What does a turner look for in a bowl blank? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-27-2011, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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What does a turner look for in a bowl blank?

I have access to a decent amount of wood resources and a couple of mills. I know turners sometimes can use wood or cutoffs that might normally just be firewood. I hate the idea of wasting good wood and am considering trying to sell or give away some turning blanks from stuff I can save. My question is there a certain size or a way to cut them with a certain grain orientation that is more favorable. I have two walnut crotches now that I'm not sure what I am going to do with them. It seems pretty common to wax them, but that's all i know. What about bark on or off? Thanks
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-27-2011, 03:41 PM
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I've asked about the same thing in the past. Couldn't find the thread, but boiled down I wanted to cut blanks that would produce similar grain as in this beautiful platter.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/walnut-platter-23030/

My crotches weren't large enough to make table tops from, so it was suggested I cut the blanks out in the fashion pictured below. Hopefully I'd end up with some of the busy crotch grain in the side of the bowl.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-27-2011, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I did a search before I posted and nothing jumped out at me, but I'm sure the question has probably been answered before. I have a lathe and might try some turning at some point down the road, but have other priorities right now. I just hate to see some stuff wasted. I left a few smaller cuts of cherry laying in the woods the other day that might be usable for turning, but wasn't sure what to do with them and I already catch flack about junking up our shop with stuff and didn't want them laying around if they weren't going to be used.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-27-2011, 05:48 PM
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Without pictures of wood pretty hard to advise you. People that buy bowl blanks often buy by price and species. People that glue up wood to make bowls almost the same only they use milled lumber. People that harvest their own turning wood let log tell them how to cut.

Post a few pictures, pretty sure will get some feedback.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-27-2011, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwood View Post
Without pictures of wood pretty hard to advise you. People that buy bowl blanks often buy by price and species. People that glue up wood to make bowls almost the same only they use milled lumber. People that harvest their own turning wood let log tell them how to cut.

Post a few pictures, pretty sure will get some feedback.
I was looking more for a general way to do them for others, because I am currently not that interested in them myself. It looks like the answer to my question may be it depends as often is the case. Probably going to have to get some experience turning myself before I can learn how to pick the best blanks out. If I get a chance I might go back and dig up a few of those cherry cut offs I left in the woods and post a pic. Still haven't decided what I want to do with the walnut crotches.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-27-2011, 07:26 PM
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Thanks, I did a search before I posted and nothing jumped out at me, but I'm sure the question has probably been answered before.........
I hope you didn't think I was getting on you because you didn't do a search first; that'd be like the pot calling the kettle black. I've done that before (no search). I've asked a lot of redundant questions.

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I just hate to see some stuff wasted.
I know what you mean. I recently got in touch with a local tree guy for firewood and I've trying to put some walnut to better use than the burn pile.

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Still haven't decided what I want to do with the walnut crotches.
If your's is larger than the one I pictured, I suggest cutting 8/4+ slabs for table tops.

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Probably going to have to get some experience turning myself before I can learn how to pick the best blanks out.
I'm in the same boat. Limited experience. The piece I pictured should have given a 5" thick blank, I thought, but ended up with a lot of sapwood in it. It takes experience to see what should come out, I guess.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 12:10 PM
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Here is a very good vendor for domestic spindle and bowl blanks. Sells both wet and kiln dried wood. Pay attention to Quality, Specs, Guarantee, Shipping, and Payment sections.

If you buy a bowl blank completely waxed seal, need to either rough turn or scrap wax from sides leave ends seal so wood can reach EMC before turning. If buying spindle blanks good idea to scrap sides leave ends seal and let hang out for couple of months.

Got Wood
http://www.turningblanks.net/servlet/StoreFront

Check out other vendors and see what they are selling.

DJG, incorporating sapwood and heartwood when turning can add a lot of interest.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 01:40 PM
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DJG, incorporating sapwood and heartwood when turning can add a lot of interest.
Yes on the ones I've cut already, I'm going to leave it in. But what I was really trying for were large blanks without any sapwood for large salad (toss) bowls.

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If you buy a bowl blank completely waxed seal, need to either rough turn or scrap wax from sides leave ends seal so wood can reach EMC before turning.


Interestingly enough, one of the blanks discussed is starting to split on the face (bark side) of the wood despite the ends (circumference) being coated in wax. The bark has been completely removed and it's the heartwood that is starting to split. So I thought I would do is to take a large Fostner bit and drill out the area that's checking and then sealing both faces in wax. Maybe the blanks you're talking about are drier than mine so this is not a problem for you.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-28-2011, 05:44 PM
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Crotch and burl woods also reaction/tension wood tricky to dry without checking and splitting. End sealing and time is your friend.
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