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Help please! Should I stop now??

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Bobby Smith, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    So I started my second bowl this evening. I will be hollowing this out more but I have a question. The wood is still a little green. Before I started turning it, my moisture meter measured it at 24%. So, Should I just leave this like it is and let it dry or is it ok to finish it up. My other candy dish wound up just sitting in my shop on a bench for about 4-5 weeks before I finished it. Only because I didn't know what to do with it. Lol Anyway, stop or go? Thanks for any help!
     

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  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You have turned it too thin to let it dry before finish turning. The reason is that it might warp more than you can recover when final turning. At this point I would go ahead and turn it to final thickness and then accept whatever warping might occur. If you turn it thin the warping should be minimal.

    Bowls that have a flat bottom and near vertical sides will always have a higher risk of cracking than bowls that are more crescent shaped (circular, elliptical, or parabolic). Here is an example of a parabolic shape.

    image.jpeg
     
  3. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Well darn! Thanks Bill. Btw, I just went and measured the moisture and it was 18.4%. The bowl is 5" dia. and the thinnest of the walls are up top at 3/8". What thickness do you recommend stopping at for a bowl this size with this moisture content?
     
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    It is drying as you turn it. Keep it covered with plastic whenever you leave it for more than a few minutes. This will be real important with larger work.

    I agree with Bill to finish turn it.
    Your bowl is a difficult shape to dry without cracking because the straight sides and flat bottom prevent the wood from moving so this shape is more likely to crack.
    Bill’s bowl shape almost never cracks because the wood can move as it dries

    Below are a set of slides I use in a demo on working with green wood. Slides 22-27 show examples of 12” diameter bowls with flat bottom and curved bottoms - the flat bottom cracked
    http://aaw.hockenbery.net/WORKING WITH green wood-HOcompressed.pdf



    Safety in small sizes. Small bowls don’t move as much so it probably won’t Crack if you get the walls and bottom thinner and equal thickness.
    Being a small bowl it will like not crack if you keep it wet until you finish and turn the walls to an even thickness and put it paper bags for a few days.

    On a bowl that size a 1/4” or 3/16” wall thickness and bottom thickness should work nicely.

    Be sure to get the wall to even thickness where it makes the turn into the bottom.
    If you leave this part thicker crack likelihood goes up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  5. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Thanks Bill and Hockenbery! I can see with bowl turning that I really need to start paying attention to my wood. I'm used to just buying flat boards and going straight to build. Lol Like the slideshow also. Thanks again!! Is it ok to buy already dried bowl blanks? Any concerns with those?.
     
  6. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Dry bowl blanks are a fine idea, in fact I do little wet turning.
    You can usually get them in domestic species and occasionally exotic. Look for blanks that are not waxed.
    You can also find some thick kiln dried boards in short lengths at the lumbar yard. Sometimes the odd remnant piece.
    If your moisture meter is pinless, take it with you when you shop.
     
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  7. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Good question and answers! Need to keep posts #2 and #4 in mind. Thanks!
     
  8. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I often buy dried platter blanks. 14” wide board 1.5” thick with the grain centered in the board.

    Dry wood can be used for small bowls. Big piece of dried wood are hard to find and usually quite expensive.
    Dry wood is dustier and harder to turn than green wood.
    Also often hard to find the grain centered on dried boards.

    For bowls I prefer starting with wet wood the first turning is easier with little dust.
    The second turning removes much less wood so the dust and harder turning are minimized.
    Coring is also much easier with wet wood.
    When I cut the blanks from a log I have control over centering the grain in the blank.

    Also I turn mostly Hollow forms and NE bowls which are turned in one go, dried for a couple of days, then sanded and finished.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
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  9. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    So I have it turned where I want it. I don't have a paper bag but I wrapped it in bubble wrap. Lol The moisture has come down with sanding. Registers about 11%. I'll just leave it in the shop and check it this wknd.
    The wife asked, "why did you make it thinner on one side than the other?". I guess I should have taken a more even shot. Lol
     

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  10. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    I have a pin meter. Believe it or not, the only lumbers yards I have been able to find are lowes and home depot. Lol This is west texas, desert country with no trees that get harvested. There are a couple tree trimmers in the area but don't know much about them right now.
     
