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Forum topic by Raftermonkey posted 06-05-2010 05:55 PM 1386 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2378 days


06-05-2010 05:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pistachio

I am very anxious to start work carving a bowl out of a beautiful piece of pistachio wood. The wood is really wet and I was wondering how to protect it from checking, cracking after I carve it out while it dries? Any and all suggestions and help are greatly appreaciated.

Thanks,

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"


12 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#1 posted 06-05-2010 06:02 PM

I’m not a bowl maker but from what I’ve seen is that you rough carve is put in a cool damp are up to 3 or 4 months and let it dry slowly. I’ve also heard of people put the roughed out bowl being put in a plastic bag and another fellow storing blanks in damp sawdust. All said an done the trick is not to let it dry out quickly.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2378 days


#2 posted 06-05-2010 06:10 PM

Is there any kind of finish I can put on it while its still green and have a finished product/project?

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#3 posted 06-05-2010 06:15 PM

Since I’m not an expert on this maybe this post will help.

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/15989

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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wisno

88 posts in 2476 days


#4 posted 06-05-2010 07:36 PM

It is very high risk to do a woodworking on the wet wood. The moisture in the wood will come out and be released until it get balance with his environment humidity. In the drying process wood will shrinkage.
If the drying process is happened quickly, then the wood will crack.
If you let the wood dry slowly it still a problem since the movement of the wood will change the form and shape that you already create
The moisture content of the wood

wisn

-- http://www.wisnofurniturefinishing.com/

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2378 days


#5 posted 06-10-2010 01:54 AM

Im going to try to post some pics for you guys. I’ve only carved three bowls in my life and if this works here they are. First is Spalted Sycamore carved with gouges and chisels, second is Zebrawood carved using an angle grinder with a chainsaw blade on it, and third is Macassar Ebony also shaped with the angle grinder and cleaned up with gouges and chisels. Nevermind I cant figure out how to post pics

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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RichardH

295 posts in 2467 days


#6 posted 06-10-2010 06:13 AM

I’ve done a lot of green wood turning out of many different species (though not pistachio). Almost all of the wood I use comes to me as green wood.

Lathe work on wet wood can be a lot of fun. You often get those beautiful long threads spinning off the wood, it lubricates your tools so a sharp tool stays sharp much longer. Downside, they can literally soak you and some woods will stain a shirt horribly, so dress accordingly. Maybe this isn’t the piece of wood to try it with, but I definitely invite you to try green woodturning sometime.

The big choice is to decide how stable do you want this piece after final turning? If you turn it thin while it is green, it will often warp fairly significantly afterward…the kicker is that this is not always a bad thing and can create some interesting effects.

If you want a nice round circular piece that stays that way, then you need to dry your wood blank or rough turn the blank and then let it dry. Drying a wet blank takes forever without a kiln or using another drying method (many posts on LJ about these). Basically with nature it will take a year per inch of thickness and sometime a year on top of that. However, if you rough turn your piece to say 3/4 inch or 1” thick, then it will often be ready to finish within about a year without any real extra effort…I just put mine in paper grocery bags and seal them up.

One other thing…sooner or later the wood is going to release whatever tension is all built up inside. You can slow it down, and perhaps hold it at bay and/or steer it a little, wait a really long time for it to do its thing, but it is usually somewhat inevitable.

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2378 days


#7 posted 06-10-2010 06:46 PM

Spalted Sycamore, read the second to last post before this one for more description. Sorry folks still trying to figure out how to post a picture.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2423 days


#8 posted 06-11-2010 12:50 AM

I have heard of a few methods, it depends on what you want to do I guess. Putting it in a paper bag (like a shopping bag) is one I use, it allows drying but the moisture needs to wick thru the paper, slowing it down; but it’s still quick at first, and if the wood is stressed it will still crack. There is a product called PEG that you can soak the roughed out bowl in; their statement is that it soaks into the wood and stays there after the moisture goes away, allowing the turning to hold its shape. While I haven’t used it, I have heard varying reports of its credibility. There are finishing requirements/limitations that go along with it. Whatever you do, best of luck.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2378 days


#9 posted 06-11-2010 02:56 PM

When using the brown paper bag method, would it be best to set the bag outside, like in the carport? (I have no shop to leave them in) Or do I need to bring them inside where it is cooler. I live in Corinth MS and it is very hot and humid here. Thanks for the help.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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RichardH

295 posts in 2467 days


#10 posted 06-12-2010 02:49 AM

I live in Texas where it is fairly hot and humid as well and have used the paper bag method just storing most of the bags in an inside closet. I don’t turn too many big items and probably have about 20 pieces drying inside right now. I sometimes just bag them up and leave them in the garage or a small outbuilding, and though I haven’t noticed a problem with that, I like the idea of the more constant temperature and humidity control that you get indoors.

I forgot to mention another drying method I use sometimes, though I wouldn’t advise it until you experiment with some projects you don’t value much. I keep about 3 gallons of denatured alcohol in a plastic bucket and if I’m really in a hurry, I’ll soak a rough turned piece in it for a few days. After I take the piece out, I wrap it in newspaper often cutting a hole in the bowl opening. A 10-11 inch diameter bowl 1 inch thick will dry out in just a couple of weeks. Here is a link that better describes roughly the process I use:

http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/turning/articles_473.shtml

One big thing I learned is not to use this method with super porous wood. I had a large punky spalted maple blank that I think absorbed about a gallon of alcohol! I will say that for the most part I reverted back to the paper bag method – It was a lot easier to be patient for a piece after I got a bunch into different stages of the rough sawing, rough turning, air drying, final turning, finishing pipeline.

Good luck with your project. Cheers, Richard

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2378 days


#11 posted 06-25-2010 09:47 PM

trying to post a pic

Natural edge Flame Box Elder

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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Garry

64 posts in 3717 days


#12 posted 06-28-2010 03:02 AM

I use the denatured alcohal method as Richard does. It nas worked for me for years now and is quicker and is the most dependable for me.

-- Garry, Engadine, Michigan (Upper Peninsula)

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