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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this that a neighbor had set to get rid of and took it. Im not even sure what kind of wood it is but it has beautiful markings inside so I took it. It has started checking some so I needed to know is it ok to turn it semi wet or let it dry. If dry how do I coat it to prevent checking? How long will it take to dry?
 

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You could turn it now to a ruff finished size, put the turned bowl in a paper bag of wood shavings and let dry for about 6 months or more. Then you take it out and finish turning to its final finish.
 

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I am not sure of the wood, but the markings are spalting.

Plenty of threads on this forum about sealing wood.

Examples of sealing options :
a) Anchorseal
b) Paraffin wax
c) Paint (not good for the tools, but will seal the wood).

You should either seal the wood for turning later, or rough turn to whatever shape you want, then put aside in an area with no direct sun and low air movement.

If the wood has checked, try to avoid that area, or you may need to try CA glue to stabilize.

If you seal it will not dry, which is the intent of sealing.

If you turn to a rough i.e. thicker wall than desired, but the shape of the desired form, the period to dry depends on the wood (amount of bound water in the cells), the wall thickness and the moisture content of your area.

You either need to weigh the pieces each week and note the weight, or get an inexpensive moisture meter and measure each week. It will be a 3 - 6 months before it reaches equilibrium with your shop/storage location.

I have this one, note the Lowes description is wrong. This is a moisture meter not temperature meter.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_78059-56005-MMD4E_0__
 

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I just finished my second solar kiln just for things like you have. I seal the ends with latex paint then put them in the kiln. A moisture meter is nice to have.

With two kilns full I don't have time to check all of the pieces and I have more stacked in the shop that I turn wet. Like the other guys said either rough turn and let it dry a few months or do what I do which is turn to finish then dry a few days then sand and apply finish.

That looks to be spalted hackberry or possibly maple no matter what it is it sure is pretty.
 

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Some people have recommended moisture meters. They are nice to have but on a thick piece of wood they will not tell you if the wood inside is dry. I checked a piece of three inch cherry that had been in my home made kiln for a month with a moisture meter and it was around 6 per cent on the surface. I took it to the shop and cut it on the band saw. The inside was still in the mid to high 20 per cent range. Weighing it is the best to tell if a thick piece of wood is dry through out.
Tom
 

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Some people have recommended moisture meters. They are nice to have but on a thick piece of wood they will not tell you if the wood inside is dry. I checked a piece of three inch cherry that had been in my home made kiln for a month with a moisture meter and it was around 6 per cent on the surface. I took it to the shop and cut it on the band saw. The inside was still in the mid to high 20 per cent range. Weighing it is the best to tell if a thick piece of wood is dry through out.
Tom
Tom that is one very good reason I don't own a moisture meter. I split wood that on the outside was fairly dry inside water poured out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the posts. The guy has several branches left in his yard but I'm not surround can get them all. I hate to see it go to waste.
 

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It might be spalted birch. Can be valuable but beware possible punkiness if turning (it looks pretty good to me, tho) I use leftover latex paint and dry slowly as possible. It will probably take at least 1 to 2 years air drying at that thickness. If you plan smaller items quarter saw it for faster drying

To ID the wood look at the leaves and start with birch at google images
 
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