  11. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Bobby, make friends with the tree service folks. Get some wood and make something for them. Call periodically to see what they are cutting or trimming. Prepare to build a 20X40 building to keep the wood. There was a cherry tree cut next door. Got enough wood to build Honest Abe another cabin.
     
  12. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Lol I hear ya John. Man to be honest with you, I just bought my lathe to have a little fun with. I wanted to make ink pens, thought that was cool, and I've made a couple dozen of those. Right now, my projects are just going to be limited to a couple small bowls here and there, maybe one for my mom and one for the wife etc.... and I'd like to make a small goblet one day. My lathe is a 16" x 48" but I have no plans of maxing that out. I merely bought a bigger one then a bench size so I would have it if I needed it. I have other hobbies that take up a lot of my time also, (coin collecting, vintage watch collecting, and then my basic wood crafts. etc...), so the lathe is just once in a while. I get on a roll sometimes and will use it for a while and then slowdown for something else. Lol Right now trying to learn the basics. I se I have a ways to go about learning green wood. Turning is much different than just building something out of planks. Lol And I really appreciate all the help that y'all are giving me. Very much appreciated!
     
  13. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    You can get a lot of pen blanks out of one piece of wood and even some small bowls or turned boxes. Bobby, you need to take up fishing to get out of the shop once in a while.:)
     
  14. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    I wish I could John! Lol I have 2 harleys and hardly ever get a chance to ride those. Then when I can, you have to watch the drivers around here. It averages 1 fatality a day here and I see at least 1 bike hit a week from people pulling out in front of them.
     
  15. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Couple of years ago I made a list of bowl blank sources. First one has kiln dried ones, they may have specials for the holidays. Wet wood is much easier to turn, but can move as you experienced. Dry wood is harder and more dusty.

    http://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/wood-blanks-sources.12462/#post-119491

    At some point, if you become more into bowl turning, you may switch to finding logs on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for free. You will need to cut them into blanks with chainsaw, and seal them with anchorseal but one small log will keep you busy for a while.
     
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  16. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Fadi, thanks for the link.
    Off topic but I knew a kid who lost his leg just above the knee. Truck pulled out in front of him when he was on his crotch rocket. Had to take off the leg at the hip as the bone kept growing and they couldn't fit him with a prosthetic.
     
  17. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    So the first bowl in the post is wrapped in plastic and we'll see what happens to it. And believe it or not, even though I'm pretty close to an ole' timer myself, I still take advice. Lol So I have the back turned on this one. Had to stop to eat! Darn!! Lol So this one I'm hoping is more parabolic compared to the other and has a little more resistance to warping and cracking. I plan on turning this around. I don't have my bandsaw right now so I'm gonna try to cut off the excess with a hand saw, gouge down the front even with my bowl top. Then I'm just gonna put my 1 3/8" forstner bit on my chuck and drill a hole thru the middle to the approx. depth I want the bowl. Then just put it up for however long it takes to dry. Sound good? Btw, the bowl size is 5" dia x 2 3/8" overall depth.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  18. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Nice shape!
    1. To dry bowls most turners hollow th bowl leaving the wall a thickness of 10% of the diameter
    The Forster hole can give you a guid for depth of the bowl. Not needed if you use calipers as they will show you the depth of the bowl interior as well as the wall thickness.

    2. My suggestion is to hollow this bowl to finished wall thickness 1/4 or 3/16.
    The mounting recess you should will not dry well.
    Since you have made an expansion hold that is fairly thin it will be extremely difficult to true the recess when the bowl is dried. A tenon is easy to true and provides a better hold in most cases.

    The recess you have may crack when you hollow the bowl.
    Your bowl is small so it may hold.

