Soap in your bowl

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Forum topic by RickRogers7 posted 12-26-2012 10:56 PM 1771 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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39 posts in 3062 days

12-26-2012 10:56 PM

I’ve been doing some research on techniques on drying rough turned bowl blanks and stumbled across a method using dish soap. I believe the technique was developed by Ron Kent and is also utilized by Ernie Conover. Both soak the bowls in a mixture of dishsoap and water. (1:1 ratio for Ron, 1:6 ratio for Ernie, 1 to 3 days of soak time). The benefit is said to be a reduction in drying time as well as a reduction in warping and cracking. I was curious if other Lumberjocks had tried that technique, and what there experience was.



4 replies so far

View Rob's profile


316 posts in 3010 days

#1 posted 12-27-2012 01:29 AM

I haven’t used the dish soap method. I do use the denatured alcohol method though. Submerge the roughed out bowl in denatured alcohol for 2 to 3 days, then let it sit out to air dry for an hour or so and then wrap the outside in newspaper (I usually wrap the whole thing up and then cut out the roughed out inside bowl area. Seems to be an easier method for me. The theory is that the outside of the bowl dries faster than the inside so the newspaper helps to control the drying and makes it more of an even drying time which helps to reduce cracking). Then I weigh it and put it on an open rack to dry. Every couple of days, I weigh it again. When it stops losing weight, its ready for final turning. The bowl and tenon will no longer be round so you will need a method to re-mount it. I made a donut chuck with several rings of different sizes to accommodate the different size bowls I’ve made to make the tenon round again and then use it again to remove the tenon at the very end of the turning process.

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2158 days

#2 posted 12-27-2012 11:04 AM

I harvest my turning wood so end sealing and air drying method for me. I do rough out green bowls and set aside to dry. Soap & DNA methods seem like busy work so don’t use those methods. Others use them and happy with result here some ideas:

“Wood Drying, Drying wood is an integral part of the turner’s art.”

-- Bill

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3165 days

#3 posted 12-27-2012 07:14 PM

Rob & Bill how many bowls do you rough out at a time and set a side to dry using the method of your choice. Do you sell the finished product and how many. If the answer to the last two questions are no and only for own use and presents my next remark will be why not turn it finished to about 1/4’ or less one time if the shop temp is about 22 degrees C you should have no problems with checking and you apply a thinned down coat of your favorite finish.When finish is dry denib and apply a second thinned coat when dry denib and apply full strength finish. How long does it take to rough turn a bowl blank. Regards Tamboti

-- Africa is not for sissies

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2158 days

#4 posted 12-28-2012 02:23 PM

I am not sure how many bowls have given away, never made more than fifty dollars for salad bowls. People sell to know about reapplying mineral oil finish from time to time. I give them a small bottle of mineral oil (laxative) bought at Wal Marts which out last bowls.
Have turned many thin green bowls that did not stay round. Novelty has worn off unless have nothing better to do. Normally turn, sand, and finish on lathe. I have used oil varnish, shellac, and homemade wiping varnish as a finish.
Whether dealing with small or large amount of logs plan normally includes cutting, loading truck, off loading, splinting if necessary, end sealing, and stacking in wood shed. Procedure does vary some if cutting down a tree or cutting trees already on the ground and diameter of tree. Use axe, maul or chain saw to split depending upon species.

-- Bill

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