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Thread: Another alcohol soak question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Westphalia, Michigan
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    Another alcohol soak question

    I just started turning bowls again and also started using the alcohol soak method. The third through sixth bowls are of walnut and I noticed that the alcohol is now quite dark. Will this stain lighter colored woods? I would think so......but I thought I'd ask some of youse more experianced turners. I am considering having 2 soak buckets; one for dark woods and one for light. Also, how long does it take the bowls to dry? Are youse people checking them with a moisture meter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Remlik, Virginia
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    The stain is only on the outside; it will turn off. I follow Dave Smith's instructions ( see "dna help" thread below) and use a scale. Drying time depends upon a lot of factors including wood type and environment.
    Barbara

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Barbara's right about the staining. My bucket o' DNA is dark, dark brown, but even light woods like maple are unaffected after they are re-turned.

    I'm less scientific than a lot of people in judging when a piece is dry. After it has been drying three or four weeks (in the heated and air conditioned house), I unwrap it and just feel it. If it's cool to the touch, or otherwise feels damp, I give it some more time, usually unwrapped. If it feels as dry as my skin, I figure it's good to go. Haven't had any bad surprises (yet).
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    Well, I finished roughing out the big walnut bowl last night. It's too big to fit in a 5 gl. bucket so I stuck it in an old galvanized trash can and filled the bowl with alcohol. I don't know if the alcohol will soak all the way through the wood but I guess I'll see that if there is none left in the bowl. I will pick up a bigger container today and also a few more gallons of DNA. The only bad thing that happened is that when I pulled the bowl off the lathe chuck, I found that the acids in the wood had caused the supernova2 chuck jaws to rust real bad. I thought the jaws were stainless.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Remlik, Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Downes View Post
    Well, I finished roughing out the big walnut bowl last night. It's too big to fit in a 5 gl. bucket so I stuck it in an old galvanized trash can and filled the bowl with alcohol. I don't know if the alcohol will soak all the way through the wood but I guess I'll see that if there is none left in the bowl. I will pick up a bigger container today and also a few more gallons of DNA. The only bad thing that happened is that when I pulled the bowl off the lathe chuck, I found that the acids in the wood had caused the supernova2 chuck jaws to rust real bad. I thought the jaws were stainless.
    Paul, the alcohol will not soak through the bowl. If you get a real large container (i.e. a plastic basket) and put shavings in the bottom, you can put the bowl into a contractor's trash bag, nestle the bowl down in the shavings, then put the alcohol in the bag. You will use much less alcohol to surround the large bowl.
    BTW, some stainless will rust if it is poor quality.
    Barbara

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
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    Paul don't worry as others have said about it being dark. Mine like Vaughn's is dark. It does not even effect holly which is really light and white. I soak my bowls, lidded boxes, etc. for 24 to 72 hrs. I have left some in a week when I forgot with no adverse effects. I cut up a brown grocery sack or use 3 layers of newspaper to wrap them like I was wrapping a gift. I cut a opening in the bowl opening. I put them in a cool dry room upside down on a cooling rack you can get at Wal-Mart for a couple of bucks. I used to weigh them all the time but have found they dry in about 3 to 4 weeks so quit weighing. I just date the bottom with what kind of wood it is. I have only lost 2 bowls from drying in 2 1/2 yrs using this method. One thing I don't use DNA on is HF's. I take them from start to finish in one sitting.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Bernie, One more question. I didn't worry too much about getting the wall thickness consistant nor real thin. I figure it varies from 1/2" to 1" depending on where you check it. In your experiance will that affect how the bowl dries? I also didn't have a container big enough nor enough DNA for the big bowl so I just filled the bowl up 3/4 with what DNA I had and stuck it in a trash can with plastic over it. I wonder how that will work. Maybe half way Somethings to add to the shopping list today...........

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