    If you look at the post in the tips and techniques - working with green wood.
    I do a 90 minute demo where I show slides(15 min), turn a green bowl for drying(30 min), and return a dried bowl (40 min).
    There are links to the videos of turning the green bowl and turning the dried bowl.
    http://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/working-with-green-wood.11626/

    The process show is similar to or the same as the method used by most bowl turners.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  19. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Bobby, your enthusiasm is impressive. Just about every beginning turner can save themselves a ton of time and aggravation by spending a few hours with a mentor. It would be wonderful if someone could point out to you the rocks and pitfalls lying ahead, someone like a mentor or friendly experienced turner from your local club. It can take months off the learning curve and keep you safe.
     
  20. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Well I'm on-call this wknd and I really had to stop where I'm at on the bowl. I drilled the forstner hole put the bowl in a paper bag in my shop. I was told at my chapter meeting that using my largest forstner bit to make a hole in the center was just an easier start for hollowing. Hopefully it will be ok until tomorrow and I will hollow down to about 1/4". Hockenbery, I have watched your videos and slideshow. I understand the concept of shrinkage but some of the ways wood shrinks is a little greek to me. Lol As for the expansion hold, yea I didn't think about it shrinking up either. Its a snug fit too. Oh well, I learn easily by my mistakes. My first little candy dish, I made a tenon but it was a little harder for me to make than the recess was. I guess I should just work on using a tenon more. I really appreciate your feedback as I'm basically learning by trial and error.
    Dean, I only had one meeting at my chapter and I hope to get to know them better where I can get a mentor. They seem like really nice guys but my working schedule is really complicated sometimes in the oilfield. hard for me to set a time to meet with someone when I never know when I'm gonna be home or get called out to an oil rig. I am gonna try though, but until then I will just have to rely on videos, the forum, and hands on work. Thank you both again for your inputs. Greatly appreciated.
     

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  21. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Plastic bags or shrink wrap will make a moisture barrier and keep the bowls and blanks from losing much moisture
    I use these if I have to stop turning or I have a blank I won’t turn for a few days or one i’m Taking to a demo.

    Paper bags are for controlled drying. They allow moisture out slowly but provide a humidity chamber that keeps the end grain damp while the long grain dries. I rinse bowls off in the sink towel dry and put them in the paper bags in place with little air movement. I check the bags every day for about a week. If the bags have any Dampness I change tomdry bags. The used bags will dry overnight and can be tomorrow’s dry bag replacement.
    If the bowl shows any mold I wipe it with Clorox and discard the bags it was in.
    When there is no dampness in the bags -
    Bowls for returning I put on a shelf in the bags for four months then take them out of the bag for further drying
    Thin bowls. I leave in the bag one more day with the top of the bag open, then a day on the shelf, then it is ready to finish.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
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  22. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    When I run out of paper sacks to put green turned bowls in I have several old bath towels that I use to wrap around a stack of green bowls. This method has worked for me when I don't have any paper sacks available.
     
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  23. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Well I have it roughed now. Misted it with some water and now sitting in a paper bag. Glad my daughter got supper at sonic last night. They still have paper bags. Lol
     

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  24. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Much better on the sloping side, but still has a small flat area on the bottom which on larger bowls can result in a crack.
     
  25. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Ok Bill! I actually skewed it flat but I didn't know it would make it more susceptible to cracking! Maybe I'll take it back out this evening and try to round it a little at the bottom.
     
  26. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Well I'm learning my lessons. First off, youtube is full of ideas. I made a small box kiln. Took both bowls down to 6% and 5% moisture. But as y'all predicted, warpage occurred. No cracks though. The first bowl was able to go on my chuck but it was too thin and brittle to round. It is now firewood. Lol The last bowl warped and doesn't look too bad but as predicted my recess lip shrank too much that I couldn't get my chuck back on it. It will now just have to live the rest of its life as an oval bowl. Lol
     
  27. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    You could use faceplate if one came with the lathe. I have few pieces that warped, and to my surprise, they are the most liked pieces. I had love/hate feeling towards splatted one that warped. Mom liked it, so my wife gave it to her... hide your bowls...
     
