Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Baxter, Tennessee
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.