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Greenwood issues (Read 235 times)
 
Anthony Diorio
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Greenwood issues
Dec 17th, 2020 at 11:34am
 
Picked up some small Logs. I cut out a blank and was practicing... I had a good day sharing my gouge and piece was shaping up nice...It started out nice with no cracks After I finished shaping the piece I let it sit for a little while and all kinds of cracks appeared..How do I prevent this.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #1 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 12:15pm
 
The wood cracked for one or more reasons.
1. Drying out too quickly
2. Internal stresses present themselves after material is removed.
Wood species is another factor, some types of wood are more prone to crack than others.

If you're going to leave the piece and come back after a while, I would suggest putting a plastic bag or plastic wrap around the piece.

Sometimes the cracks and checks are present but unseen, when the wood dries (shrinks) they become viable.

There are others here with much more experience dealing with green wood that will add more advice I'm sure.
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #2 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 12:16pm
 
Wait 3 or 4 years before turning any more of that wood. Smiley

Green wood will do that.

You need wood that is either kiln dried or years air dried.

You can turn green wood if you are making bowls and turn it in one sitting.. no stepping away to watch the sun go down.

They will warp out of round but it is one of their features.

I'm sure others will chime in as well.



..and i am NOT one of those other people Ed mentioned. Shocked
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« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2020 at 12:17pm by Ralph Fahringer »  

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Ed Weber
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #3 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 12:33pm
 
Ralph Fahringer wrote on Dec 17th, 2020 at 12:16pm:
.and i am NOT one of those other people Ed mentioned.


I use a calendar to dry my wood
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Anthony Diorio
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #4 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 12:41pm
 
I definitely do not have the patience to wait year's..
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robo_hippy
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #5 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 1:05pm
 
For green wood bowls, you have 2 choices. Twice turned, where you rough turn it, seal it, or boil it and seal, let it dry, and then turn it again so you end up with pretty much a round bowl. The other choice, is to turn green to final thickness, about 1/4 inch thick, then I let it dry and warp, then sand and finish. With the warped bowl method, you have to finish turn it  while on the lathe, and don't let it sit. when using a plastic bag, I would use wet shavings, or even a water spray before sealing the bag. Mostly I 'plan' to have time to finish turn the bowl in one go. Those cracks can happen in minutes if you have any heat and/or wind on the bowl blank.

robo hippy
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #6 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 1:59pm
 


I use a calendar to dry my wood [/quote]


So, you wrap the wood in old calendars??? Shocked Shocked Grin

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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #7 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 2:04pm
 
I remember having a nice little bowl.. about 4 x 5 high..  on the lathe and it was going nicely. Got the sides down to about 1/8" and decided to see what the wood would look like with a finish on it so I sprayed some alcohol on it and.....

POP!

and then...

another POP! It cracked down the side on opposite sides.

THEN I remembered that the alcohol replaces the water in the wood.  Smiley



I quickly clamped a large hose clamp on it and there it sits till I think of what i want to do to it to carve out the cracked areas.

It was  interesting for sure.
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Anthony Diorio
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #8 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 3:22pm
 
robo_hippy wrote on Dec 17th, 2020 at 1:05pm:
For green wood bowls, you have 2 choices. Twice turned, where you rough turn it, seal it, or boil it and seal, let it dry, and then turn it again so you end up with pretty much a round bowl. The other choice, is to turn green to final thickness, about 1/4 inch thick, then I let it dry and warp, then sand and finish. With the warped bowl method, you have to finish turn it  while on the lathe, and don't let it sit. when using a plastic bag, I would use wet shavings, or even a water spray before sealing the bag. Mostly I 'plan' to have time to finish turn the bowl in one go. Those cracks can happen in minutes if you have any heat and/or wind on the bowl blank.

robo hippy


Your right robo small cracks started to appear in minutes... I figured I would just turn them out the next day...whoops...

I'll try some of your suggestions on the next attempt

Thanks
Anthony
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Don Stephan
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #9 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 8:24pm
 
In the back pockets of my turning smock are several thin plastic grocery store checkout bags.

I turn almost entirely once turned bowls, so the wood is wet and green.  So wet and green that while spinning on the lathe drops of sapwood are being flung onto me, the floor cabinet behind me, and the wall behind the lathe.

Always I turn the bowl from blank to complete in one session.  If an interruption occurs I immediately cover the work on the lathe with two layers of the grocery bags.

As soon as turning is complete, I remove the bowl from the lathe and place in a paper bag on the concrete floor, which is on grade and likely the highest humidity level in my studio/workshop. 

Every friday I record the weight of each bowl.  When the weekly weight loss is less than 2% I move the bowl in the bag onto a tabletop and continue weekly weighing.  When the weekly weight loss again is less than 2% I put away the paper bag and continue weekly weighing.  When the weekly weight loss of the uncovered bowl is less than 2% again, I consider the bowl dry enough to sand and apply finish.

For bowls that will fit I use grocery store brown paper bags.  For larger bowls I use gift store bags my wife accumulated from department stores.  When the bags start to tear, a few inches of packing tape to the rescue.

One time I turned a piece of wood from a standing dead tree.  Before the outside was done cracks started to open up, so I don't try wood from dead trees.

