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I turned a bowl from black walnut tonight, the first turning project of the new year (I finished at something like 12:30 AM). I bought the 2x6x6 blank from Wood Turners' Catalog and it came wrapped in plastic with a note about how it wasn't completely seasoned. It's been sitting around for a couple of months in and out of its wrapper in hopes that it would dry.

When I turned it today, I noticed a weird problem that I've never seen before. The parts of the blank where I was cutting into end grain were rough and stringy while the other parts of the blank were smooth. I initially thought I was getting tear out and started sharpening my tools and such. Even though the sharpening did make a difference in the ease of cutting the blank, I was still getting the rough patches.

When I looked at it more closely, it wasn't tear out. I'd like to call it "run out" because that's what describes it most closely. The rough, stringy grain was running against the turning direction, implying that by tool was not cutting it but instead skipping over it. I tried a deep-fluted gouge, spindle gouge, roughing gouge, flat and round nosed scraper just to see if anything would make a difference. It also happened on the inside and outside of the bowl.

Could this problem be caused by too much moisture in the blank? I made a bowl out of Ash earlier this month and I didn't have this problem. I had to stop and hone my tools about every 15 minutes with this blank, something I've never had to do before. I think my tools are due for a sharpening on the bench grinder.

Also, no, I don't have photos of the "run out". I have finished the bowl and the finish is drying in it now.

Ed
 

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Walnut just does that occasionally. Especially if it's not dry and a blank that size won't dry completely in 2 months. The uphill grain just won't cut on some blanks. It's not tearout because the fibers are actually above the surface. What I usually do in that instance is to soak it with thin CA glue if it's only a small area. If it's larger I soak it with a 50/50 mix of lacquer and lacquer thinner. That stiffens the fibers so they cut.
Worse case scenario. Let it dry completely after turning and sand or use a cardscraper to clean up those areas.
 
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