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Few questions on turning first bowl

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Fadi Zeidan, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    hello all,

    I took one day class where we turned one bowl blank and applied friction finish on it. That got me hooked and wanting to do it as a hobby on weekends.

    I purchased Delta 46-460 midi lathe, couple of chucks, and Harrison Specialties carbide tools since I haven't learned how to use gouges yet.

    First bowl I attempted to turn failed because I roughed the outside and left it overnight in the garage. I learned my lesson.

    Now...

    I went back and watched many videos and read everything I could read on the subject.... I am not at a point where I will be getting logs and milling them, so I'm buying blanks off of eBay to turn. We will see how that goes.

    My plan is to:

    1. Rough out a 6x3 walnut bowl using the 10% rule and spray it in water every now and then since I am still slow at turning
    2. Place it in paper bag and set it aside to dry
    3. Come back to it and finish it after it dries and apply a finish

    Sounds simplistic, but I have few questions if someone can answer any of them, or correct my approach...

    1. The drying time is taking the fun out of seeing my first bowl complete... As a hobby, I won't see the results for months which is disappointing. Any recommendations? I thought about doing the DNA bath method, or buying kiln dried blanks too but not sure what would you guys recommend
    2. For drying, do I leave the bag in the garage, covered patio, or a closet inside the house? I live in San Antonio, TX and it is around 100 degrees outside right now, 74sh inside depending how cold the wife is
    3. I've seen videos where people applied anchor sealer befor bagging their work, is that the way to go?
    4. I've seen people apply sanding sealer then waxing their bowls right away, no twice turning. I assume that is for dry turned blanks?
    5. Any other advice?
    Thanks :)
     
  2. Douglas Ladendorf

    Douglas Ladendorf

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    If you want to see results right away buy dry wood. Air dried is a bit nicer to turn. If twice turning I just throw it in a paper bag and leave it on the floor by the lathe.

    Best thing you can do getting started is to find a turning club in your area and join. Turners are generous folks, especially when it comes to helping someone learn.
     
  3. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    Use mesquite. It will dry at a 1:1 ratio tangentially and radial as long as there is no sap wood. One of the only ones to do that.
    But while you are in a hurry to get something as a result, I would say get as much wet blanks as possible, turn a bunch or wet bowls to 10% thickness, then turn a bunch more. Then some more. You can cover them in anchor seal and put them out of direct draft and sunlight and most will be ok. But those that will crack are usually
    • Species prone - like fruit woods
    • Have inclusions or branch lets or the heart, knots, etc
    • Are oak
    And when you get your gouge skills down, then you'll have a bunch of dry bowls you can re-turn and give out as gifts.

    And btw, wet walnut, oak and mesquite are going to rust a lathe overnight if you don't do a good job of wiping it down before retiring for the night.
     
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  4. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    From what I've heard and experienced, the details as to using bags during the drying process vary from one climate to another. With all due respect to Douglas, I've never heard of putting the green bowl in a bag and just leaving it there -- perhaps he lives in a climate where that works. Most people I've talked to who do bags, change them periodically. Here in the Great Northwest/Puget Sound, bag drying is most likely to create a moldy mess. In an arid climate, probably works fine. Places in between, a process in between.:) Something Steve mentioned is very important -- using Anchorseal or one of the store-branded sealers. My bowl mentor usually just seals the end grain on his bowls and the rims, and I've been doing the same -- so far so good, and uses less than sealing the whole thing. I do, however, seal the whole thing if it's a bowl I'm worried about, e.g., fruitwood with inclusions and branchlets and knots such as the cherry I brought home last weekend. After you've turned and dated the bowl, weight it every few weeks (a digital scale is about $20 at Amazon) and keep track. When it stays stable, it's ready to 2nd-turn.

    It is hard to wait for a bowl to dry, so like Steve said, turn a bunch of 'em! Fill in some of the time with dry bowl blanks (a moisture meter is a necessity, IMHO, to make sure they're really dry). Try some spindle stuff too! All of this turning will advance and solidify your skills.
     
    odie likes this.
  5. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Geez, mine started rusting before I got the 2nd bowl off Monday -- cherry. Just a dusty reddish look, but well on its way. Used some brass wool and WD40 before closing up shop. Even after wiping it down, the WD40 must have left some protection because things didn't go downhill so fast on the next bowl, which was much bigger. Do you think silicone spray would protect the steel?
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Drying bowls in paper bags. I Keep the bagged bowls in a room with RH 50% in place that has some air circulation but not in front of a fan or vent. The bags get damp for 5 days or so. I move the bowl to dry bags every day. Reusing the bags from the day before. Left in damp bags the bowl will get mold. Once the bags are not damp to the touch I put the bagged bowl on a shelf for 4-5 months. Then take it out of the be and dry it for another couple months. You can weigh it every month and when The weight is the same it is dry.
    We have humidity in Florida so outside doesn't work.

