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Thread: Dishwashing detergent ????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Ogden, Utah

    Dishwashing detergent ????

    I was reading some very interesting information on bowl designs provided by David Chung, and you know how one website links to another and so on until you're way off the subject you first started with. But it's a lot like going on a road trip and getting lost and finding some really neat place you would have missed if you had stayed on the interstate. Anyway, I ran across this website of Ron Kent's who is one oustanding woodturner. While admiring his work I found this on his techniques link I've been a DNA guy for a few years and I've had varying luck with the process. But this sounded interesting because it provides (if it really works) more than just a crack relief solution. It seems to help with tearout and sanding also. And it's not some nasty chemical that you have to worry about.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else has tried it and had any second opinions. I plan on giving it a whirl myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Curt, I've tried it a few times with good success, but I mostly just turn to finish...I don't have much paitence.

    My dad, also a member, uses it all the time and has had great success. I emailed Ron Kent about it when I first started turning, to my amazement he responded within a few hours and we had a few emails back and forth. Great guy and an amazing turner/artist IMO.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I've heard of it, and it certainly makes sense, give it a go and report back

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Curt I am planning on giving it a whirl to. I have the soap and just got a big container so hopefully will have some time to test it. I got the oneway bowl coring system so that is what I was hoping I could test the soap method on.
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Decatur, Illinois
    well if this doesn't demonstrate the power of this forum i don't know what would. i've watched many dvd's and online videos on turning techniques over the last year, since i started, and never heard of this technique.

    curt, thanks for posting this item. will also give it a try
    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name...Steven Wright.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Remlik, Virginia
    I tried it way back when it was first made public. I really didn't give it much of a chance as I found that for me it was a PITA. I did discover that sometimes if you have a real hard piece of dry wood a little soap soak will make the going easier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Drums, PA
    I'm sure if you ask around the forums there will be another turner that would be happy to give you his 5 gallon bucket of slightly used dish detergent.

    This method has bounced around for a while, while there are a small few that swear by it, most who have tried it where not impressed with the results.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Des Moines, IA
    As Jeff said, I have been using this method for about 6 months and have had good luck with it. I turn bowls to about 10% of the diameter for thickness of sidewalls and bottom, soak the bowl for 5 days to 2 weeks depending on how long I can wait. I have not lost very many bowls using this method. They do warp some in the soap solution. I have also had some luck with turning bowls to final thickness and drying them in a cardboard box full of shaving from the bowl. Can't give any percentages of success as I am not a record keeper.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Bucks County PA

    Tried and and it has it's uses

    Back when Ron Kent was first developing this technique, he collaborated with my friend Phil Wall for the article on this subject that later appeared in the AAW Journal. Phil used to live down the road from me and I would stop by his shop and see his latest accomplishments with this technique. Inspired by Phil, I soon tried it out. But after some time using this technique I moved back to old fashioned air drying, and then on to alcohol soaking (which does work very well).

    However, I will say that soap soaking does work very nicely when turning pith centered bowls. I've attached two photos of one of the bowls I made so that you can see what I mean.

    You start with a freshly cut log (I used Box Elder) and take a nice big "baloney slice". Mount it between centers with the pith parallel to the bed of the lathe. Turn your outside shape and turn a tenon for your chuck. Now use your chuck to hold the work and turn the inside to 10% wall thickness (w/respect to the dia). Remove and soak this blank in a 50/50 mix of soap and water for a day. The next day remove the blank from the soak tank and turn to final thickness. You'll probably need to soak the pith with CA glue to stop it from cracking more than it does. But the soap really helps to make the wood easier to turn and does minimize the distortion SOMEWHAT. What it really does is stop the wood from cracking too badly.

    I hope this helps.
    See ya around,

  10. #10

    Soap & DNA

    Hi Folks, from a newbie to the group:

    For what it's worth, I have recently tried a modification of the 'detergent' formula. Jury's still out on its comparative effectiveness, but is faster.

    I made a mixture of Murphy Oil Soap and DNA about 50-50. Murphy has somewhat different and more natural ingredients than the Costso dish/hand soap, is readily available (e.g., Home Depot), and costs only about $12/gallon.

    The mixture soaks into the wood like gangbusters (I tried both immersion and copious brushing on, wetting for 2-3 hours then draining overnight). It leaves a lot of soap in the wood and evidently displaces quite a bit of water. Those tests are yet to be conducted. Then the alcohol leaves quickly when air dried (of course, be careful with the alcohol fumes).

    FYI, I've attached the material data sheet if you want to see what's in Murphys.

    PS: when the soap and alcohol mix there is a mild exothermic reaction for a few seconds, so a metal container might be best for mixing. Seems fairly inert once mixed.

    Hope this helps someone.


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