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Thread: Bowl Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Bowl Question

    I'm turning a bowl out of green sycamore, store bought blank, waxed and wet. So wet it through water on me!!

    Turned it Sunday afternoon, shaped and sanded outside, roughed out inside to 3/8 -1/2" thick. Went out Monday evening and cleaned inside to 1/4" +- wall thickness. Looking pretty good at this point. BUT -- the outside has warped in the drying process. Visually it is unnoticeable, but spinning (at 1400 rpm) it is obvious. If you can see the shadow in the pic, she's a good 1/8" out of round.

    Question is, should I reshape the outside and bring it back round (or closer to round)? The inside has not moved noticeably since last evening. How many times and for how long should one work reshaping?

    Thanks, Tony

    Tony, BCE '75

  2. #2
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    That is a hard call without being there Tony

    I try NOT to go back to the outside once I've done my finishing cuts on it.

    I am a bit confused.

    The wood was green, you did the outside and then the inside, waited a day, then went for the final cuts?

    You did not leave much time for the blank to dry, I'll usually turn green wood down to about and inch thick at the rim, and 3/4" nearer to the base, then DNA it for 24 hours, and brown bag it for at least a month, then do my finishing cuts etc.

    Now if you are looking to turn green wood to a finished bowl in a day or two, I know that some do it that way, but once it starts moving and warping, I thing it is time to get out the sandpaper and you live with the warp/movement...............

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

  3. #3
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    Stuart -- the purpose of this not really a hollow form / closer to a bowl exercise was to get the feel of my Kelton hollowing tools while being able to actually see what's happening. Practicing scraping and shaping the interior. Also, to get a feel for green wood and see first hand how it might react to the drying suddenly process. Ending up with something is optional -- it's the learn by screwing up and listening to others tell me how I screwed up method.

    Thanks for the tips on how you deal with green wood -- I'll try your method and see what happens -- In the meantime keep the comments / suggestions / lesson coming.

    Thanks -- Tony

    Tony, BCE '75

  4. #4
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    Tony,

    I do it pretty much like Stu said. I'll rough turn the outside, then hollow the inside to a point where I can finish it after it drys and warps. This diameter will depend on the wood, but the 10% diameter thing seems to work with most woods. After a dunk in DNA (I've let it sit anywhere from 2 hours to 3 weeks) I'll wrap it in a double thickness of newspaper, cut out the center, and let it dry on a rack for about 2 weeks-or longer. True up the tenon, chuck it up, and finish it. That's my method, but I'm sure others have their own method and most of them seem to work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Tony, the sycamore bowl will probably move a bit every day for the next week or two -- maybe even longer. I usually try to rough turn a piece in a single session, then I usually don't re-turn it until it's dry. If I do have to leave a partially-roughed piece overnight or longer, I'll spritz it with water and wrap it in a plastic bag, mostly to reduce or eliminate cracking.

    On the roughing and drying process, I'll echo Cecil. I rough the wall thickness out to about 10% of the width of the blank (just guessing...not something I actually measure) then give it the DNS dunk for at least a day. Then I wrap it in newspaper (usually about 4 to 6 sheets) for a couple weeks or more and let it dry. I'm deliberately pretty un-scientific about it.
    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

  6. #6
    Cecil and Vaugn are leading you on the right tract.... DNA Denatured Alcohol is the cure and a little patience on your part.

  7. #7
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    Stu, Cecil, and Vaughn has given you some good advice Tony. I also use the DNA method of soaking the bowl for 24 to 48 hrs. I have even left them in for 3 days with no ill effects. Wrap them in brown paper grocery sack like a christmas present and cut a opening in the bowl part. Turn upside down on a rack you can get at Wal-Mart and let it dry for 3 to 5 weeks. I also on bowls larger than 8" I leave the walls at least 3/4" to 1" thick under that I leave them 1/2" to 5/8" thick. That way after it has dried you can go back to shape the outside and then finish the inside. If you are down as Stu said to 3/8" or so let it dry, warp or whatever and then finish it. It could be art Tony. You don't have a lot of wood left to make it round. The only wood I turn from start to finish is Mesquite.
    Last edited by Bernie Weishapl; 06-26-2007 at 11:45 PM.
    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.

  8. #8
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    Thank you all for the info -- Just to make sure I get this right the DNA bath / dunk -- you actually submerge the piece in a bucket of denatured alcohol and let it soak in it? I'm assuming a tight lid is required to keep the DNA from evaporating? Straight DNA or a DNA/water mixture?

    Any warnings or precautions?

    Thanks again, Tony.

    Tony, BCE '75

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Houston, TX
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    Yeah Tony, straight DNA, with a good lid to slow down evaporation (at $11 a gallon you want to keep it in the bucket) after you have soaked several bowls you may have to "refresh" the DNA as it will pick up some water from the wood and also from the air.

  10. #10
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    Yep Tony as Cecil said just submerge the bowl blanks and let them soak for 24 to 48 hrs. Take them out and let them flash dry (let the surface dry) wrap them and let them dry. I use a cooling rack that I got from wal-mart to turn my bowls upside down on. After about 15 ot 20 bowls I just add a gallon of DNA to the mix to refresh it and replinish what has evaporated.
    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.

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