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When I get a turning blank that's covered in wax, should I remove the wax or leave it on while the blank dries? I assume the job of the wax is slow the transfer of moisture to prevent cracking, but it seem like the wax might stop moisture from escaping all together.
 

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I leave the wax on until I am ready mount it on the lathe.
Taking it off defeats the purpose of having it on there in the first place .
 

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Wax won't stop the drying completely. It does slow it down an awful lot. What I do is to remove the wax from the side grain areas but leave it on the end grain areas. That helps even out the drying.
You could of course twice turn it if it's going to be a bowl. Turn it, place it somewhere with no air movement and let it dry (when it stops losing weight) then put it back on the lathe and re turn it.
For things like pepper mils the wood needs to be dry. If you turn it wet it will warp and the mechanisms may not work or the wood may crack.
I've had great success with scraping the wax off the long grain sides and leaving it on the end grain. It does take a while for some of the blanks to dry. The only way to really know is to weight them periodically and when they stop losing weight they are at equilibrium with the place they are stored.
 
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