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Working with green wood

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by hockenbery, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    The August 2015 AAW JOURNAL has great article by David Ellsworth on working with green wood.
    This is followed by 11 marvelous ways turners turned cracks into features.

    One of David's themes is that the deck is stacked against newer woodturners successfully working with wet wood.
    Might be a nice time to get the experienced wet wood turners exchanging information with those who are having problems.

    I had lots of bowls and a few hollow forms crack when I started. Now it almost never happens.

    I use the deck is stacked theme in a demo I do on working with wet wood.
    I show these slides: http://aaw.hockenbery.net/WORKING WITH green wood-HOcompressed.pdf
    Then turn a bowl

    Newer turners should realize in a fairly short while (maybe days with a good teacher) they will no longer be plagued by
    Angular profiles, bad curves, uneven walls, and work drying out for hours on the lathe.

    Wood is going to move so turn it with a shape and athickness that lets it move.
    Practice practice practice turn turn turn.
    Wood grows on trees
    have fun
    Work safely

    Al
    [ edit added 3 feb 2017]
    In January 2017 Jan and Carl Brown made a video of the working with green wood demo I did for the tri-county Woodturners.
    I posted the two turning parts of the demo on YouTube. There are many ways to make a bowl.
    In some methods youndon't even need a lathe. These videos show the way I turn a bowl. You may find it useful

    2. Roughing a green bowl for drying

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo0bGSafZq4


    3. Returning a dried bowl

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCZWsHB4vlM
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Your chart on Drying Techniques might more correctly be titled Stabilization Techniques or Crack Prevention Techniques since many beginners mistakenly think that the various methods are intended to speed up drying rather than keeping the wood stable while drying.
     
    Mark Hepburn likes this.
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I think I will go with the crack prevention.

    Sort of difference in using the slides as talking points versus making them readable by those not present.

    Got to concentrate on that a bit more...

    Thanks.
     
  4. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Mark Hepburn likes this.
  5. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    Very nice Al. I would add that Mesquite, somewhat prevalent down here in Texas is one of the few that dries 1:1 radial vs tangential.

    And not being someone who took higher math, this presentation shows radial vs tangential pretty good.
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I was expecting some questions from newer turners
    And more additional experiences that others have.

    I love turning green wood.
    I don't have any experience with mesquite. May try to change that.

    I appreciate the compliments too.

    Al
     
  7. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

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    Al,
    I kept a copy in my iBooks app. I'll bet you didn't get many questions because it's quite clear and helpful.

    Thanks. And I'll be turning some green wood soon. :)
     
  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    BTW, Al, I love the fact that your pitch charts are on the web. Last year at SWAT while attending one of your programs, I had the same pitch charts displayed on my iPad that you were showing on the TV display at the front of the room. This enabled me to scroll back occasionally while following your lecture. The guy sitting next to me was obviously wondering how I was able to have the same charts displayed on my iPad that was showing on the big screen. Hopefully, other demonstrators will follow your lead. SWAT has made a big step this year with having the program book available for download rather than just the paper copies. I have it already on my iPad which is much more convenient to carry around.
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I now show 10-30 PowerPoint slides in just about every demo I do.

    An iPad, PowerPoint app, and a 30 foot cable is a lot easier to carry than a case of things to pass around.
    With the slides everyone in the audience is looking at the same thing at the same time.
    I get a lot of positive comments about the slides.

    Items I do pass around have been introduced in the slides.

    I also email the slides to the clubs ahead of time.
    For the symposiums I have a new wrinkle, I add the link to the slides in the demo abstract they post on the web.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That is what I referring to. If you haven't already done so, the next thing that you need to do is add a QR code in the handout assuming that printed handouts are still being used.
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    This is pretty good. My theory on why bowls tend to crack on the rim, much more so if you leave a sharp edge is tied to the 'even wall thickness' rule. When you come to the rim, every thing just stops, so by rounding over the rim, you kind of keep to the 'even wall thickness'. Also, that sharp edge will slice and dice....

    robo hippy
     
  12. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    My friend in social media advertising tells me QR codes are dead. But I still see them all the time.
     
