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Thread: bowl problem

  1. #1

    bowl problem

    I wood like to turn a bowl out of green wood, but it seems that the more research I do the more confused I get . Seems that there is as many ways to do it than there are turners. Some use alcohol and some use anchor seal and other things. My ? is what kind of alcohol (rubbing ,denatured or jack daniels just kidding) Is there a ''bowlturning for dummys''?

    Thanks for any help because this is my first time.
    Turning makes the world go a'round

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I prefer glenfiddich...

    Now that that is said and I'm not a green stock turner nor did I stay in a holiday inn but I will say that from what I have read use denatured alcohol. turn the green piece to close (3/8"??) of the finished thickness, soak in DNA for 24 hrs, remove from the bath, wrap in paper for 3-4 weeks, finish turning. Now that I've said what I think is the correct answer I await the experts to chime in.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    It's not "Bowlturning for Dummies", but Bill Grumbine's DVD is certainly worth the money. (http://www.wonderfulwood.com/)

    One option for green wood you didn't mention is:
    turn it thin all at once, let it warp, and call it "art".
    Where are we going? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Kutztown PA
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    Don, there are lots of ways to turn a bowl, and lots of ways to dry one. You only need one or two though, to accomplish your desires. I have tried all the ways of drying wood faster. I have soaked in soap, boiled, and soaked in alcohol. I built a kiln. While all of these methods have their advocates and evidence of their efficacy, nothing works are reliably or as inexpensively as time.

    When I turn a piece of wet wood, I throw it in the barn and let it sit. Sometimes they sit for the bare minimum of time needed, and sometimes they sit for years. Last year (2005 to be exact) I finished a bowl which was roughed out in 1999. It was a special piece of wood, and was just waiting for that special customer to come along and appreciate it.

    Many new turners complain that they do not want to wait for that bowl to dry. The want to finish it as quickly as possible. My answer to that is to go turn more wet bowls and put them aside! Before you know it, you will have a pile of dry bowls to finish at your leisure, with more wet ones to feed the pile of those drying.

    I do a few things to help me make sure the bowl is going to dry evenly with a minimum of cracking. Even so, there are those which feed the fire to keep us warm in the winter. When I turn wet wood, if it is real wet, I will seal the end grain with wax - Anchorseal to be specific. I will bag the bowl in paper (never plastic!) to buffer the free water coming out and help the bound water come out more evenly, which prevents cracking. I will make the rim thicker and the bottom thinner to help that water leave the wood evenly, again preventing cracking. I will center the bowl on the pith, to regularize the grain pattern and again prevent cracking.

    None of this even begins to address turning them thin from the beginning and letting them warp!

    Can you see there is a lot to learn? It helps to get involved with a local club if you can, and there are always videos to help you along. Some are better than others. There are a lot of helpful folks on this board as well. The main thing to realize is, it is only wood, and it groes on trees. It almost doesn't matter where you are, there is wood to be had for not a lot of money if you look. Good luck with it, and keep on posting questions.
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  5. #5
    Let me give you guys some info on me and why I'm in kind of a hurry. I am a capenter, cabinetmaker, custom furniture maker and jack of all trades, but I've had four disks in my back rupture and had the operations with the steel plates. I had to downsize in my woodworking, but got burnt out on birdhouses fast. I pulled out my very first woodworking tool which is a shopsmith(that was a waste of money) and started playing with the lathe, then got a mini lathe. While I'm waiting for bowl blanks to dry I can be working on clocks and jewelery boxes. With all this time on my hands I can't stay in the house and watch tv.

    Thanks for your info and may all your boards come out long enough.
    Turning makes the world go a'round

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Don, I know a turner who turns green wood (not sopping wet, but still wet) quite thin. He has not told me of a cracking problem and says that if you turn the object thin enough, the act of sanding it supplies enough heat to dry the object. I've yet to try it, but his reults are beautiful. I do what Bill advised; rough turn and wait until the blank is dry and finish turn. It works for me, but I have enough other things to keep me occupied while waiting.

  7. #7
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    I gave my usual tongue-in-cheek (AKA smart-a**) answer, but there really is an alternative: turn dry wood.

    It costs more in material (you're not scrounging logs from the neighbors) and it's a little harder (no pun intended), but the "instant gratification" factor is there in full force.
    Where are we going? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

  8. #8
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    I'll also recommend Bill's DVD, it is really good!

    I use the DNA method, and it has worked very well for me, I've not lost one blank.

    I soak 48 hours, then I let it dry for an hour or two, and finally wrap it in paper and tape it, and cut out a hole in the top of the bowl.

    Attachment 3439
    Soaking

    Attachment 3440
    An hour or two of air drying

    Attachment 3441
    Wrapped up and ready to set aside.

    It takes anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to dry (checking with my moisture meter).

    I put the date on the bottom they came out of the DNA, and the wood type.

    Works for me.

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

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I'll also recommend Bill's DVD, it is really good!

    I use the DNA method, and it has worked very well for me, I've not lost one blank.

    I soak 48 hours, then I let it dry for an hour or two, and finally wrap it in paper and tape it, and cut out a hole in the top of the bowl.

    Works for me.

    Cheers!
    Same as Stuart, except I soak overnight only. (I think that is long enough) No failures yet. I also Weigh the piece after I wrap it up and mark the dat & weight on the paper. You will see a tramendous drop in weight in the first couple of days then it slows down. When the weight drop stops, wait a couple of days and it is ready. Usually takes 2-3 weeks with the blanks stored in my basement "dust bowl".

  10. #10
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    Jim King is an advocate of boiling. Maybe he will pitch in with tips on his technique.
    I'm one of those who doesn't like waiting. Plus, the supply of dry wood is much larger than wet.
    The soaking in DNA strikes me as potentially problematic. e.g. once you soak the wet wood, your alcohol is (largely) no longer water free. And that means replacing. And that means disposing of and repurchasing large quanties of DNA. I don't even know where to go to purchase in anything larger than one quart cans (expensive).

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