Wood turning and science

08195A friend of my wife brought me a log from a cherry fruit tree. This log had just been cut and was throwing some serious moisture while I turned it. With wood this wet the bowl needs to be dried before final turning. I decided to try a new method I found on the web that turners are using with a pretty good success rate. I left the bowl thick and now have it soaking in some high concentrate dish detergent. This is supposed to replace the water in the bowl with a thicker substance to protect it from shrinking and cracking. I’ll keep you updated on how that works out. soakThe bowl has now been soaking for about 36 hours and I’ll take it out tonight and let it dry for a week or two. I probably still won’t know if it worked for a few months after turning. I will save the used soap in a jug since it can be reused indefinitely I assume? Notice the nice color this takes on when wet!

Note: the shavings in the header photo represent a fraction of the shavings I generated turning the rough blank!

Update: removed from the solution after soaking for about 48 hours. I will let it dry for a week and remeasure (and check roundness).

soak2Update. After sitting for about 10 days the bowl had warped pretty badly. There were no checks or cracks but unfortunately it was so badly warped I shattered it trying to turn it round again. Back to the drawing board!


One thought on “Wood turning and science

  1. Andrew

    I soaked all my bowls rough turned planks in 1:6 solution of Palmolive dish detergent and water for 4-5 days.The best results are on ash,crab apple,cherry wood.All most crack free,the major problem is warping.
    Solution:thickness of walls for the rough bowls must be 10% of diameter of bowls.


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