Turning green bowls - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-06-2010, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Turning green bowls

i've been practiceing turning bowls using fresh cut blanks, i've been finish turning and sanding to completion non stop. some i have treated with poly and a few with walnut oil and have experienced checking and cracking in both. If i use a LD soak do i finish turn and sand first then soak (how long) and if so how is the surface of the bowl after drying (can't put back on lathe to resand.
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-06-2010, 11:05 PM
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How thick are your bowls? Are they an even thickness through out? Did you leave the pith in?
Bowls crack due to uneven drying. If the outside is drying and shrinking and the inside isn't doing it as fast so it therefore isn't shrinking, something has to give.
If I turn a bowl to completion I leave the sides 3/8" thick or thinner. It's important to make all of the bowl as close to the same thickness as possible, even the bottom. let it dry slowly. I will often put them in a paper sack for the first day or so to slow down the drying.
Don't leave the pith in until you get a lot more experience.
If you want the bowl thick do what we call twice turned. We leave it thick, still with even thickness through out. Then place it somewhere where it will dry slow. I prefer to coat the endgrain portions and sometimes the entire lip with end grain sealer, like Anchorseal. If you don't have that put it in a box or paper bag for the first month or so. It will take a bowl 1" thick about 4 to 6 months to dry. Weigh it. When it stops losing weight it is dry enough to put on the lathe and return.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks John for the info, but my question was directed more to turning green bowls to finish including sanding and then soaking in liquid dish deterg or maybe denatured alcohol as an option. ater bowls are finished there is no way to put back on laathe to sand and apply oil or other finish. i have access to green blanks but am one of those people who just can't wait for the natural drying process.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 12:15 PM
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The two methods you mentioned are for use when roughing out and drying prior to finish turning. If you are going green all the way then turn it as thin and even as possible, give it a day then sand. Expect a lot of wood movement and some cracking...Bill..
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 03:23 PM
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I turn my green bowls 3/8" thick or thinner completely to finish including sanding. Then I just put them up to dry. It takes about 2 to 3 days in Tennessee for a bowl like that to dry. I have not seen a need for any other chemicals.
I can leave some woods 1/2" thick as long as I slow the drying down. You can put a layer of finish on which helps slow it down. I'll use the paper bag method to really slow it down if it's thick and I really don't want to lose it. On those pieces I seal the endgrain portions with finish but leave the finish off in other areas. This lets it dry more evenly. I'll pull it out of the paper sack every day for a few minutes to try and keep the mold down. 1/2" bowl will dry in about 5 to 7 days usually.
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