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Dennis Peacock
04-07-2006, 2:52 AM
With all the newcomers here on SMC with questions about bowl turning and drying roughed out blanks, I figured it was time to post something about how I go through the process. I may not be "right" about my process, but it's the way I do it anyway. Ask 10 turners about turning a bowl and you'll get 15 different answers.:rolleyes: :D

So here goes......

1st Pic - This is a Pecan bowl blank that I needed to get roughed out and thought I'd use it for this article/process of showing how I go through the process. It's just over 19" in diameter and weighs around 40 pounds since it's wet wood. ;) It's mounted to a 3" faceplate with good steel screws and I also slide up the tailstock to provide that "captured" security while spinning a heavy bowl blank on the lathe. I used my 5/8" bowl gouge to rough it out on the outside and worked on getting my rough form of the bowl.

2nd Pic - This is what I've finished roughing out the outside and bottom of the bowl. I've also since moved the tailstock out of the way and turned off the small nub left where the tailstock was holding the bowl blank. I've also turned the tenon on the bottom so I can mount it to my Super Nova Chuck. I use a tenon as it's difficult to crush a tenon. ;) I used to mount via a recess and expanded the chuck jaws into the recess, but I began cracking bowl blanks that way, so I went back to the tenon process and haven't had a problem since. You CAN apply too much pressure on the tenon and it will snap the tenon off if you get a catch while turning. So apply clamping pressure but not so much to where you start really crimping the wood. That's too tight....back it off just a tad.

3rd Pic - This is after I've removed the bowl and reverse mounted it on the Super Nova Chuck and hollowed out the inside of the bowl. Now...I do use the tailstock while working the inside of the bowl as well. I then slide the tailstock out of the way and turn away the "spindle" that's left from where the tailstock was. I then use my 3/8" bowl scraper to flush and smooth everything out on the insde of the bowl.

Continued on the next post.....

Dennis Peacock
04-07-2006, 3:05 AM
Continued from previous post......

4th Pic - Shows the bowl all roughed out on the outside and the inside and still mounted to the Super Nova Chuck. It's now ready to be removed from the chuck.

5th Pic - Here's the freshly turned bowl blank now setting in it's 24 hour home of an alky bath (Developed by Dave Smith). Notice that it's not fresh alky. Black Walnut and other dark woods will turn the Alky dark like that....so I call it my Alky Tea. :D

6th Pic - Here's the bowl getting ready to come out of the alky bath at about 24 hours later. Don't pay any attention to the color of the outside of the wood. It all turns away when finish turning the bowl.

Continued on the next post.....

Dennis Peacock
04-07-2006, 3:20 AM
Continued from the previous post.....

I couldn't post pics directly to SMC tonight, so the pics are links to my personal site hosting the pics for now.

7th Pic - I have a piece of 6" metal ducting that I now place my alky wet bowls on the air dry for about 20 minutes or so before wrapping in newspaper. You can speed this process up a great deal if you will take a rag and dry the outside of the wet bowl blank and wait about 1 minute before you start wrapping it in newspaper.

8th Pic - Here's the bowl turned upside down on top of 2 sheets of newpaper ready for the wrapping process. I use 1" wide masking tape for the tape of choice. It's cheap and works well.

9th Pic - This is the bowl wrapped up as far as the newspaper would reach. I just fold it up around the bowl snuggly and tape it all in place.

10th Pic - Here's the bowl all wrapped up and labeled as "Pecan 4-6-06". I always write the wood type on the outside so I know what TYPE of wood I have drying as well as the date I took it out of the Alky bath. You see, I don't weigh any of my blanks. I just leave them on the drying rack, unwrap and finish turn. I'm not in such a hurry that I need to weigh it before I know I can turn it. Leaves me more time to spend at the lathe that way. :D

11th Pic, and Yes....the final pic - I then flip the wrapped up bowl over and use a nice sharp knife and cut out the center section of the newspaper so air can get to the insdie of the bowl and allow it to dry and let the rest of the bowl to dry through that "port" more slowly.

I then place the bowl Upside-Down on my drying rack so sits there and behaves itsself for 21 or more days before I unwrap it. If I'm not going to finish turn it right away, I then stack it upside down on top of two other bowls so air can continue to circulate around it. That way it can dry more if it wants to and later down the road? I have a big stack of dry, roughed out bowl blanks to choose from. This way, the bowl will keep for YEARS since it's dry now and ready for finish turning. Keeping green or wet wood for long periods of time can prove to be wasteful as it will sooner become firewood than a chosen bowl blank. So...my choice is to rough it, dry it, and stack it until I'm ready for the final turning of my bowls.

I hope that this explains things a little better and provides you with ideas about your own process of rouging out, drying, and storing your own bowl blanks.

Thanks for reading this LONG post.

Glenn Hodges
04-07-2006, 3:56 AM
Dennis this pictorial will be an invaluable tool to beginning turners. The work involved in making it should be aplauded by all of us. I use the Dave Smith DAL method a lot and want to thank you and him for posting these pictures of his drying method.

Fred LeBail
04-07-2006, 7:20 AM
Dennis,
Thanks for the picture tour of your steps.As Glen has said this will be very helpful to new turners and some of us older ones can always learn something.

Jim Davenport
04-07-2006, 7:56 AM
Dennis
Thank you so much for taking the time posting the "tutorial". It really helped me understand the process. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Dave Wimmer
04-07-2006, 7:59 AM
Dennis, this is the best "how to" for DNA drying I've seen.

