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Roughing Out Platter Blanks

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Marshall Sadler, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Marshall Sadler

    Marshall Sadler

    Aug 17, 2017
    Lawton, Oklahoma
    I am primarily a bowl turner but have done several platters before but these platters came from dry wood. I just received a locust crotch I wanted to turn into a matching set of natural edge platters. So far I have just mounted them on a faceplate and flattened both sides making a thick "disk." What is the process for roughing out/drying a platter blank vs a bowl blank? I have done a quick google and all I found were articles on bowl blanks, nothing on platters. I know that when you are roughing out bowls you leave a consistent wall thickness so stress are minimal. Would it be safe to rough it out something like this? It seems to me the areas in red would be areas with high stress and or cracking. What are the forum's thoughts on this?

  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Stresses that can lead to splitting begin where the wood is thin ... meaning at sharp edges. In addition to the sharp edges that you have indicated, the outermost corners are the most likely places for a crack to get started. The solution is to round over these edges. In addition to radial/tangential differential shrinkage, there could also be cupping so if the platter is large, leave sufficient thickness to allow for that.
    odie likes this.
  3. odie


    Dec 22, 2006
    Panning for Montana gold!
    As Bill suggests, leave plenty of thickness for the roughing and seasoning stage. The usual thinking on this is one tenth of the diameter, but I've come to add additional thickness for all bowls and platters. To directly answer the question.....No, there is no difference between bowls and platters for roughing and seasoning purposes.

    By adding to the thickness, this necessarily means an extended seasoning time......so, have patience, weigh monthly until stabilized.....and, have other work in progress to take up your attention in the meantime.

  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    I usually air dr the blanks as boards an 1, 1.5, 2 inches thick. With sealtight on the end grain.
    I leave a couple extra inches on each side for end checking

    Grain is important.

    With crotches you have three parts that want to shrink around their growth rings. Where the growth rings meet in the feather the warp is up and want to pull away from from each other. I put anchor seal or seal tight over the feather to slow the drying. You may get some small checks here.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    charlie knighton likes this.
  5. john lucas

    john lucas

    Apr 26, 2004
    Cookeville TN USA
    I also dry platters as boards. but 1 to 3". I seal all endgrain portions with wax or anchorseal. It does take a while to dry but not as long as I thought. I think because there is more surface area. Patience is the key to doing this successfully. I weigh the blanks and when they stop losing weight I turn them. I have on occasion turned them before completely dry. It works but you get some warping when it finishes drying.
    charlie knighton and hockenbery like this.

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