Drying bowls, a miracle?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Emiliano Achaval, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval

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    Just got my Woodturners catalogue, the latest edition. I believe we might have a miracle product, I might have to call my Argentinian old friend, he's the Pope now, and tell him miracles are happening in the USA.
    A new product : Tree Saver Green Woodsealer. They claim a near 0 failure rate, even in Utah!!
    How to dry bowls without cracking is probably the most asked question by new turners. If this product is as good as they claim, we have a billionaire in the making!! As you can see, I'm very skeptical. Would like to hear from anybody that has used it.
     
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    It's just Anchorseal that has been repackaged in small quantities and the price adjusted commensurate with its miracle status.
     
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  3. john lucas

    john lucas

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    The preachers around here would simply tell you how to heal the cracks. :) Drying bowls is hit or miss with me. I will have a ton of success and then the piece you really are excited about will crack, even though you've dried that kind of wood many time before. I just figure losing one is part of the game and may be there just to humble us.
     
  4. odie

    odie

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    Actually, there does seem to be a slight difference in the formula for this "miracle" solution.....and, the difference is "PVA", which stands for polyvinal acetate.

    This PVA substance seems to be similar to.....Elmer's glue.

    If it allows a 50% reduction in seasoning time for roughed bowls over wax based sealers.......there is no magic here. It simply allows moisture to be released at a quicker rate than plain ol' anchorseal! o_O......which common sense tells you it's not as efficient as anchorseal.

    There is no secret to a high success rate in seasoning roughed bowls.......it's simply a matter of extending the drying time to a very slow rate, which is what anchorseal does. Many turners bend over backwards trying to get their bowl on the lathe as quickly as possible, but there really isn't anything more successful than extending the time element in the seasoning process. Slooooow is what works! Patience, my friends!.....:D.....Some of my roughed bowls take up to a year to season properly, and I have a very high success rate......somewhere around 99%, I'd say. I use anchorseal at 100% coverage.

    -----odie-----
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Successful drying is a function of wood condition, size, grain orientation, shape, wall thickness and controlling the moisture loss. Controlling the drying loss involves ambient conditions around the turning as well as any treatment applied to the wood.

    I dislike using anchor seal to control moisture loss because it is messy and takes longer than paper bags.

    If you turn thick uneven walls with right angle curves miracles help! :)

    You can drive shape at 7” diameters that will rarely dry successfully at 15” diameters.
     
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  6. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Once you rough turn a number of bowls and make it past the 1st year or two 99% of wood turners
    will have plenty of dry bowls on the rack waiting to be turned and finished. If the new turner wants
    to finish a few bowls the first year in they can always make segmented bowls or laminate kiln dried
    lumber and make any sized piece they want. Speeding the green wood process is a lot of effort which
    can be better applied towards other projects the first year.

    Sourcing local wood
    Processing fresh wood into blanks
    Building jigs for the lathe
    Building a steady rest for bowl turning
    Building a Longworth chuck for bowl finishing
    Building a cole chuck for bowl finishing
    Build sanding discs for the lathe
    Build a threading jig for boxes
    Turning glue blocks
    Threading glue blocks
    Etc. Etc. Etc.
     
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  7. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Excellent point Mike. I probably spent the first 5 years building up dry wood for my projects. It wasn't until I moved to Cookeville and Met Joe Looper that I started turning Greenwood. I had seen David Ellsworths article in Fine woodworking but didn't think hollow forms were for me. I also didn't own a chainsaw or a bandsaw that had enough size to cut things like that. I didn't know about smaller projects like all the boxes and ornaments that I now make.
     
  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You live in Florida which i would guess is more humid than most places. I tried paper bags with disappointing results, but Anchorseal has worked fine. What works is a function of where you live. Kelly Dunn who lives in Hawaii says that wood would never dry if he didn't use a kiln.
     
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  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I grew up in FL, go Gators

    Moved to Md in 1971, got my first lathe in 1975, got serious about turning in 1987, moved back to FL in 2004.
    I used anchor seal until around 2000 when a club member Introduced me to the paper bag method. Tried it, never used anchor seal again on rough outs. Maryland is humid from late spring to early fall. As atmospheric moisture increases most places will see an increase of humid days in year. This is good for turners bad if you don’t like floods.

    Paper bags are not good for production or large runs of bowls because of time to swap bags and perhaps requiring a bit more shelf space. I have done mostly HF and NE bowls since 1998.
     
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  10. odie

    odie

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    Would like to see Emiliano comment about this.......

    Emiliano, if you aren't using a kiln, how do you know your roughed bowls are stabilized? How would you know how your bowls would react to being transferred to one of the mainland states?

    -----odie-----
     
  11. odie

    odie

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    I've concluded similarly, Bill.......

    It's been a long time since I tried paper bags, chips, experimenting with storage techniques, etc.....but, I had very limited success back then. These days, I store up about 5-8' above floor level, and completely seal with anchorseal......it's been working very nicely for me, but......I've never lived anywhere else but MT, for the past 37 years. It could be that someone who lives elsewhere won't have the same success that I've had, doing it the way I do it.....

    I weigh monthly, and when I get 3-4 months of stable weights, I consider it seasoned, and ready to turn. Sometimes, they go into storage, and aren't turned for an extended time after that......which can only make the process better.

    -----odie-----
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That's one of the reasons that Kelly says that he uses a kiln. What's air dried and stable in his climate has cracked when delivered to a customer in one of the arid western states. Not good for business he says so he had to do something to get the wood drier.
     
  13. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    How dry wood will get is directly related to its environment’s temperature and relative humidity. The table below is from the hardwood handbook. You can find many similar references.

    If you air dry wood at 70 degrees in a room with RH off 60% it will dry to 11% MC and GET NO DRYER in that environmnt. If you finish that bowl and put it in a room at 80 degrees with an RH of 30% it will if the finish permits dry to 6.1%. It could crack. Or warp.

    16B8E150-1041-4445-872F-F2FC07FEA856.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  14. tdrice

    tdrice

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    I lived in eastern Colorado where the daytime humidity was usually around 10%. I could rough turn a 20 in. bowl to 2" thick, put in a paper bag and have the weight stabilize in 4 to 6 weeks. For health reasons I moved to western Oregon last January. (way West; A 300 yard walk further West would put me in the Pacific.) The daytime humidity here is often 90%. I have a slight adjustment to make.
     
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  15. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval

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    I do have a kiln, a glass door flower lei display refrigerator converted Cindy Drozda style. I only use it for my boxes. I sell a lot of my things to the mainland, have not have a problem with things breaking yet. My prices are probably 1/3 of what Kelly Dunn charges. So if something breaks I can promise a refund or a piece of similar artwork. Just a few days ago, the gallery called me. I have a $500 Kou puahala calabash. The guy from Arizona wanted to know if the Kou was going to crack in the desert... I let my rough turned bowls sit for a minimum of 6 months on shelves in the shop. Some sit there for years, lol Since I turn so much, I gave up on finding a miracle solution. I do not use any method, on the shelve they go, if they make it good, if not, I have a deep gulch behind the house... I have a close to 99% success rate. The failures are probably my fault for pushing it, crotches with too many end grain areas etc... The only time I measure MC is when a client picks something out of the shelve to see how much longer it might need. 12.4 is bone dry here. The only thing I use is Cedar Oil, I'm on my last gallon!! After this we are out of this juice for ever. The last Milo pieces, are all green turned, I soak them in cedar oil , there is less warping and no cracking, in a few days I finish them... Aloha!
     
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  16. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval

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    Very tricky to do that, I have tried it with poor results.... I rather take my chances sending it...
     

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