My turned projects keep cracking

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Forum topic by Jacob0921 posted 01-17-2013 09:23 AM 1510 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2221 days

01-17-2013 09:23 AM

I have turned a couple of boxes with lids out of some jobillo that I had bought at woodcraft and they turned out really nice but when i look at it the next day or next couple days they have some cracks it’s at the base of one of them and I don’t know if I should just leave them or glue the shut or put wood filler in them I wanna do something about it because the cracks are bothering me, also with they progress? And what do I do to further prevent it in the future? All help would be greatly appreciated

-- - Jacob

6 replies so far

View MNgary's profile


305 posts in 2682 days

#1 posted 01-17-2013 12:30 PM

Your blocks were probably still green. A lot, if not most, bowl turners prefer turning a rough cut & initial hollowing before the block has come down to a stable moisture level. They then employ any variety of techniques to let the roughed forms stabilize before turning the final shape and hollow.

Google ‘turning green wood bowls’ and you will find numerous articles and videos to minimize the problem. You’ll also find that CA glue is frequently a green wood turner’s BFF.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View bondogaposis's profile


5201 posts in 2616 days

#2 posted 01-17-2013 01:21 PM

I would let the cracks go until they are done cracking and then fill them w/ epoxy and crushed stone inlace. To prevent cracking in the future you may want to read this article about boiling. I can’t say that I’ve tried it yet but it is on my list of things to try.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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5 posts in 2221 days

#3 posted 01-17-2013 04:54 PM

Thanks I appriciate it a lot

-- - Jacob

View dhazelton's profile


2825 posts in 2561 days

#4 posted 01-17-2013 05:17 PM

I turned a couple of green cherry bowls and put some sealer on them and put them in a paper bag to retard drying. When I went back to them one was cracked through the whole diameter and the other was a big oval. These were from rounds I cut myself, so I guess I need to learn about what to look for when selecting wood to turn or buy commercial blanks.

View Rob's profile


318 posts in 3251 days

#5 posted 01-17-2013 08:03 PM

I do quite a bit of turning and most of what I do is with green wood. Most turning blocks you buy are green with a wax emulsion like anchorseal over them so they don’t dry and crack before they are sold. When buying blanks commercially, if it doesn’t say it’s dry, assume it’s green. Especially if it has a waxy feel to it. Mostly, I cut logs lengthwise, remove the pith, round what’s left on my bandsaw and then mount it and rough it out. Then I use the denatured alcohol method to dry the bowl or whatever I’m making. A detailed description on how to do it is found here. I’ve yet to have a bowl crack during the drying process using this method.

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3406 days

#6 posted 01-19-2013 07:40 AM

Jacob the blanks are wet or the moisture is about 30%. If they are exotics then they well have a high moisture content because a lot of exotic blanks are sold per weight. Try removing the wax on the end grain sides and leave in the workplace for a few weeks for moisture to escape. When turning boxes and for that matter any item that has a lid the wood must be dry dry dry. You may try turning to finish and then soak item in your finish thinned down 50/50 with its base solvent or use DNA as Rob does. Regards Tamboti

-- Africa is not for sissies

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