  13. Douglas Ladendorf

    Douglas Ladendorf

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    The biggest problem with QR codes is they are not supported natively by iOS. I think Android may have a better solution but if I want to scan a QR code I have to find an app that can scan them (I use Red Laser) then scan. If the payoff is unknown or not of high enough perceived value I won't bother. The idea is great, but it just hasn't happened with enough mass yet.
     
  14. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, if you're in advertising, the first thing that you need to do is make sure that there is a never-ending need for your services. Status quo doesn't fit that business plan. New flavors, styles, scan codes, etc are good for business.

    I don't know what that means to the end user. I went to the App Store and installed the free QR Scanner on my iPad and iPhone while at SWAT last year when I saw that several demo rooms had QR codes near the door that gave information about the program. Now I just tap the QR Scanner icon, the camera comes on and reads the code and opens the web link. Pretty easy ... And fast. A lot of products that I buy have QR codes on the package.

    Something better will always be around the corner. But, I still have some 5.25" floppies just in case we go full circle. Did I mention the Apple IIe and II GS that I have. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Bill, I thought I and my son had some collectables, but I think you have us beat. We do have the original Atari.
     
  16. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

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    What's a QR code?
     
  17. Dwight R Rutherford

    Dwight R Rutherford

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  18. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

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  19. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Questions will come...

    I'll have some questions once I progress to bowls. The two bowls diagramed, and the three that were photographed are very illustrative indeed. When I cut up some green maple recently to save as bowl blanks, seemed like I put more time into figuring out how/where to cut them than in the actual cutting. Didn't have your diagrams, but had Turning Green Wood handy. Thanks for putting your presentation online here!
     
  20. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    One of my friends makes a science of cutting blanks.
    He takes a framing square and plumb bob and spend s 15-20 minutes lining up the blank so the grain is just right.
    He has the whole bowl planned and layer out before finishing the chain saw work.

    Then he drills a hole in the chain sawn blank that lines up on his circle cutting jig, cuts it round on the bandsaw mounts.
    Uses the same hole for a screw chuck, turns it, and the grain ends up in near perfect alignment.
    He has his screw hole marked when he is finishes his chainsaw cuts.

    I get close to the grain I want with the chainsaw and the fine the grain alignment by turning between centers.

    Work safely,.
    have fun

    Al
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  21. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Be careful, it's a scary place. :rolleyes:
     
  22. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Every time I use it in a demo, I update the PowerPoint which talks properties of wood, how it warps and tips for turning green wood successfully.
    http://aaw.hockenbery.net/WORKING WITH green wood-HOcompressed.pdf

    In January 2017 Jan and Carl Brown made a video of the working with green wood demo I did for the tri-county Woodturners.
    I posted the two turning parts of the demo on YouTube. There are many ways to make a bowl.
    In some methods youndon't even need a lathe. These videos show the way I turn a bowl. You may find it useful

    2. Roughing a green bowl for drying

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo0bGSafZq4


    3. Returning a dried bowl

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCZWsHB4vlM
     
  23. Bobby Smith

    Bobby Smith

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    Great videos and slideshow Al! I have a lot to learn about grain. Lol I'm just used to working with flat boards. Lol
     
  24. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Bobby- thanks for the kind comments.
    We are all just having fun and learning together. Try a few half logs. They are just thick boards with a wane face.
     
    Bill Boehme and Bobby Smith like this.
  25. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    The PDF has enough material, enough talking points, so that I can use it as a slide show at a club meeting. 90% of our club members are beginners that would benefit from this... Great job.
     
  26. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    The latest IOS comes with the capability of adding a QR reader to the control panel, making very convenient to scan the codes. Question is how to I generate a code? I would like to add one to my Raleigh handouts that would point people to my website or other articles....
     
  27. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Just google QR generator, it will generate a code for you as an image. It is free.
     
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  28. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I have heard that when turning wood, a raincoat is needed. Will review when I have a bit more time. Today was a busy day for me and the Mrs.
     
  29. Ron Vasser

    Ron Vasser

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    Thank you for info and videos.
    I'm not even a new turner yet but I'm putting together a lathe and tool list and hope to be turning soon. How did you arrive at the time frame for drying a rough turned blank?
     
  30. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Hopefully You will soon get your own experiences.

