Persimmen Natural Edge Bowl - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-18-2008, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Persimmen Natural Edge Bowl

I was just given a small piece of persimmen (spelling?) from an 8" diameter branch that was cut in half. I figure I can turn about a 6" or 7" diameter natural edge bowl with it. In the past I have tried green turnings with limited success so I would like to let it dry before turning. Any suggestions on drying it? Should I paint the end grain or do anything special to slow the drying process and keep it fron cracking? Any input is appreciated.

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post #2 of 4 Old 10-19-2008, 10:33 AM
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Ken,
Seal the end grain right away if you are going to let it dry slowly over time. I like the ready made wax based products like greenseal or anchorseal. I have had some luck turning green bowls from start to finish in one setting. On a small bowl like you are talking you have to turn it fairly thin, <1/4". It will warp, which is what makes them neat. I remember one bowl that was perfectly round when I took it off the lathe after sanding and sealing with a aerosol varnish. I buffed it and then took it in the house. Within a half hour of coming off the lathe it warped into a gravy boat. That's half the fun of it. If you have the whole round log, maybe you could split it and turn one bowl green and let the other blank dry. The other thing you could do it turn a rough blank. Leave it about an inch thick and leave a tenon or 'foot' on the bottom so you can rechuck it later to finish. Right after rough turning, seal just the end grain and put it in a paper bag and put it in a cool dry place for about six weeks. It should be dry enough to finish then.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-19-2008, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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I am inclined to just let it dry first. Any idea how long a piece this size will need to air dry?

Ken

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-19-2008, 05:43 PM
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If you have an 8" diameter branch you need to split it at the heart and seal it all over with wax. I've had very bad luck trying to save bowl blanks from fruit woods and even lost more twice turned bowls out of those woods than any others. I've started to rough turn them leaving the bottom a little thinner than the sides. Then I seal the whole bowl on woods that I think crack easily. I put this in a box or paper sack for the first month or so. That's been the best method so far.
If it was me I would turn it green and turn it thin. Turn all of it to the same thickness, even the bottom. If you leave a foot on it turn the inside of the foot so the whole bottom is the same thickness. This is the best way to save any fruit wood.
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