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post #1 of 10 Old 05-15-2012, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Wet Blanks

Recently purchased 4 sycamore turning blanks 3" x 3" x 12" for making tap handles for my beer fridge. They were complete wax coated when I received them so I didn't realize that they were wet until I started rough turning. I have only ever attempted wet turning once before and it didn't go well. I obviously want to avoid cracks so I'm thinking of just rough turning them to 2 1/4" in diameter and sticking them in a paper bage to dry. Is there anything else I need to do?

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post #2 of 10 Old 05-15-2012, 08:57 AM
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... I'm thinking of just rough turning them to 2 1/4" in diameter and sticking them in a paper bage to dry. Is there anything else I need to do?
I'd be inclined to paint the end grain with latex paint, it will slow the rate of drying from the cut ends of the capillaries in the wood and hopefully the slower rate will allow the innards to dry out at close to the same rate as the ends.

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-15-2012, 09:17 AM
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Ditto on the endgrain. I buy a lot of waxed blanks that are about 2" square and a foot long or so. They are completely covered in wax and somewhat if not very wet. I scrape the wax off the sides and leave it on the ends and just put them up on the shelf to dry. I haven't lost a one. Most are actually not soaking wet, usually between 35% and 20% MC so it really doesn't take them that long to dry. Unfortunately I'm not very good at keeping notes on it. I pile them from left to right when I need exotic wood I just grab what's on the left and use it. Haven't had one crack yet. I would guess the minimum they set there is 6 months because I don't use a lot of that stuff.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-15-2012, 10:11 PM
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When I turn I prefer wet wood because it is Easter to work with and I never dry my wood before I turn.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-16-2012, 12:45 AM
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not a turner yet but x3 on painting the endgrain
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-16-2012, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Johnson View Post
Recently purchased 4 sycamore turning blanks 3" x 3" x 12" for making tap handles for my beer fridge. They were complete wax coated when I received them so I didn't realize that they were wet until I started rough turning. I have only ever attempted wet turning once before and it didn't go well. I obviously want to avoid cracks so I'm thinking of just rough turning them to 2 1/4" in diameter and sticking them in a paper bage to dry. Is there anything else I need to do?
i am using this product called cutek extreme its from a company called sealitgreen. it stabilizes green wood, and has worked pretty well so far. no checks and very very little warping. it is expensive but the turn around time is working in my benefit! its food safe which is a huge plus. I have turned 9 bowls, start to finish they take me around 1-2 hours and no returning necessary. maybe this will help you out, if not i would def seal the end grain with something!
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-16-2012, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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I used an old draw knife to scrape the wax off all four sides but left the wax on the end grain. Then I put them in a brown paper bag and stuck them in a corner. I'll check them in a few weeks.

Ken

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-16-2012, 09:58 AM
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I used an old draw knife to scrape the wax off all four sides but left the wax on the end grain. Then I put them in a brown paper bag and stuck them in a corner. I'll check them in a few weeks.
When I rough-turn bowls, I use a digital scale to check the weight loss from week to week.

No weight loss = moisture content at equilibrium -- I don't know what the % moisture is, but it's at equilibrium

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post #9 of 10 Old 05-16-2012, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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When I rough-turn bowls, I use a digital scale to check the weight loss from week to week.

No weight loss = moisture content at equilibrium -- I don't know what the % moisture is, but it's at equilibrium
Good idea! Thanks.

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-16-2012, 12:06 PM
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I use a scraper that looks like it's for scraping paint off the house to get rid of the wax on the sides. Weighing the wood is the best way.
If it's more than 2" thick and you turn it green and then take it in an airconditioned house it will probably split. Thicker blanks are worse. To me it's simply not worth losing a piece that I've worked hard to turn so I don't turn any thick wood that is green. I might risk it on some wood that has been seasoned but isn't totally dry. Depends on the work.
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