When someone says they are going to cut down a live tree for a good reason, my response is that I would like to get the wood I will use the same day the tree is cut.  Unless it is a rainy day, I try like heck to seal the ends with Anchorseal 2 immediately.  Even then, I expect to lose 2" from each end to fast forming shrinkage cracks.  Anchorseal 2 is a plant based wax emulsion with water.  Some say the original Anchorseal, a petroleum wax emulsion in water, is more effective but I have no experience with it.  Some say latex paint works equally well, others say it is not as effective as Anchorseal.
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« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2020 at 8:26pm by Don Stephan »  
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Anthony Diorio
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #10 - Dec 17th, 2020 at 9:13pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on Dec 17th, 2020 at 8:24pm:
In the back pockets of my turning smock are several thin plastic grocery store checkout bags.

I turn almost entirely once turned bowls, so the wood is wet and green.  So wet and green that while spinning on the lathe drops of sapwood are being flung onto me, the floor cabinet behind me, and the wall behind the lathe.

Always I turn the bowl from blank to complete in one session.  If an interruption occurs I immediately cover the work on the lathe with two layers of the grocery bags.

As soon as turning is complete, I remove the bowl from the lathe and place in a paper bag on the concrete floor, which is on grade and likely the highest humidity level in my studio/workshop. 

Every friday I record the weight of each bowl.  When the weekly weight loss is less than 2% I move the bowl in the bag onto a tabletop and continue weekly weighing.  When the weekly weight loss again is less than 2% I put away the paper bag and continue weekly weighing.  When the weekly weight loss of the uncovered bowl is less than 2% again, I consider the bowl dry enough to sand and apply finish.

For bowls that will fit I use grocery store brown paper bags.  For larger bowls I use gift store bags my wife accumulated from department stores.  When the bags start to tear, a few inches of packing tape to the rescue.

One time I turned a piece of wood from a standing dead tree.  Before the outside was done cracks started to open up, so I don't try wood from dead trees.

When someone says they are going to cut down a live tree for a good reason, my response is that I would like to get the wood I will use the same day the tree is cut.  Unless it is a rainy day, I try like heck to seal the ends with Anchorseal 2 immediately.  Even then, I expect to lose 2" from each end to fast forming shrinkage cracks.  Anchorseal 2 is a plant based wax emulsion with water.  Some say the original Anchorseal, a petroleum wax emulsion in water, is more effective but I have no experience with it.  Some say latex paint works equally well, others say it is not as effective as Anchorseal.


Don

Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough guide. I'll give this a shot also.

I have a lot of different processes to nail down including sharpening tools and techniques using them. Being able to use Greenwood is important because I have access to all I need for free and  I was using that as an excuse to justify the money this equipment is costing me  :I  Grin
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John Grace
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #11 - Dec 18th, 2020 at 8:51am
 
First...there is no full-proof method to prevent cracking.  The 'best' we can do is learn practices to 'mitigate' the chances of it happening.
Second...know (learn) your species of woods.  Some are far more prevalent to cracking than others.
Three...if you're preparing your own turning blanks, be sure to remove the pith as soon as possible and seal the 'end grain' as soon as possible.
Four...from my perspective, I prefer whenever possible to turn 'from start to finish'.  Partially turning a piece and coming back tomorrow or even several hours later is 'inviting' cracking.  Wood typically cracks from one of several reasons.  1) drying differences.  As the 'outside' wood dries faster it shrinks more relative to the 'enter' of the wood.  That 'tension' is what can cause cracking.  2) A 'chunk' of wood has inherent tension in it.  As you turn and remove wood you 'lessen' the mass of the wood holding the wood in check.  Removing that mass allows that wood to move while being worked.  If you don't remove enough of that mass the wood is prone to crack as that tension plays out.  For those of us who 'twice turn' our pieces, you can remove enough wood to alleviate the piece of most of that tension...allowing the wood to move without cracking in most instances.
Five...if you are interrupted or otherwise must stop part way through a piece, then either tie a plastic bag tightly around the piece and/or seal re-seal the piece with anchor seal.  Personally...I've had far more luck with number four than number five but I've only 'lost' a handful of pieces while doing number five.
Hope some of this helps...
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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #12 - Dec 18th, 2020 at 8:57am
 
Just remember a rule of thumb: wood dries about an inch per year. No matter the shape. What Robo said is good advise. For twice turned, turn to about an inch of wall thickness, let dry in bag with shavings for a time. Then final turn.
My wood is mostly dry so I don't have much warpage.

Glenn J.
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Anthony Diorio
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #13 - Dec 18th, 2020 at 11:42am
 
Is it ok to seal and store logs that are not cut in half. I picked up a few and do not have a chainsaw yet.  I do suppose cutting them would help the drying process

Can not find anchor seal ..used latex paint
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« Last Edit: Dec 18th, 2020 at 11:43am by Anthony Diorio »  
 
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Don Stephan
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Re: Greenwood issues
Reply #14 - Dec 18th, 2020 at 12:41pm
 
Until I can take a chain saw them i store "sections" of logs outside.  As I saw the term used, a section is part of the main trunk of a tree.  It could be 12" long, 4 feet long, or 10 feet long.
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