally heated in winter an cooled in summer. After a further 3 months they can usually be turned. The moisture content indoors will be 6-8% in summer and below 6% in winter.
The degree of change in shape and distortion will be stable as an indication that they are ready. They will get quite oval.
Keep in mind that the wood will continue to change with the seasons and average relative humidity forever.
Less dense and thinner objects will reach equilibrium more quickly.
- The book "Understanding Wood" by Bruce Hoadley is very informative with charts of dimension change with moisture content and also with humidity are interesting and valuable for any woodworker.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-17-2011, 07:35 AM
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If can find articles written by Bruce Hoadley also a wood carver on drying wood easier to understand and come up with a plan to use for bought or found wood.

Several articles by Bruce in Find Woodworking, Taunton Press paperback titled “Wood and How to Dry it. Provides all the technical stuff you want plus simple fundamentals you really need to know in those articles.
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