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Hello Fellow Wood Jocks!!

So here is what I need everyone's help with…...

I'd like for everyone that comes across this to please post ways you like to dry green wood pieces that are turned or carved! I seem to always get a few cracks on the bowls I turn, with the couple ways I dry the wood! I have been wood turning and wood carving for a few years now and this seems to be something of a huge topic of discussion, which is how to dry or speed up the drying process when turning or carving green wood! I mainly make small to mid-size bowls, spoons, plates, cups, and kuksas!!

I haven't tried all the methods out there, but I have tried drying a partially finished wood turned bowl in a brown bag with wood shavings around the bowl, but this doesn't always work! The only other process I have tried is putting the wood piece in a ziplock bag that is slightly open to collect all the moisture. Then I turn the plastic ziplock bag inside out every time water collects in the bag like condensation! This process does work but doesn't seem to dry the wood completely, which ultimately results in cracks!

Cracks are my arch nemesis!!!! Hah and I'd like to hear and try whatever y'all think the best process is to dry my wood pieces! So if you know something that works great then please share! I know there are lots of fellow lumber jocks that need this answer too!

Thanks everyone!
 

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Sorry, can't help….
I'm one of the "fellow lumber jocks that need this answer too"!!!
Sooo, I'll be a watchun'.....

BTW: Welcome to LJs.
 

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Well I'll tell ya guys. I've turned and dried maybe a doz green cherry bowls of various sizes from 4" to 11" dia.
I think Ive lost a couple to cracking, but for the most part warping is the problem. I let the wood sit in my shed for a couple a months with wood preserver on each end. Cut off 3/4" when I'm ready to turn. I've turned them to 1/2"+ and 1/4" wall thickness. Into the paper bag NO shavings an leave them in the garage till I think they're done. Most of the time I'll get some kind of warp on the edge or body. A couple of times it was enough that I couldn't salvage the bowl.
I've heard that the warping is what makes it art work…I'm trying for functionality.
Hope this helps .
 

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You probably already know this. But if you leave the pith in or wood too close to it, the bowl will inevitably crack. Before Christmas I finished a carved bowl in birch and was happy with it. Coated it in boiled potato (this is my method for slowing down drying and it generally works as long as I don't get impatient and put it over the heat register) like I usually do but it cracked anyway. I decided it was cause I left too close to the pith (this bowl was carved bark side up to get that nice sweep).
 

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seen too many good burls burn under the hands I own : (

I treat them by first soaking them in a polymer that kills bunky wood, and stops checking
and sealing them in a bag
then wax them
then wait
and wait
and wait
Like a wine, some are ready to sample : )
 

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The quickest and best way to dry bowls???? Work on another project and come back to it in 3 to 6 months….
I have tried many things….DNA bath…microwave…..homemade drying cabinet ( unless you do it very right, that is the most worthless of all). There is a guy I know with a very nice cabinet…actually too big to be considered a cabinet …he lets them sit a month and gets a nice result. I really don't know the particulars about the cabinet…it sits outside and he has a LOT of cash in it.
Mike
 

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Physics work despite wishful thinking. When I started turning wood, I turned all kinds. Rainbow poplar, maple, camphor….you name it. There is only one piece of useful advise I can give…use kiln dried wood.

I know turning wet is safer and easier, but lets face it, as the wood dries the grain is going to pull in.

However if you must turn wet, boil the bowl for about 20 minutes in a large pot, then let it cool slowly. This won't completely dry it out, but it will get you 70% there.

You can also microwave it for a couple minutes and let it dry in the microwave oven, this takes about 2-6 tries before it's completely dry and rarely comes out perfect.

Wet wood cannot hold it's shape as it dries, there will be some minor distortion so I recommend using kiln dried wood and carbide lathe tools. If you use M2 metal on your chisels they will need to be sharpened every 10 minutes or so. Go slow and finish off with a good carbide chisel.

This is my favorite bowl, turned from spalted maple which was very dry to begin with.
Came out better than any piece I've turned wet.
Food Valencia orange Tangelo Clementine Bitter orange
 

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