Take A Picture, It Might Last Longer

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Blog entry by trifern posted 11-21-2008 05:01 AM 2656 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the piece I turned this evening. It is some very green maple. By the time I was finishing it up, it started getting hairline cracks all over it. This is one of the risks you take turning green wood. I decided to take a picture of it. After all it might last longer. I ran it under cool tap water to rehydrate it and placed it in a brown paper bag to finish drying. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I hope it works out, I kind of like the shape.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

11 comments so far

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4232 days

#1 posted 11-21-2008 05:17 AM

Hello Trifern;
....and then who knows, those cracks might be-come worthy, as they age and ferment with character.

Glad to see//read that you are using those ‘brown paper’ bags….great trick//tip and one that I’ve found most use-full when it comes to saving pieces of wood from crack theft.

Great turning….and;

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 3749 days

#2 posted 11-21-2008 05:38 AM

Joe, that’s a beautiful turning! Keep us posted on how this one turns out!

Thanks for posting it.

-- Martin, Kansas

View savannah505's profile


1813 posts in 3612 days

#3 posted 11-21-2008 06:57 AM

Sweet looking Joe – can’t wait to see it with finish.

-- Dan Wiggins

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3762 days

#4 posted 11-21-2008 08:21 AM

There is a technique using alcohol that will reduce or eliminate the cracking. You soak the just turned object in alcohol and then wrap it in paper. Set it aside out of reach of anything flammable. The wood will dry much better a quicker than other methods of drying.
David Marks wrote an article about this and other drying processes. Below is the link.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3965 days

#5 posted 11-21-2008 12:37 PM

I kinda like the shape too. And I think Frank has a good point in that those cracks could add some distinctive character to the piece. It will be interesting to see how it finishes up.

And, by the bye, I like your new tag line.

-- Working at Woodworking

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3830 days

#6 posted 11-21-2008 05:19 PM

One other process for drying a piece that will be twice turned is to put a cheap baby diaper in the bag with the wood. The diaper absorbs moisture from the wood. I also like to paint the first turning with cheap latex paint to help prevent the wood from drying to fast. If you make sure that your first turning has a uniform wall and bottom thickness the cracking and splitting will be minimized. I have fill cracks with Inlace material to create a visual effect. Your open form looks great so far and looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3900 days

#7 posted 11-21-2008 06:31 PM

I hope the water bath and paper bag works out for you. That is a nice vessel. It would be a shame to lose it to cracking.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3793 days

#8 posted 11-22-2008 07:36 AM

Thanks for all the feedback. I checked on it tonight and the majority of the cracks have closed back up and it is looking good. I should be able to finish it in a week or so.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#9 posted 12-20-2008 07:16 AM

So how is it looking now.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3793 days

#10 posted 12-20-2008 07:19 AM

It looks like this.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View DW833's profile


215 posts in 1908 days

#11 posted 02-24-2016 04:53 AM


The article by David Marks is no longer on his site. Searched for it, but couldn’t find it anywhere.
I wonder if he took it down because of a problem with the process. If anyone knows of a working link to the article, let me know.

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