    The actual time to dry a rough turned blank will be determined by environment you dry it in and the process you use to slow the drying. I use a pin moisture meter in the tenon when it reads below 10% I consider the bowl dry. My experience has been that paper bags let bowls dry a bit faster than anchor seal. My paper bagged bowls are often below 10% in 6 months. Anchor sealed bowls usuallyntook over 9 months.
     
  31. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    Just try turning some fresh cut poplar, you will be soaked in a matter of minutes!
     
  32. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Here in north Texas where the climate is drier, the drying time is about half of what it is at your location. For some species that can be good, but it might present problems for other species that are more prone to cracking.

    The significance of your comment about slowing the drying might not be recognized by a beginning turner, but it is very important. It seems to be almost universal that beginners want to hurry up the process so the idea of slowing the process down isn't always well received. Nevertheless, most species of wood need to be dried slowly to minimize warping and cracking.
     
  33. John Rander

    John Rander

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    As a practical aid for new turners, its instructive to weigh rough turned green pieces before putting them in a paper sack with wood shavings. Note the weight & date on a paper placed in the sack. Periodically (several weeks scale) I open the sack, weigh again (note the new value with date) , check to see if things are OK, maybe change the shavings to avoid mold. When the weight finally stops dropping (between 20 and 30% loss) I return the piece and finish it. Once you've started this routine, its fun to surprise yourself, looking through the sacks on the shelves and finding something interesting you can finish.

    As for the raincoat bit... well my wife does insist that I install a HUGE plastic tarp over the whole work area behind me when I turn wet wood. I've even been asked to inspect the ceiling :rolleyes:. I have also noticed wet slurry running down over the lathe bed... so do be prepared to clean up afterwards. But it is great fun!
     
  34. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    How dry the wood gets depends on the temperature and humidity of the drying environment.
    Kilns operate successfully by controlling both.
    I run a dehumidifier in the drying room set at 50% temperature varies from 70-80 degrees.

    You can use the chart below to determine how dry your wood willbe with the weighing method.
    In my drying room wood will have a MC of 9.2% When it stops loosing weight.
    In an area with avg humidity of 65% the wood will have an MC of around 12% when it stops losing weight. It just won’t get any drier in a 65% humidity environment.
    HAVE TO KNOW THE HUMIDITY & TEMPERATURE TO KNOW WHAT MC YOUR WOOD DRIES TO.

    99DAF519-4E84-44D7-A53F-A1C88EE01EF7.jpeg
     
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  35. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I do not dry to as low a percent as Al does before second turn. I look for a equalization moisture content (EMC) . Reason being in some more moist climates such as here in MS even KD wood for furniture does not get below 10%. I keep the blank in shavings in bag for about 2 weeks. I weight about every two days and if it is very wet open the bag for an hour or two. I tally weights on a sheet with an id of each piece such the wood or a number if I have done several of the same species. When weight loss gets below 10 GM per day it comes out of the bag. When the weight is the same for two times it is ready to turn.
    Of note is the fact that air dried wood of any kind will vary in total moisture content even after years on the shelf.
     
  36. Chris Short

    Chris Short

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    Really helpful thread - thanks Al. I just started trying to turn green wood and wish I'd read this a week ago - principally for the comments on using rounded rather than sharp changes of direction, but for the whole process, really. This is Holm oak that I turned just over a week ago, wrapped in newspaper and in a cardboard box, placed in an unheated garage. Splits already! (Though the wood was kind of splitty to start with, another point you raise above...)

    _MG_8370.jpg _MG_8367.jpg
     
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  37. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    Looks like red oak, you have an uphill battle with that stuff. Occasonally I have put wood glue in the cracks, steamed the wood, then put a hose clamp on the rim to hold it together while drying again.
     
  38. Chris Short

    Chris Short

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    It certainly wants to split. Apparently you do get Holm oak in the US, but just in one place?! (Apparently it's from the Eastern Med...)
    Holm-Oak-Map.jpg
     
  39. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I just weigh the piece, chips, bag and all - no reason to open it up. Tape the bag closed with painters tape and write the weight on it, along with date, short description, and wood type.

    Very good ppt on the subject thats very useful for new turners.
     
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  40. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    The crack close to the rim looks like it's old and existed pre-turning; I'm less sure about the ones near the foot but I'm leaning that way for those also. A week, wrapped up like you had it, would not have been enough time to dry that quickly to result in new cracks. If they were existing there's nothing you could have done.
     

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