Turning Archive 2005

Alcohol drying bo-bo

Pete L
>Greeting all...

Still learning in the bowl turning business, I had 5 cherry bowls that had been roughed out to about 3/4" thickness, 10-11" diameter, and 3-5" deep. Submerged them in alcohol over night, wrapped the outside-only with 2 layers of new newspaper print, and set them into my cold garage for 2 weeks. One was brought in the house on Thursday night, turned on Friday and polyurethane finish applied that night. Enthusism is up. Brought the other four in the house yesterday and stripped them of their paper and left them in my basement shop. Walked into the shop just now (Sunday afternoon) and found all 3 had multiple cracks going on on the outside. Broke them apart and noted the bases showed evidence of dampness still present. As far as orientation of the bowls within the tree, they were turned from very green logs that were sawn thru the plinth, and that sawn face was to become the rim of the bowl. The area that was noted still moist after the bowl was broken in half was in the base, where due to the grain, the moisture had the furthest distance to travel.

Lessons learned:

1) Don't shock a bowl coming in from a cold Michigan garage by stripping the paper immediately. Allow the bowl to normalize for, say, one more week, then strip the paper?

2) Be patient and give the bowl AT LEAST 1 more week to cure in the garage (for at least 3 weeks).

3) Green bowl turning is not for people requiring instant gratification from their work.

A little bummed........

Pete L

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