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Drying bowls (Read 258 times)
 
Frank Padden
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Drying bowls
Jul 27th, 2017 at 4:21pm
 
Just wondering if anyone has ever tried to dry a rough turned bowl in kitty litter? Any success? Would this dry it too fast and cause cracks?
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Ed Weber
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Re: Drying bowls
Reply #1 - Jul 27th, 2017 at 7:15pm
 
My initial thought is that it would dry it too fast as you said but now I'm as curious as you.
I'm sure someone out there has tried it.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Drying bowls
Reply #2 - Jul 27th, 2017 at 7:34pm
 
Might confuse the cats.   Cool
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Drying bowls
Reply #3 - Jul 28th, 2017 at 8:32am
 
...orrrr... how about actual desiccant?

The thought is that if the whole bowl is completely surrounded by the material, it might actually dry more evenly than if it were sitting in a bag.

...orrrr... if the bowl is only covered with the stuff except for the thin walls, the thicker area would possibly dry as fast as the thinner walls.

I might have to dig around for a green piece that I am not attached to so if it goes south, no problem.
I already have a large amount of desiccant as well as kitty litter.

Sure wish I had more time in a day!!
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Drying bowls
Reply #4 - Jul 28th, 2017 at 9:06am
 
I will add my name to the list of those who have not tried it, but I'm very interested to see if it works.

I have no green rough outs to try it on, so I must rely on some other experimenter.

I am of the second option school in Ralph's post. I was taught, for better or worse, that our drying efforts are to achieve two results: slow down the overall drying because fast drying can cause bad things to happen; and even out the drying between end grain and side grain or thick and thin so that bad things don't happen.

With that in mind, I coat only the end grain of bowls and put them in paper bags or newspaper. I change the paper frequently at the start and less so as the bowl dries. I've had very good results doing it this way. I believe that is because the end grain coating slows down the water loss from the end grain to something akin to the loss in the uncoated side grain, and the paper slow the overall moisture loss.

Others, much more experienced that I am say to coat the whole bowl. I can see how that achieves the first objective - slow overall drying down, but I've never understood how it evens out the drying between end grain and side grain, since all that's happened is that everything has been slowed down evenly. So, I would think that moisture loss through the end grain would still be much faster than through the side grain.

Back to your kitty litter. I can see how it may, once damp, slow down the overall process, but if the entire bowl is immersed in it, I'm back to the issue of not doing anything to even out the drying between end grain and side grain or thick and thin.

I apologize if it seems that I've taken this too far off topic, but I think anyone with a couple of green rough outs and some kitty litter could try both methods and see if one really does produce better results.

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Grant Wilkinson
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Drying bowls
Reply #5 - Jul 28th, 2017 at 10:04am
 
So, in the southwest of the US with a 10% humidity, do they have to actually keep the bowl wet so it dries evenly? Shocked Shocked Grin
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Ed Weber
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Re: Drying bowls
Reply #6 - Jul 28th, 2017 at 10:09am
 
Grant, I agree with just about all of your statement.
Here's where I differ a little.
With a "roughed out" bowl, there is no clear distinction between end-grain and side-grain. (there are no sides)
Virtually all of a bowl has a percentage of end-grain present. It may not all be 90 degrees or perpendicular to the side grain but but it's there. In segmenting work we tend to split the definition by degrees, If side-grain is 0 and end-grain is 90, anything from 0-45 is primarily side and 45-90 is primarily end.  Determining where to stop sealing on a round piece is almost impossible. It is usually much easier to coat the entire bowl, the negative effects are really non existent other than using a bit more sealant. Better to "waste" a bit of sealer than lose an entire blank.

As mentioned, the desire is to achieve a drying rate as fast as possible without the negative effects of cracking, this rate will be different for everyone.
We are usually trying to slow this process down, I still believe that clay, speedy dry and/or kitty litter will initially draw out to much moisture too quickly.
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Tom Brouillette
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Re: Drying bowls
Reply #7 - Jul 31st, 2017 at 7:35am
 
There has been a lot of buzz on various sites lately about using silica gel.  It works fast, and can be regenerated in the oven once saturated (it changes color when it's saturated).  I will try it eventually, but right now I'm in no rush.  I have hundreds of roughed out bowls that I've used my tried-and-true method with.  All I do is wrap them in two or three layers of newspaper, like you would do when packing dishes.  I put them on a shelf and forget about them for a few months.  I have 98% success with no cracking.  Keep in mind I live in the steamy Memphis area.
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