    A couple of things to consider.
    1. Contact the. Alamo Woodturners. They are a local chapter of AAW.
    http://www.woodturner.org/members/?id=23094257

    2. You might consider doing a green wood turning. A bowl made with an even 1/4" wall thickness can be dried in a paper bag for 2-3 days, then on a shelf for a day, then sanded and finished.

    Al
     
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Good advise so far and remember almost everyone dries bowls differently. I place fresh chips in bag and around the bowl in a paper bag. As Jamie said weigh the bowl and periodically reweigh. Usually after 2 weeks or thereabouts I dump the chips. My shop has AC so that may be a part of why this works for me, set to 90 degrees when closed. Note you will want to open the bag daily and may need to change bags if it is wet. Once the weight lose slows to less than 10 Grams a day (for an average 10 inch bowl) remove from the bag and continue to weight regularly. When the weight stays the same for 3-4 days it is time to return. This may not be totally dry ,however it is enough to do the finishing.

    I would say the garage in the south is not the best place. Maybe in a shady place with air circulation.
     
  8. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Thank you guys, I really appreciate the answers. I do plan on attending Alamo woodturners meetings, I'm looking up their schedule.

    My garage gets very hot around this time, so I will see if I can store them in the guest room in a corner. I honestly have no idea what the humidity is like indoors. I will need to see if I can figure it out.

    Also, thanks for the tip on the type of wood and rusting out. I will lookup lathe maintenance, I did not know some woods could do that :)

    I ordered two 6x3 walnuts, 8x3 Hichory, 8x3 sycamore, 6x5 spalted maple, and 11x3 spalted hackberry to try.

    I'm going to turn two walnut bowls since they are smaller and might finish them faster then let one dry naturally and the other in DNA bath and see what happens. I'll try the 1/4" thickness once I know I can get the walls consistent,maybe right after that.

    Still trying to figure out the finish, ready about sanding sealers, waxing, and minwax antique finishes.

    Hockenbery, I read your slide on turning, great info, you need to write more you have great way of communicating.

    Any recommendations on reading or watching material?
     
  9. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    No silicone in the shop ever*.
    I don't use any silicone products, even for casting molds, because silicone will foul up most any finish. And it becomes very difficult to fix.

    Bowling alley wax, T9 Boeshield work , paste wax all work well. Generally, like drying wet bowls, there are 100 opinions on the subject.

    * my shop. Have seen armor all foul a finish several homes away and shooting high gloss expensive clears out of clean air, with clean hoses, and purified air, you have to make sure from front to back that the entire process is less foul able
     
  10. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    I use it on the pulley shaft of my lathe -- it's the only thing that doesn't foul things up such that the Reeves pulleys stop moving. It's a dry silicone, and I doubt it can escape out of the hood or through the spindle.:) I have some Glidecoat that I got to protect my steel router table top. Hated the way it went on though, perhaps I should try T9. I think, though, if I'm on a green-bowl-turning kick (one after the other) putting some dry-silicone on would be OK. It seems to have lots of solvent in it, evaporates, then I wipe down. As long as the tailstock can lock down effectively -- had a problem with that Tuesday (day after WD40), darn near killed my shoulder locking it down.
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I like the CRC dry silicone. I have used it with discretion on some moving parts including the inner workings in chucks. I do a lot of high gloss finishing and haven't ever had any finishing problems because of the dry silicone. However, there are a lot of bad silicone lubricants around. WD-40 and Liquid Wrench silicone lubricants are both examples of the bad ones. They have a greasy feel and leave a visible residue after the VOCs have flashed off. So far, the CRC silicone is the only one that I have found that I like.

    For your lathe bed I would recommend using Johnson's Paste Wax. It works better than anything that I have tried. Rub it on, spread it thin, let it dry to a white haze, and then buff it clean with a clean cloth or paper towels.
     
  12. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    CRC - yep, that's the one.
     
  13. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I use Balistol which lasts a bit longer than paste wax for me and is easier to a apply. I used paste wax for about 10 years until I met Don Geiger who quickly became a freind and our Balistol supplier.
    I hate the smell of Balistol so I apply it last thing before leaving the shop.
    It protects against wet wood and keeps the banjo and tailstock sliding effortlessly.
    Using it about once a week works well.
    Pump spray on. Wipe excess off with a paper towel.
     
  14. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Bill there is no silicone in WD-40. I have actually seen it used on wood as sanding lub.
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Gerald, the can says WD-40 Silicone Lubricant.

