Bowl blanks

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 04-04-2018 01:15 PM 904 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3095 days

04-04-2018 01:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: marblewood turning blank

So call me a sucker… but while making a “quick” run to Woodcraft to get a wine bottle stopper kit, I perused the turning blanks and was smitten by a 6×6x3 Marlblewood bowel blank, thinking it would make a very nice candy bowel for the Mrs.

As is typical for Woodcraft, the blank is covered by wax….

So never having purchased a turning blank or worked with Marblewood I have lots of questions…

1. are these sold green or dry?
2. at what point should I clean the wax off of it.
3 if green, should I rough turn the Marblewood and shelve it until dry?
4. or should a strip the wax and turn when dry?

I’m going to cut similar size blanks out of Pine and Maple and practice turn this bowel before I commit to the Marblewood blank… but I’m very new to wood turning and am not sure how to start with this.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

6 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3144 posts in 2939 days

#1 posted 04-04-2018 01:25 PM

I don’t know if the blanks are green or dry. I believe the wax is applied at point of origin and shipped to the states. The wax is there to slow moisture transfer during transit and after. It is faster to dip the entire block rather than just the end grain. I would remove the wax from the sides and edges and check the moisture content, then I would know whether green or dry. If green and you know what you want to turn rough turn it and bag it. Set it aside to dry if you don’t know what you want to do with it. You say you are going to turn some practice blanks strip the wax off everything but the end grain and check moisture content and set it aside.
I have to stay away from Woodcraft’s blanks just for the reason you stated some thing you just can leave there.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View lightcs1776's profile


4256 posts in 2421 days

#2 posted 04-04-2018 04:03 PM

Welcome to the rabbit hole, Matt. I don’t usually buy bowl blanks as there is plenty of potential blanks in the woods behind the house. You will be surprised at what you can find in the forest. However, the few I have purchased were covered in wax. I’ve never bothered to strip the wax as it all comes off when I start to turn it. None of the blanks were green, but that is only a sample of five or six of them. I look forward to seeing some of your bowls. They are definitely addicting once you start turning them.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. β€” Tom Paine **

View LDO2802's profile


167 posts in 1197 days

#3 posted 04-04-2018 05:51 PM

Woodcraft and Rockler are generally green on their blanks. My buddy bought a nice walnut blank and stripped the wax off and it checked in about three days. I recommend getting a moisture meter if you are going to continue buying store bought blanks so that you can check the moisture prior to removing the wax. Otherwise, I recommend buying kiln dried blanks online.

View CFrye's profile


11002 posts in 2607 days

#4 posted 04-04-2018 06:49 PM

Matt, I have seen some of Woodcraft’s marblewood and understand why you couldn’t leave it! I will pass on some wisdom Doe gave me…it’s not just the look that gives it the name. It is hard as stone! Sharpen frequently!

-- God bless, Candy

View Wildwood's profile


2864 posts in 2901 days

#5 posted 04-04-2018 07:42 PM

Not sure anyone can tell you the mositure content of your blank. Already mentioned about scraping side of the blank leaving it end sealed set aside to reach EMC; or rough turn and set aside to dry before final turning.

Reason blanks are sealed in wood is to stop drying defects! End sealing only slows down the drying process. If scrap sides will allow moisture content to escape thru evaporation. When wood reaches EMC or a equilibrium moisture content safer to turn from start to finish. Another option for green or wet wood is turn your bowl thin (3/16” or ¼” ) uniform thickness and cross your fingers.

Moisture meters will give you a ball park MC to work with, or using a scale to weigh the blank and observe weight over period of weeks. When blanks stop losing weight said to be at EMC.

Since you live on the other side of the moon have no idea what the optimum EMC would be for that part of the universe. Might try going to Wood Hand Book chapter 13 and page 5-20 and look at fig. 13.1 and table 13.2 same page for some ball park EMC to shoot for.

May or may not help you but good luck with it anyway!

-- Bill

View OSU55's profile


2645 posts in 2756 days

#6 posted 04-04-2018 07:57 PM

Im sure the blank is at least somewhat green. Rough turn and bag it, weigh it, and when the wt stops decreasbing finish turn it. It couldd only take 30 days or several months, but it will take years at full thickness with wax on it, and may crack in the process. Good idea to practice on other blanks 1st.

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