Sunday, November 27, 2011

My method for fast drying wood for turning.

     In a previous post I was trying to find new ways of fast drying wood for turning. I tried gasoline on the principles that the water would settle to the bottom since gas is lighter than water. It worked just not that well. Starting with a piece of wood that was at 34% moisture the gas would bring it down to 17% in 12 hours. That sounds great but after it made it to 17% it would not go much lower no matter the time in the gas. The same results can be had from a few minutes in the microwave on high without the gas smell and danger. The issue woodturners try to solve is that 17% down to your 8% or what ever your trying to achieve because this area is where I see the majority of my checks and cracking.
     So with me not being a very patient sort of a person to turn a bowl and then put it in a bag and wait a year. I have resorted to turning wood that has dried as logs already or if I do want to turn green I am turning my walls real thin ( 1/4 to 3/8 ) and then putting them in my oven at about 125 degrees for around 24 to 36 hours. Then I have a nice warped bowl that has to be hand sanded, but it works with little cracking depending on the wood. Some woods just want to crack and they are sitting on selves now.     
     I hope this help post with any questions.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Adding carving to your woodturning.

     I thought I would write about my newest endeavor today. That is adding carving to my turnings. Here is my first try at it. This is a bowl turned from a piece of iron wood that I put into the microwave and dried very quickly. I always do that when I am turning a new variety of wood it allows me to see what the wood is going to do. After the bowl was dry it was put back on the lathe and turned back to a round shape.

    So now after it was returned into a round bowl the iron wood did not have much design in the grain so I figured carving and painting would go good with it. I drew tree in the bottom of the bowl with a pencil then used my carving tools on it. Afterwards I used paints to bring the details out. It was finished with a few coats of poly for protection.

     This next piece is a natural edged pecan bowl. On this one I carved a rose on the outside of the bowl. It is also painted and coated with poly.