    WD-40, Liquid Wrench, CRC and others all offer a wide range of products.


    [​IMG]
     
  16. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I believe it depend on which WD-40 you are using. The general one states:

    While the ingredients in WD-40® Multi-Use Product are secret, we can tell you what it does NOT contain. WD-40® Multi-Use Product does not contain silicone, kerosene, water, graphite, or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

    http://wd40.com/faqs
     
  17. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    WD40 has widely expanded its product line
    They went into bicycle lubes and no one can get past the WD40 name.
     
  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    And I thought that I made it clear in post #11 which one I was using, but apparently not. :rolleyes:

    I have a large assortment of WD-40 lubricants ranging from lubing my garage door opener to addressing the needs of squeaky wheels.
     
  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    BTW, they do acknowledge that they put perfume in the original WD-40. OK, they call it fragrance and not perfume, but it makes a nice after shave for macho type guys.
     
  20. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    That's a relatively new product, and is not at all like the original WD40 product that we've known for decades. BTW, I tried it on the shaft of my lathe, and it was not a good idea. Nor was the WD-40 white lithium grease. The CRC Heavy Duty Silicone turned out to be the ticket.
     
  21. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I have a FREE can of WD-40 Silicone Lubricant for the first person to come by to pick it up. It's barely used ... and it will stay that way as long as I have it.

    BTW, Jamie, do you find that it is hard to hold onto the can of CRC silicone dry lube? The can is so slick that I am constantly dropping it.
     
  22. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Can't say I've noticed a problem, Bill. Hmmm....an acetone cleaning? Or a shelf-liner cozy would work.:D
     
  23. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, I managed to get the dry lube on my hands one day, then handled the can. Ever since that, the can is constantly slipping out of my hand.
     
  24. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Lots of info here. Most of us just use off the shelf WD-40 lube our lathe beds and tool rests. If your going to turn Oak and leave it in the chuck put a good wax on the chuck before you start. It will rust it if left overnight.
    If you rough turn bowls on a regular basis when 6 months comes around you will always have a dry bowl sitting on the shelf waiting to be turned, To get buy the first 6 months I suggest roughing out a bowl, put it up to dry and then turn a thin green wood bowl like Al suggested. Of if you have a table saw just glue up some wood to the proper thickness or get into segmented turning.
    Everyone has to find what works for them in their environment. I find I can rough turn a bowl, put it in a paper sack and never worry about it, here in Tennessee stored in my shop. I moved and my rough turned bowls will now be stored in a very humid shed. I'm going to have to relearn what I can and can't do.
     
  25. stu senator

    stu senator

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    I find that a dry lube TEFLON SPRAY works and does not have the drawback of silicon spray.

    I get it in the box store, but it may be difficult to find in all the stores. I think that the last one i got was from Lowe's.

    Stu
     
  26. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Bill I am just old school and to me there is only one WD40. I try not to go into stores much. This is as confusing as when the makers of Mylanta started calling several other (renamed) products Mylanta also.
    I think it is all a sales gimmick ........you buy one and get home and what do you get........you have to go back to get the other one.
     
  27. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Sounds like my pharmacist. He says laudanum and quinine are all you need. I think that those were the only two medications that Doc Adams prescribed for Festus Haggen for whatever malady he was suffering from in the TV western series, Gunsmoke. :D
     
  28. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Thanks all for all the help :) I was able to rough out 3 bowls. I'm using DNA bathing on the roughed out bowls and it is going great, no cracking/checking, wood is warping as expected, weight is stabilizing. I also did one to finish without drying just to see a finished product, it warped a bit so far but no cracks. I am making some mistakes, but it is fun process.

    I have couple of questions though:

    1. I had my first "chuck stuck on lathe" experience. I struggled to get it off and almost gave up when it finally came loose. What do you guys do to prevent this from happening?
    2. I wanted to try spalted wood, tried Maple and Hackberry but stopped right away and bagged them till I figure out what is wrong. I cannot get smooth cuts on the end-grains, I am having pretty bad tear outs. I am using fresh inserts on carbide tools, even small/slow cuts is causing bad results. Should I use wood hardener on spalted wood? I'm switching to other types for now, but it is an interesting challenge for me.
     
  29. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I tighten the Chuck on the spindle with a medium force. Then it unscrews with a medium force.
    If the speed up of the lathe tightened the Chuck the last little bit it can be a devil to get off.
    A 1x4 clamped in the jaws gives extra leverage when needed. A little WD40 on the threads helps too.

    Punky wood is best cut. Spalt is the early stages of rot. The wood fibers are deteriorating or punky and the fibers tend to pull and break off instead of cut. They pull out more with a scraper.