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  28. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    I have a couple different faceplates. How would I go about putting the bowl on one of them? I've seen where some make a round and put that inside the bowl and use the tailstock to reround but I don't have anything made like that right now. Maybe for future reference. Its not that bad out of round. Most normal people probably couldn't tell but a wood worker would. Lol
     
  29. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Bobby,

    When turning a green bowl it helps to leave a center point on the inside of the bowl and on the bottom of the bowl where it has a tenon or recess that was used to secure it to the chuck. After the bowl has dried and warped the center points on the inside and outside of the bowl can be easily used to re-center the warped bowl and clean up the tenon for remounting. Without the center points it is a guessing game to get the bowl centered for the second turning. When you are done green turning the bowl run the tailstock up to the inside of the bowl and let the center point drive a center mark into the bowl.
     
  30. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Thanks Mike! So at this new point in turning, I don't have anything that I can hold the bowl in by the face to be able to re-turn the tenon. Thanks for the tip. That will come in handy for the future.
     
  31. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    You could turn a jam chuck, block of wood mounted on your faceplate just bigger than the rim and turned a recess on the edge just enough to wedge the bowl on. Then tape it securely to the jam chuck and carefully redo your recess.
     
  32. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Thanks Gary! Yea I'm gonna have to start making things like that. I'm gonna have to hit my big box store and maybe pickup a 4x4 that I can use just for a jam chuck.
     
  33. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    So after the first one got destroyed, lol, I knew the second one would wind up the same way. So I just did a little sanding and coated it with some Wood Turners Finish and the wife thinks its cute. Lol Good enough for me as its hers now. I'll get better!!!!
     

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  34. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    I did something even better. I have a Nova 3 chuck and jaws. I went ahead and just bought me a Cole Jaw for it. I think I like how that will work better. I can also finish my bottoms better with that so it seems.
     
  35. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    You will want to use the tape on it still, Ive used cole jaws and others and the bowl will find a way to escape the jaws much to the detriment of the bowl and your nerves.
     
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  36. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I much prefer using a jamb chuck for bowls.

    I used cole jaws for a while but have not used them in 20 years.
    Cole jaws only work on certain rim shapes. Don’t work on Natural Edge bowls. Don’t work on warped bowls.
    I generally avoid devices that dictate shape.

    You won’t get a good hold ( possibly no hold at all ) with the buttons on your bowl with the nice bead at the rim.

    I find the jamb chuck more secure, faster, and it works with all rim shapes.
     
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  37. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    I will probably go ahead and make a jam chuck anyway. I watched a video of a warped bowl trued on cole jaw. Maybe the newer ones are better. Lol The only thing that bothers me with a jam chuck is finishing out a bottom of a bowl. I'm still a little uncomfortable about taking a tenon down. I'm just looking for safer methods for doing what I want to do. I know its easy for you long time turners but a lathe can be intimidating with a big hunk of wood spinning around to a newbie just trying to figure out its capabilities.
     
  38. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Bobby,

    Common pine 2X dimensional lumber works great for making jam chucks and glue blocks and other typical jigs used for turning, the wood is usually softer then the wood piece you are turning and pine is a very stable wood that holds its shape after turning. You can usually find scrap pine for free if you look for it or the big box stores have it readily available every day. Another option for jamb chucks is a softer type polymer material that can be turned with wood turning tools into any shape needed. A round rubber/polymer ball can be easily turned on the lathe to fit into a bowl chuck, you can find these at a dollar store or sporting goods section at Wally World. I found a box of Nylon 2-1/2" round drops on Ebay several years ago and stocked up on these for some of the tools I make, these also work for small jam chuck applications. You can also find the thin foam polymer sheets at the Dollar store to protect finished surfaces on wood projects when you are finishing and polishing your project. If your jam chuck is a little loose fitting you can slip a sheet of the thin foam polymer sheet between your jam chuck and the wood bowl to hold it firm. You can also use hot glue and a glue block to re-secure a wood turned piece on the lathe which needs to be cleaned off later, some turners will use double sided tape to provide adhesion to the face plate for turning purposes. Woodturners come up with various ingenious methods to overcome just about every obstacle that comes their way to build the projects they dream up on a daily basis, many of these solutions have turned into businesses over the years. Don't be afraid to think outside the box you may come up with an easy solution that we all confront on a daily basis.
     
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