Anchor Seal vs Paste Wax...

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Forum topic by ScrubPlane posted 09-22-2013 01:59 PM 1777 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 2195 days

09-22-2013 01:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question lathe turning

Well…I’ve just ‘ruined’ a nice Granadillo blank. I didn’t ‘reseal’ it between workings and it’s cracked all to you know what. OK…lesson learned.

What do you other ‘turners’ use to seal blanks in between turnings…anchor seal, paste wax, etc?

If you have a particular favorite…what are the pros and cons?


10 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1287 posts in 1729 days

#1 posted 09-22-2013 02:36 PM

Turn them to completion, even if they are still wet when you start. Keep the thickness about 1/4”, and the wood shouldn’t crack. Also, put them in a paper bag for several weeks. I weigh my wet turnings and when they weigh the same for 3 weigh ins, it’s time to remove them from the bag and do the finish. I live in Arizona, so things dry a lot quicker here. ...... Disclaimer; I know nothing of your wood, so can’t say what it would do if turned to completion. ...... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2195 days

#2 posted 09-22-2013 03:45 PM

Thanks for the inputs Jerry. I think my problem came when I took a break on the piece for a couple of days and the exposed fresh wood dried out too quick.

I typically turn my stock to within 10% of completion, bag, and return to it later…I guess this one just ‘got away’ from me.

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3662 days

#3 posted 09-22-2013 04:42 PM

I never re-seal the wood. If we’re talking just overnight, I leave it chucked up on the lathe and wrap it with a plastic bag. If more than just a day or so, I pull it off the chuck and put it in a paper bag full of shavings.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View JollyGreen67's profile


1669 posts in 2762 days

#4 posted 09-23-2013 01:23 AM

+ Gerry.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4217 posts in 2560 days

#5 posted 09-23-2013 09:03 PM

I am like Dane, however, I leave the walls 1/10 the thickness of the width so it dries better without the cracking.

What I mean by 1/10 is if the bowl is 12” round I leave the wall thickness 1” thick if the bowl is 6” round I turn it to 1/2” thickness also the bottom of the bowl has to be 1/8” to 1/4” thicker then the walls to keep it stabelized.

One more thing you can do is leave a center in the middle of your bowl. When you cut the bowl out it releaves stresses in the center but pushes it out to the outer walls of the bowl or turnings. I leave a center also about 1/10” and when it stabilizes by the morning of the next week you can take out the middle and finish the rest of the bowl.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2134 days

#6 posted 09-23-2013 10:53 PM

Have never turned Granadilo, just know it comes from Mexico or Central America and very hard dense wood. Since size and MC for this blank not provided will try a different tack.

When buying wood good idea to let it hang out for at least a week or two a month or two even better. Always scrap sides if enclosed in wax ASAP. Since do not know MC or what part of the tree wood cut from letting it hang out reaching EMC before turning might insure better out come.

Turning wet, reaction wood, and wood closest to the pith kind of a roll of the dice, sometime lucky and sometimes not. Re-sealing, wrapping in paper & plastic bags, with or without chips not always going to help save a wood blank.

While not always easy to tell what part of the tree a piece of came from when buying wood. Yes, some folks can look at wood grain and tell you if can from base of the tree, limb, or center of the tree near the pith.

Better to look at MC, whether use a meter or scale easiest way to figure if piece of wood is at EMC before turning. Even then some wood species (wood from fruit trees) just prone to cracking or splitting.

-- Bill

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20487 posts in 3104 days

#7 posted 09-30-2013 02:21 AM

I use anchor seal on the ends of freshly cut logs to keep them from cracking until I’m ready to process them. I don’t leave the wood in the sun at all either. I seal it and keep it in the barn.

If you turn a bowl blank to a uniform wall thickness and let it dry, it will usually just warp and not crack. The rule of thumb is keep the wall at 1/10th the diameter. If you are making a 10” bowl, turn the all to 1” and then dry it. If it is 6” bowl, use about a 5/8” wall.

If it is just overnight, I have heard thatputting a plastic bag over it keeps it from drying out to fast.

What I do is rough turn to a wall 1/10 th the diameter and then put the bowls in my chip barrel for a few months to dry out more slowly with the chips that came from the blank. They do warp and then I start by using a jam chuck to re-turn the spigot truly round, then chuck them up and finish them.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ron Ford's profile

Ron Ford

208 posts in 1731 days

#8 posted 10-03-2013 09:50 PM

I have had pretty much 100% success by using Jim and Arlin’s plan to turn to thickness equal to 1/10 the diameter. I then put the bowl in a brown paper grocery bag with plenty of its’ own shavings surrounding it, then roll the top over and sit it aside for 3 – 6 months (length of time depends on the wood, size of the piece, how much moisture it needs to shed, etc.). I have a page where I list material, date rough turned, starting weight, starting diameter and width, and moisture percentage. I periodically check it with a moisture meter and when the piece reaches 10 to 12% humidity it is ready to finish turn. While most pieces end up with some degree of warping, turning them to the heavier thickness allows you to true them up in the final turning process.

Being generally impatient, this was hard for me to adapt to at first but I now have a line-up of 15 – 20 bowls at various stages at any point so I generally can have at least a few to turn each month.

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

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3142 days

#9 posted 10-03-2013 10:14 PM

I’ve used some anchorseal for the first time a few months ago to seal some wet log ends. The wood is then stored in my shop. It seems to be going a bit moldy (I do have a dehumidifier but it’s not always running) but I have sliced up a few of the logs and I kind of like the colours that the wood is turning so I haven’t been too speedy on getting the rest sliced up. I really should get around to finishing though.

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2195 days

#10 posted 10-03-2013 11:28 PM

Thank you one and all for your thoughts and suggestions…it’s a live and learn world, isn’t it?

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