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dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning (Read 786 times)
 
Josh Horsley
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dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning
Jan 16th, 2014 at 3:04am
 
Hi all,  I am new to turning and have spent hours on the web and with books trying to figure it out.  I turned a 6" peppermill last week out of dark walnut.  I was very pleased with how it turned out.  The next day the top was tight and I sanded it and refinished it again to make it fit loose. A week later it wont even go together.  I'm guessing I turned it with the wood too wet.  It dosn't appear warpped  Undecided .  I bought the wood off ebay and dont know when it was cut.  I have read about and used the two turn methed for  wet bowls. I have found nothing on wet spindle/peppermill work or I just could be missing something somewhere.   How do you judge when the wood is right or too wet??? or what process is best for turning things like peppermills, boxes, spindle work with wet wood???  Should I turn it like a wet bowl, once, wait four/six months and turn it again???

Thanks

Josh
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Jerry Marcantel
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Re: dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning
Reply #1 - Jan 16th, 2014 at 7:59am
 
I did a bunch once. The wood was soaking wet when rounded. I cut the chamber and top,  also drilled the hole, and bagged them for about 6 months. So, rough turn them, and go back later to do the final turning..
My wood was mesquite, so it's pretty stable anyway.... ....... Jerry (in Tucson)
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« Last Edit: Jan 16th, 2014 at 8:00am by Jerry Marcantel »  
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning
Reply #2 - Jan 16th, 2014 at 9:51am
 
Josh Horsley wrote on Jan 16th, 2014 at 3:04am:
I have found nothing on wet spindle/peppermill work or I just could be missing something somewhere.   How do you judge when the wood is right or too wet??? or what process is best for turning things like peppermills, boxes, spindle work with wet wood???  Should I turn it like a wet bowl, once, wait four/six months and turn it again??

Any wet wood will move after it is cut, it just depends on the grain orientation.
A bowl may warp and become more oval shaped but a spindle can warp along the length also which may be harder to detect. Additionally, anything that has a fixed or mechanical component should be completely dry and stable before you assemble.
One way is to use a moisture meter to determine when your stock is dry enough to turn and remain stable. Another way, and probably faster, it to use the method Jerry described of rough turning.
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Walt
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Re: dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning
Reply #3 - Jan 16th, 2014 at 11:39am
 
Pretty common issue actually.  When I get blanks that are wet I'll drill a 1" hole through them and then soak in DNA for at least 24 hours.  Then let them dry for a week or so and then re drill both ends and mount them in mandrells to turn to the final shape.

The DNA will replace the water or moisture in the blank and will allow them to dry faster.  You can do the same with roughed out bowl blanks.
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Josh Horsley
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Re: dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning
Reply #4 - Jan 19th, 2014 at 1:28am
 
Thanks for the information.  Walt what is DNA??
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Charlie Zapalac
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Re: dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning
Reply #5 - Jan 19th, 2014 at 8:19am
 
Denatured Alcohol
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John Cepko
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Re: dry? wet? peppermill/spindle turning
Reply #6 - Jan 22nd, 2014 at 11:15am
 
Once you get the wood home, don't rush it to the lathe right away.
Let the wood stabilize to your shop for a few days to a few weeks.
One way to tell if the wood is dry is to weigh it.
When it stops losing weight, or even gains weight, it is as dry as it is going to get without being kilned.
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