Preventing cracks overnight

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Forum topic by fadi posted 07-03-2016 08:01 PM 530 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View fadi's profile


4 posts in 121 days

07-03-2016 08:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning

Hello all,

What do you guys do when you start turning a blank and cannot finish it same day? I was turning my first bowl but cpuld not finish it same day. When I came back to it, it had cracked from multiple places along the gain lines.

8 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1615 posts in 1739 days

#1 posted 07-03-2016 08:06 PM

Put the shavings in a plastic bag then cover the blank with the same bag. That keeps all the moisture contained with the bowl.

-- See my work at and

View Ron Ford's profile

Ron Ford

200 posts in 1154 days

#2 posted 07-04-2016 09:17 PM

I agree with the last reply, but if you would prefer to keep the piece on the lathe and not lose registration, you can wrap a plastic shopping bag around it and tape it closed at the spindle. That is usually more than enough to stop cracks and splits.

-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

View rustfever's profile


716 posts in 2732 days

#3 posted 07-04-2016 09:25 PM

Shrink wrap film, several layers totally enclosing the wood turning.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View bigJohninvegas's profile


184 posts in 884 days

#4 posted 07-12-2016 05:54 PM

I agree with all of the above. I have used a spray bottle to wet it. Wrap a wet rag around it, and plastic grocery bag it. Leave it mounted to the chuck. Sometimes I have had it get a little mold on it. Thats ok. Wipe it down with a little bleach water mix and keep on turning.

-- John

View soob's profile


223 posts in 631 days

#5 posted 07-12-2016 07:33 PM

Wrapping it in a plastic bag (like a walmart bag) is all it takes.

View Tootles's profile


780 posts in 1924 days

#6 posted 07-14-2016 07:38 AM

I hate to ask, but if it is going to crack when it is only half finished, won’t it just crack when it is finished? And if so, should one of the techniques described above be used to prevent that?

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View bigJohninvegas's profile


184 posts in 884 days

#7 posted 07-14-2016 12:58 PM

Sometimes it will still crack. Most of the time it will be ok. Final turning of green wood survives best when turned to a thin uniform thickness. It will warp and move on you as it dries still, and you never know just what your are going to get. That is what I personally like about it.
I also never start a green wood turning unless I think I can finish it in one session. But as we all know life happens, and for one reason or another we half to stop in mid turning. The tips described here will help, hopefully save the project that would surely fail.

-- John

View soob's profile


223 posts in 631 days

#8 posted 07-14-2016 01:11 PM

Thick (or just unhollowed) pieces are much more likely to check than thin ones. Finish can prevent it, too.

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