    Need to stiffen the fibers so they support the cut or scrape.
    Water will swell the fibers and often allow cutting.
    A wash coat of shellac or lacquer stiffens the fibers more than water
    CA will glue the fibers in place. Also will discolor the woos but if the CA is everywhere you won't notice it.

    Have fun.
     
  30. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I've never had that happen to me. What lathe and what chuck? Did you have any bad catches?When you put the chuck on the spindle did you spin it on with a forceful twist? I've heard that some people use a board clamped in the chuck jaws and with the spindle locked they strike the board near the end with a hammer.

    The wood might be too decayed to turn without tearout. What carbide tools are you using? Hunter carbide tools when used with the bevel rubbing ought to give a clean cut unless the wood is too far gone. Easy Wood tools are scrapers and probably can't give the quality of finish that you want.
     
  31. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I have Delta 46-460 midi lathe with Nova G3D chuck. I didn't tight in hard, but I did spin at high speed to see if speed was an issue with the spalted wood. I did get a catch though. It took some force to get it loose and was worried I may damage the lathe.

    I'm using Harrison Specialties carbide tools, they are similar to EWT. I will try shellac or lacquer to see if that helps. I'm also thinking of letting it tear out on the end grains and fill it with colored epoxy to see how it would look after I finish roughing it out but I have a concern that it may fall/fly into pieces while I hollow the inside. May have to apply the epoxy on the outside before I hollow the inside. What do you think?
     
  32. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    How soft is the wood?
    My test device is a flat bladed screw driver. If I can push it in with little force the wood is too soft to turn without stabilization. Stabilization costs a lot so it is not something to do unless the wood spectacular or has some intrinsic value.
    Spalted wood can be quite hard if you get it at the right moment.
    Once it has gotten too soft it isn't worth the effort.

    With experience you can tell if the shellac or liqueur thinner has a chance.
    Scraping will require harder wood.

    Al
     
  33. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I just tried pushing small screw driver in the blanks, there are definitely spots (1"x1" circles) in the end grain where the screw driver easily goes in deep with little force, most of the other areas seem to require much more force to poke into them. These are 6x5 and 8x3 blanks.

    BTW, I'm not concerned about these pieces to save them, I kind of put them aside and was going to forget about them, but I figured I am going to run into this issue sooner or later and trying to learn from it instead of delaying the issue.
     
  34. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    What you might try is saturate the soft spots with thin CA glue.
    Let It harden for 10 minutes or so. It may smoke and fume so good ventilation is needed.
    Then try turning it and if the rest is solid the CA treated areas should turn ok.
    The CA May not penetrate deeply so if you remove an 1/8" of wood add more CA.

    ALSO USE CAUTION.
    if there is a void in the wood it can fill with CA and the CA harden around the opening sealing in the liquid CA. IF you cut into the void the CA sprays out. Doesn't happen often but when it does, don't let it get in your eyes or ruin your day in other ways.
     
  35. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't think that the colored epoxy will look good. You might consider using a bowl gouge and shear cut the punky wood. Or do as Al suggested and use shellac or lacquer thinned so that it penetrates the wood.

    Here is a pretty good video on doing a shear cut with a bowl gouge:




    And, here is another one showing shear scraping which sometimes works when shear cutting doesn't:

     
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  36. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I ended up throwing away the spalted blank, it was too rotten to turn. I'm sticking with regular weed, so far been using walnut and sycamore.
     
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  37. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Another method used for drying a bowl is to wrap the outside surface with saran wrap to keep the wood from drying on the outside.
    The bowl is then allowed to dry from the inside, this will reduce checks and cracking on the outside of the green bowl and speeds up the drying process.
    Depending on the humidity in your room you still might want to put it in a paper bag if you are in a real dry climate.
     
  38. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Some heavily spalted woods require stabilizing the wood with a resin and then curing the resin in an oven. Large pieces can be a challenge and a vacuum chamber is the best method to apply the resin.
     
  39. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I've been having great success with DNA bath, two weeks and the rough turned bowls are ready. However, I'm also enjoying the roughing process, so I'm not in a hurry to turn them as I expected to be. So far only checks I got was near a pith around the rim of one bowl drying at the moment.

    I love the blend of wood and resin, but that is beyond my skill level at this point. I want to learn the process down the road. I'm leaning towards woods I know I can turn, black walnut and sycamore been great so far.
     
  40. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Since you're in Texas mesquite is another commonly available wood. Turn some green mesquite and you will become hooked on it. If you attend the SWAT symposium in Waco in late August it will be like a candy store ... tools, wood, demonstrations, and meeting other turners.
     

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