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I just started a pepper mill with a 3" X 3" X 12" block of marble wood. As I got into it while turning the tenon, it seemed pretty wet. I thought about continuing, figuring I'd drill out the center and the thinner walls would dry quickly. Then it occurred to me that they might distort as they dried. Should I drill it and let it dry? Can I accelerate drying? Will that cause checking?

I guess the short question is: What should I do now?
 

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My suggestion is that I would rough turn it to round, seal the ends with wax and let it sit. Weigh it once a week and when it has stopped losing weight, you can finish turning it. If you turn it and drill the hole while it is wet, the thin side walls will check and split. Not to mention that it will warp out of round and cause you problems. I've heard that you can put it in a paper bag with some shaving to speed up the drying process, but I've never tried that. Maybe one of the more experienced turner could comment on that.
I have tried the weighing it method and it worked like a charm. :thumbsup:
 

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I turned one out of wet wood and it wasn't that wet. About 2 weeks after it was turned the top would not rotate because it was oval shaped along with the oval shaped hole I had drilled in it. I gave it away to a neighbor for his 3 year old son to play with. It did not check or crack as it dried.
Tom
 

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I've heard that you can put it in a paper bag with some shaving to speed up the drying process, but I've never tried that. Maybe one of the more experienced turner could comment on that.
I have tried the weighing it method and it worked like a charm. :thumbsup:
I believe the shavings in a paper bag or just plain paper bag method is to slow down drying actually, so it's less likely for cracks or checking. wyomingwoodturner has a good tutorial on turning a very wet bowl from beginning to end (it was cut from the tree ~2 days before he turns it) and he uses this method.

Part 2 of the video. He mentions the drying somewhere near the end.
 
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