Help on bowl blanks

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Forum topic by gridlockd posted 03-05-2012 10:11 PM 1030 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View gridlockd's profile


141 posts in 2353 days

03-05-2012 10:11 PM

Hey LJ’ers!

I have a friend that recently cut some really nice maples down for his M-I-L. he offered me the wood and I got all i could carry. I want to turn some bowls out of them, and from the looks of the first blank, they are going to be some beautiful pieces.

My question is this: once i cut the blank and turn it to round I want to basically want to let it dry with out turning it to a finished bowl. how should i seal these blanks so I don’t end up with a whole bunch of firewood?

thanks in advance,


-- Gridlockd

3 replies so far

View MrWizard's profile


145 posts in 2773 days

#1 posted 03-05-2012 11:04 PM

I am no expert , as of yet for curing wood, but my research from this sight and others, normal, fresh cut wood, has a lot of moisture and one of the ways to let it cure naturally is to leave the bark on, and paint the ends, (where it was cut) with a latex paint. There are curing agents that you can buy, but this seemed to be the easiest method i found with out having to buy products, or building a drying shed / rack. Theirs a certain amount of moisture you want in the wood, but a real green wood takes a whole different turning and can be quite messy, water, sap and such. Before you turn your blanks to round, do some research here and elsewhere. it will save you time and the loss of some beautiful wood. Leaving the bark on protects the inner wood from drying to fast, it can release the moisture at a decent rate and not damage its self.
I have stacks of logs that i have let sit for over a year, and because I didnt know about the cracking and checking that happens as the wood drys, Some of it may be lost. I hope I can save some before its to late.

Anyone, that can share more information please do. I am always looking for better ways to protect my future projects.

View Andy123's profile


226 posts in 2442 days

#2 posted 03-06-2012 04:52 AM

You should look up green turning. Basically you turn the piece green to basic dimensions then you pull it off the lathe and let dry for several months and finish it up. It makes the wood dry faster (because there is less of it) and it is easier on the tools, because green wood is easier to turn than dry.

-- The mistakes I make in woodworking are not mistakes they just give my projects character- Me

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3427 days

#3 posted 03-06-2012 06:06 AM

If your spinning the wood and getting wet, your probably turning it a bit to early. But, basically you’ll turn a basic bowl shape, giving about an inch of wall thickness. Some folks will toss this into a paper bag with some of the shavings you turned off and leave it for a while, others will paint it up with a wax product. Some will even take the pre-turned green wood to a microwave and set up a cycle of nuking it and letting it cool to draw the moisture out faster.

There are many methods you could use, and different turners will claim their particular way is the best. My recommendation is to go on youtube and watch some videos on preparing turning blanks… There are quite a few that I have watched there.

-- San Diego, CA

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