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Thread: Alcohol Soaking - In a Nutshell

  1. #1
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    Alcohol Soaking - In a Nutshell

    Found this article which is a quick over view on alcohol soaking method

    Drying Rough Bowls Quickly By Dave Smith, Longview, WA

    Fred Holder was kind enough to publish an article I wrote about drying bowls in More Woodturning. I am not sure where you can obtain a copy of the
    November issue or if Fred has extra copies available for purchase. The process is something I have worked on for many years and it has proven very
    effective. In the interest of turners who would like to turn bowls from green wood and give them for gifts this coming Christmas I am posting the process in a nutshell. Please let me know your results, good or bad, so I can write a followup article about the general use of the process.
    ================================================== =======
    ALCOHOL SOAKING GREEN BOWL BLANKS IN A NUT SHELL.

    Turn the bowl to a thickness of ˝"for small bowls (< 6 inches). Larger bowls may need to be thicker to allow for distortion. Place the bowl in a container of denatured alcohol. Let soak for 2 or more hours. Remove the bowl and place it on a rack upside down for 1 hour to let the surface dry. Wrap the bowl in heavy paper such as a grocery sack. On a bowl simply gather the paper around the rim and secure with a couple turns of masking tape. On a closed form the paper can be tucked into the opening and held in place with masking tape across the opening. The opening must be open to allow air circulation. Place the bowl upside down on a rack so air can circulate into the opening. Record the weight and date on the bottom of the paper. When the weight stops decreasing it is ready to finish turn. Small bowls will stop losing weight in one week or
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    I know Dave personally & have been to his shop & to several BBQ picnic wood turning events with him he is knowledgeable on the subject an all around great guy. He is very talented in both turning & flat work the last mentioned for the one person that runs scared from spinny tools who shall remain nameless but his initials are LM.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 10-03-2009 at 03:49 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Lafayette, Indiana
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    This thread could not have come up at a better time as I have been looking for answers about this process recently. However, my questions are about some of the "little" details about the process. Here are my questions. If anyone has any information or suggestions....I would like to here them.
    #1: When I turn a "green" bowl blank.....I remove it from the lathe and soak it in a container of DNA.....Do I need to cover the container to keep the DNA from evaporating while soaking?
    #2: Do I pour the DNA back into the jug and cap it off when done or do most people just leave it in their soaking container? If so then my soaking container must have a rubber seal type lid?
    #3: After removing the bowl from the DNA do I let it air dry before wrapping up in paper? After letting it dry do I then recoat it with anchorseal? Allow anchorseal to dry before wrapping up in paper?
    #4: I have seen DNA in several different brands and prices. I have seen it from $32.99 to $10.99 per gallon. I have read that it ia about all the same. I found this at a farm store for $10.99 per gallon. I hope it is the right stuff.

    Maybe some of these questions sound dumb....I'm just trying to go through the process in my head before I try it. I dont want to be in the middle of the process and do something wrong and ruin a turning.

    Tom
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails slxalcohol.jpg  

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Ill try to answer some of them from my experience but also see what others have to say that may use it more than i do.....


    #1: When I turn a "green" bowl blank.....I remove it from the lathe and soak it in a container of DNA.....Do I need to cover the container to keep the DNA from evaporating while soaking?
    Yes, I do to keep evaporation down


    #2: Do I pour the DNA back into the jug and cap it off when done or do most people just leave it in their soaking container? If so then my soaking container must have a rubber seal type lid?
    I use a simple 5gal bucket with a lid and nothing special and it has worked for me fine. I may have to add/replenish alcohol sometimes but it is not a big deal and im not losing that much.


    #3: After removing the bowl from the DNA do I let it air dry before wrapping up in paper? After letting it dry do I then recoat it with anchorseal? Allow anchorseal to dry before wrapping up in paper?
    Yes, I leave my out in the shop for a couple hrs and then either wrap with brown paper bag and place inside the house where the temp is cooler (which works well) or i coat it with anchor seal and put in a bag in the back of my garage - temps are still hot in my garage though.. I live in So Calif and temps hit 115+ so i take extra precautions sometimes but i have done both of what you suggest and both work.


    #4: I have seen DNA in several different brands and prices. I have seen it from $32.99 to $10.99 per gallon. I have read that it ia about all the same. I found this at a farm store for $10.99 per gallon. I hope it is the right stuff.
    Ill defer the specific product question to someone else. I use DNA from Lowes or HD and they work fine.

    I am not sure where you live so i dont know which way of drying will work best for you. I would suggest you try both and see how it works for you in your area - many variables - wheather - kind of wood - thickness - and i soak mine now for 3-4 days now but im not in a rush and this seems to work well..........see how others answer you also on what they do.........

    Nothing dumb in what your asking and your on the right track
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

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