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Thread: would like more info on DNA technique

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Phoenix, AZ

    would like more info on DNA technique

    Hi all, this is my first post (moved from Dan Mosleys thread - I guess I tried to hijack it with no luck) Recent threads have hit upon what is probably my biggest problem. Living in the desert of Phoenix, drying, or preventing cracks from drying is a constant battle. I've seen a fresh cut tree crack almost all the way through within a few hours of being cut. I've tried the soap thing with no success, even with Norfolk Island pine for which this method was invented. I'm about to embark on the DNA rout that so many of you seem to advocate. I do have a couple of questions. What kind of containers do you all use to soak and store? Will plastic or metal work? I've been storing the soap solution in a five gallon size bucket made for swimming pool chlorine tabs with a twist on top. I'm concerned that it might not be completely air tight and alcohol would evaporate. Also, what do you do for something with a slightly larger diameter than will fit into a five gallon container? And, while I'm asking questions, has anyone tried PEG or Cedarcide wood preservative or similar. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Ken, I've had good success using a plastic 5 gallon bucket with the screw-on lid. I think mine was made for storing dog food, but it sounds much like the one you described. I've not noticed a real problem with evaporation. On mine, there are rubber (or something similar) seals on both the screw-on lid, but the threaded ring that snaps onto the bucket rim.

    For larger pieces, I got one of the round plastic tubs with rope handles that you see sold for toys and such. I made a round plywood lid that's got weatherstripping on the edge, and it slips inside the plastic tub. (Below the oles for the rope handles.) It seems to hold the DNA without any noticeable evaporation loss. I've got other things I need to do right now, but I'll try to get a couple pics posted of my DNA tub later.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Hi Ken

    I've had great success with the DNA method, and on some rather crack prone fruit wood, like cherry. I've only lost a bowl or two, and those were really questionable to start with.

    I use a 5 gallon plastic bucket I got from Costco, that held laundry detergent, I use the standard lid, which is NOT airtight, but close enough. I'm in need a new tub of DNA, as more than half of mine has evaporated, and been lost to soaking into the blanks. As I have a DVR, I don't often get many pieces off my lathe that will not fit into a 5 gallon bucket.

    I think worrying about evaporation is not worth your time, It think you will lose a lot more DNA soaking into the blanks and then evaporating during the drying process, which is what is supposed to happen

    When you wrap the bowls after they are removed from the DNA bath, I'd really take care in wrapping them, thick brown paper, and a good tight wrap.

    If you look at >> this thread << you can see what I do, I know some think it is overkill, but like I said, I've not lost any bowls that were not iffy going in (ones with large inclusions etc).

    I hope this helps, and I hope some other turners in your area chime in.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Remlik, Virginia

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Benson, Arizona
    Ken start turning more mesquite. You can turn start to finish on green wood. Very little movement or cracking. Turned a PaloVerde bowl last month, wow did it warp. I find leaving the bowl for a couple days in the soak, and wrapping in heavy brown paper works well for me. Good luck.
    The worst wood I've played with is pepper tree, great colors, neat grain, would crack right on the lathe. Had a customer stop by, went back out 15-20 minutes later and had 30-40 surface cracks.
    During the summer months I switch to mostly dry wood, or mesquite. I know you are a little hotter and drier than we are down here, which makes things worst. If you have room some where inside to store your blanks that will help.
    Always like learning something new!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks to all for the info and links. I had not thought of making my own seal for a tub or using a floating lid to slow down evaporation. Sounds like that might be the way to go for larger stuff.

    Bruce, I do have some mesquite, love the way it looks but I have developed a pretty good allergy to the dust. I still turn it sometimes but have to remember to wear all the dust gear for every step. By the way, I was in Benson last week and went to Karchner Caverns. Very Cool. Is there a mesquite sawmill down your way?

    Vaughn, don't want to add to your work load, but would like to see the tub and top you made if and when you get around to it.

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