View Full Version : drying large bowls?

2nd Oct 2004, 09:09 PM
I usually rough turn bowls then microwave them but im just starting a acacia bowls that is 370 x 200 and it wont fit in the microwave.
I dont really want to wax it then let it air dry i wanted a faster way so i can finish it.

It can go in the oven, is this ok? maybe using a low heat?

How does everyone else dry large bowls?

2nd Oct 2004, 09:24 PM
I cant see anything wrong with the oven idea as long as it is on a low heat.
Maybe weight it before, and during drying to see how you are going.

Al :)

Cliff Rogers
2nd Oct 2004, 09:31 PM

How quick do you want to dry it & how big is your freezer?

Chuck it in the freezer for a day or 2 & that busts all the cell walls.
When you take it out, it will dry faster.

I use that trick with my big mango platters but I leave them in for a couple of weeks.

2nd Oct 2004, 09:47 PM
when i take it out will i need to seal it? and have u lost any doing it this way?

3rd Oct 2004, 04:16 PM

There are more ideas on this subject than you can jump over so be careful to read as much as you can. :rolleyes:

One article that caught my attention is as follows:


HTH ;)


Cliff Rogers
4th Oct 2004, 09:13 AM
when i take it out will i need to seal it? and have u lost any doing it this way?

Not if you want it to dry fast. I don't use this method for quick drying,
I use it to try to stop my green mango from going mouldy.

I haven't had any crack, they just warp.

5th Oct 2004, 07:42 AM
Try turning one green Leigh.

Just be sure to do it in one session, and wrap it in plastic when you take a break.

It'll warp to some degree - some turners make that a feature of their style.

(I've done the microwaving and boiling routines and it's just too much hassle for me. Not being 16 any more, I'm not in any hurry. I rough turn, seal if it's valuable timber, measure and note the moisture content, and let it sit on a shelf for a few months. Once the moisture content figure stabilises, it's time to turn.)

5th Oct 2004, 08:45 PM
how do u sand them when they are green? it just clogs the sandpaper up.

Jim Carroll
5th Oct 2004, 10:52 PM
Another way for helping to dry out the bowl bank is to part turn the bowl by turning the outside shape as per normal with a spigot foot then hold this in the chuck and part tunr the inside leaving a spigot where your woodscrew was holding . This is for when you return the bowl after drying you have some way of holding it while you redo the outside. To aid in the drying process have a lot of shredded paper , wrap the bowl in this and then wrap the whole lot in more paper and place in a bag and put this in a dark dry spot. Each week change the shredded paper and wrapping paper until the paper is dry when you take it out.
You have to make sure it is all wrapped up tight so the paper will absorb as much moisture as possible. Some timbers only take a couple of weeks to stabilise some may take up to 8 weeks. it all depends on the moisture content to start with, by keeping it sealed up this way there is less chance of warping and splitting but still no guarentees. The shredded paper acts like kitty litter and absors the moisture , but you have to do this weekly to get the best results.
Make sure when you rough turn the bowl you have a fairly even wall thickness to even out the stresses, depending on the diameter this could be 1/2" -3/4".

6th Oct 2004, 07:46 AM
Re clogging: either just keep changing the paper, or as some do, gently use a hair dryer or ensure the paper generates some heat so that the surface dries out a bit, or I believe some people add water to unclog the paper.

I wouldn't expect to get anything more than a low sheen finish on a green bowl. My preferred products are sanding sealer and wax. And of course keep it well away from steel wool.

With a burl you can get a nice dimpled or hammered effect as she dries. Some timbers like cypress are best turned green or semi-green in my view; others like old silver birch don't move much. Hakea moves a lot but a retains a light pinkish colour that's very pretty esp. if you keep the natural edge. Banksia also retains its colour whereas the dry stuff looks pretty boring. English elm turns like butter and looks terrific with the cream sapwood contrasting with the chocolate boardwood but it loses this on exposure to light. Worth a play!

12th Oct 2004, 12:23 PM
I don't know if you have a product that here in the States is called Acetone, but I susupect you do. It's often the primary ingredient in nail polish remover. Anyway, it combines with water molecules and then evaporates very quickly. Use with massive ventilation, wear gloves to protect your hands as it'll suck the moisture right out of your skin. When you've rough turned your bowl, flood it inside and out with acetone, and the moisture will be pulled out. This is the fastest way I've found to effectively dry bowls I turn green. I start when I've got them under 1/2" thick and continue as needed till I get them down to as thin as the wood will allow. Get the wood off your lathe as soon as you can so you can treat the bottom as well. Let it air out about a half hour, and then you can sand it if needed. I get acetone by the gallon, and have smaller containers to dump it into and work out of. I like to use the foam brushes, load one up and then just push it into the wood at the highest point and let it flood down. (lathe turned off for this process). Rotate the wood around by hand. Keep the lid on your containers as it will evaporate very quickly. I've had great success with this method, over several years and countless turnings. Oh yeah, the stuff is flammable....

Good luck.

12th Oct 2004, 01:23 PM
I was in Albury on the long weekend and the guy at the wood display place at the information centre talked to me about boiling the wet blank. He beliees this is a great way to dry wood out. I am going to try it this weekend see how it goes.

12th Oct 2004, 01:36 PM
Acetone is used in fibreglass production as it is the only stuff that will remove the fibreglass resin from your hands and utensils. So any fibreglass supplier will be able to suppy Acetone. As stated, it is extremely flammable and will remove moisture from your hands like u wouldn't believe. Interesting concept using Acetone.


12th Oct 2004, 03:41 PM
I can believe the acetone solution but how much do you need to dry a green bowl? And with my impatience I'll try and turn it some more before it's dried out and the whole thing will spontaneously combust. :eek:

Guess I better not light a smoke while I'm waiting either :rolleyes:

What if SWMBO walks in with a cigarette while I'm in the John during one of these breaks? :D

Sorry I can see the headlines in the local paper now and I'm having trouble typing while I'm laughing so much!!! :D :D :D :D

12th Oct 2004, 04:58 PM
She'd be bowled over Barnsey ;-}

21st Oct 2004, 09:22 PM
While I was working at Woomera the story goes:-

Mrs X had been spot cleaning clothes with mixture of white spirit and acetone. When she had finished she tipped the residue down the toilet.

Mr X came home shortly after and went to the loo. Sat there smoking a cigarette then dropped the butt between his legs. :eek:

22nd Oct 2004, 12:16 AM
Hot to trot was he?

Toasted n*ts for snax?