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Bowl drying (Read 428 times)
 
Frank Padden
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Bowl drying
Sep 27th, 2017 at 7:14pm
 
I've recently read 2 articles on drying green bowls. The first was basically boiling the bowl and let it dry. The second was soaking a bowl in denatured alcohol for 24 hours, then wrap just the bowl rim. Supposedly this will dry the bowl in just 2 weeks. Has anyone heard of these methods or tried them with any success? Thanks, Frank
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Don Stephan
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #1 - Sep 27th, 2017 at 7:32pm
 
From time to time I've read descriptions of each method, but I have not tried either.  My personal thought is I would be uncomfortable with such a large amount of alcohol around.
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Chris Brock
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #2 - Sep 28th, 2017 at 11:03am
 
I frequently use the DNA trick, and though I find it does reduce the drying time significantly, it's still much longer than 2 weeks. I would guess I am going from a 6 month time frame to 6-8 week time frame. Of course, I am drying the first rough cut of a twice turned bowl blank - I guess if you were trying to dry a once turned bowl it would dry pretty fast given that it will be much thinner. I determine moisture stability by weight rather than a direct moisture measurement.

My take on the DNA method is that it does save time, but more importantly to me it seems that I get fewer cracks. It's not obvious to me what process might be going on to do that, and in fact my first reaction is quite the opposite, but it is the way I continue to operate.
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Glenn Matthies
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #3 - Sep 29th, 2017 at 6:28am
 
Chris Brock wrote on Sep 28th, 2017 at 11:03am:
I frequently use the DNA trick, and though I find it does reduce the drying time significantly, it's still much longer than 2 weeks. I would guess I am going from a 6 month time frame to 6-8 week time frame. Of course, I am drying the first rough cut of a twice turned bowl blank - I guess if you were trying to dry a once turned bowl it would dry pretty fast given that it will be much thinner. I determine moisture stability by weight rather than a direct moisture measurement.

My take on the DNA method is that it does save time, but more importantly to me it seems that I get fewer cracks. It's not obvious to me what process might be going on to do that, and in fact my first reaction is quite the opposite, but it is the way I continue to operate.


My experience with DNA is similar to Chris'.  The bowl will still move but cracking seems to be reduced.  Probably haven't done this enough for conclusive scientific proof but my general observation is that it does reduce cracking.
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John Grace
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #4 - Sep 29th, 2017 at 8:36am
 
I go with the brown paper grocery bag method.  Rough turn the piece until the side walls are just under an inch thick, place it in the bag and cover with shavings, staple/tape bag shut.  I then date and annotate the type of wood and place it on a high shelf for drying.  Depending on the type of wood and how wet it was when I rough turned it, I go back to the piece no less than three months later and do the finish turning.  Aside from the odd crack once every 12-15 bowls, I've had pretty good success with this method.  Alternatively, I have a number of pieces rough turned in the same manner with anchor seal but not bagged.  Did some differently just to see if I noted a difference relative to the type of turning I do and relative to my geographic location and garage environment.  I like this method as it's simple and provides a 'turn and forget' aspect.
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Steve Doerr
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #5 - Sep 29th, 2017 at 6:04pm
 
Frank, I turn my green bowls to finish and then soak them in DNA for 12 to 24 hours (fruit woods take longer).  Once I take it out of the DNA I let the surface of the evaporate dry and them place it in a brown paper bag and staple it shut.  Drying time will very on the type of wood and on wall thickness.  I weigh mine every day and when the loss of weight is less than 5% for a couple of days, then I consider it dry and take it out of the bag.  It does greatly reduce cracking, like John said, but does not eliminate the warping.  For me, I do like the more organic nature of the wood when it warps or you get some neat texturing as it dries.  I sell my turnings and I have not had a problem with people not purchasing them because they are not perfectly round or the surface is perfectly smooth.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #6 - Oct 1st, 2017 at 1:04pm
 
I have pretty much always done once turned bowls, and mostly Pacific Madrone, which is very prone to cracking. I tried a couple hundred with the DNA soaking and as near as I could tell, it did nothing to speed up drying time (week to 10 days max), warping, or cracking. I did one test comparing air dried, DNA soaked, and LDD (liquid dishwashing detergent) soaks. Only difference I could tell was the DNA made the wood more difficult to sand, and the LDD made the wood a lot easier to sand.

Every piece of wood will be different, even pieces from the same tree. Only real rules is to make sure you round over the rims. One reason is the sharp edge will slice you to the bone. The other is the sharp edge will dry quicker than the rest of the wood and that can cause cracks to start. Sealing helps most twice turned bowls. I do wrap the rims with stretch film, but if you do that on maple, it tends to mold under the plastic, so I generally don't use it on maple which is fairly easy to dry. A lot depends on your local weather... Dry too fast and it splits. Dry too slow, and it molds... Many variations.

For the bagging method, best method I have heard of was brown paper bag inside a plastic bag. Change out the paper bag daily. Makes it easy to control, and you remove excess moisture. Not practical with production turning. Mike Mahoney likes to dry his bowls in his wine cellar....

robo hippy
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Len Mullin
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #7 - Oct 1st, 2017 at 10:20pm
 
Hippy, it's not supposed to be just any kind of liquid dishwashing detergent, it's supposed to be liquid dishwashing detergent from Costco. I don't know what the difference is, but there's supposed to be some.
Len
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robo_hippy
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #8 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 2:29pm
 
Costco had a cheap brown/tan soap that they sold and it was cheap. I use a lemon type because I don't go to Costco. No problems. If you use blue or green soap, then you get that color on the bowls. Some come with no color now. If you soak black walnut, it will color all the other things you put in after. I tried a couple of different mixes, but 50/50, half soap, half water works best. You do want hand dishwashing soap, not stuff for the dishwasher.

robo hippy
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Len Mullin
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #9 - Oct 2nd, 2017 at 9:35pm
 
robo_hippy wrote on Oct 2nd, 2017 at 2:29pm:
You do want hand dishwashing soap, not stuff for the dishwasher.

robo hippy


No, you want liquid dishwashing soap. Or at least that's what I read about, and bought. I didn't get around to using it yet, as me and my wife have separated just after I bought it,and I have had no access to any of my tools since.
Len

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Todd Senterfitt
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Re: Bowl drying
Reply #10 - Oct 5th, 2017 at 5:04pm
 
If you're impatient you can use the microwave trick.  Short cycles and weigh it in between each one.  Don't use your main one unless your significant other is understanding!!  There's more movement and cracking than any of these methods but I've dried 10" bowls in a couple days from log to finish as well as ruined some good ones so take it with a grain of salt! Thumbs Up
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