Stu Ablett in Tokyo Japan
04-07-2006, 8:03 AM
Thanks a lot Dennis, that is GREAT!!

Chris Barton
04-07-2006, 8:36 AM
Dennis,

That pictorial is worth many thousand words!

Dennis Peacock
04-07-2006, 9:06 AM
Thanks folks. But I love teaching others about woodworking. It's my "buzz" I get from helping others and teaching about something I can teach about.

I plan on doing more things like this. I appreciate the kind comments, but most of all, I want this info to be helpful.;)

doug webb
04-07-2006, 9:17 AM
Thanks Dennis. That is very clear and easy to understand. But......I have to admit to being a wee bit disappointed. I was really looking forward to a tale of full moons, boiling cauldrons, long robes and chanting. Maybe a little dancing in a circle while drinking strange concoctions from a smoking cup.

This is the easiest to understand procedure tutorial I have seen... well done..

Curt Fuller
04-07-2006, 9:18 AM
Dennis that's the best tutorial I've seen on alcohol drying. I've never tried it before but after seeing that it makes it look so easy I'm going to do it. The alcohol is denatured, correct? That's the same stuff that you would burn in a backpacking stove? And also, how long can you use the same alcohol?

Raymond Overman
04-07-2006, 9:18 AM
Dennis,

Great job documenting your process. It will answer a lot of questions for the guys just getting started.

It just so happens that you and I do the same thing when prepping a bowl. The only difference is, I don't date mine and I don't cut the newspaper out. I just wrap the newspaper around the outside edges and fold it into the bowl slightly.

Thanks for sharing.

Keith Burns
04-07-2006, 9:36 AM
Excellent instructional Dennis, Thanks:)

Dennis Peacock
04-07-2006, 9:49 AM
Curt,

I get my alcohol from the local BB stores. I have used the same alky for about 8 months now. When it gets to the point where you pour some on the shop floor and it doesn't evaporate in 1 hour? It's time to change the solution. Gotta hit the road now.

Bill Oder
04-07-2006, 9:53 AM
Dennis,

Pictures are worth a thousand words.... Well yours are worth a million!

I have heard you guys talking about the DNA method, but now I really understand what was communicated!

Thanks a million!

Pete Jordan
04-07-2006, 10:00 AM
Thanks from me too Dennis!

I have my first bowl drying as we speak and your newspaper method will work much better than my paper bag did.

Pete

Ken Fitzgerald
04-07-2006, 10:04 AM
Well Dennis.....

First.........Thanks my friend! Not wrapping my cherry bowl in newspaper probably explains why the next morning after removing it from the alcohol bath.......it had horrendous cracks!:mad:

This ought to be an article!

Thanks again from a newbie turner!

Raymond Overman
04-07-2006, 10:12 AM
Well Dennis.....

First.........Thanks my friend! Not wrapping my cherry bowl in newspaper probably explains why the next morning after removing it from the alcohol bath.......it had horrendous cracks!:mad:

This ought to be an article!

Thanks again from a newbie turner!

That, and the fact that it's cherry would explain the cracks. We had a fresh cherry log about 5 foot long literally split end to end. It's very susceptible to cracking. I've had good luck with the alky method and cherry though. In fact I have a cherry bowl in the bath as we speak.

Bernie Weishapl
04-07-2006, 10:45 AM
Dennis steered me to this method a while back and have been using it every since. Have not lost a bowl yet due to cracking or checking. Thanks Dennis for the tip.

Jim Stoppleworth
04-07-2006, 11:01 AM
Thanks Dennis, I'm one of those who never tried the DNA method, used anchor seal, chips and paper bag and 6 months. Your super pictorial has got me getting some DNA today and trying it this weekend.

Jim

Paul Douglass
04-07-2006, 11:08 AM
THank you, Thank you ,Thank you from a novice.

More, more, more....

Mike Burkeen
04-07-2006, 11:21 AM
As a "newbie" that is exactly what I was looking for ... Pictures. It makes it so much easier to get your piont across to a dumb ole country boy like me.

Thanks for taking time to shows us new guys a thing or two.

KEEP THOSE TUTORIALS COMING. :D

Lee DeRaud
04-07-2006, 11:31 AM
Not wrapping my cherry bowl in newspaper probably explains why the next morning after removing it from the alcohol bath.......it had horrendous cracks!:mad: That brings up a question: I'm not sure about where Ken is, but I live in a much drier climate than Arkansas. (Well, not counting days like Wednesday...:p )

The bit about cutting the "porthole" in the newspaper: should that possibly be omitted for those of use living in the southwest?
Or will the blanks just dry faster after they come out of the bath?

Andy Hoyt
04-07-2006, 11:51 AM
.....Not wrapping my cherry bowl in newspaper probably explains why the next morning after removing it from the alcohol bath.......it had horrendous cracks!:mad:

Ken - You wrap the piece in the newspaper after the bath. That piece was gonna crack no matter what you did.

Ken Fitzgerald
04-07-2006, 11:59 AM
Yeah Andy....that's what I failed to do.....I removed it from the bath and set it on a window sill without wrapping it.

Pete Jordan
04-07-2006, 12:08 PM
Dennis,
Since you are the DNA expert, is there anything I should do about this knot in the bottom of my bowl? I have already bathed it and it is drying. It is 13" now after starting out at 17".
Pete

Don Baer
04-07-2006, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the lesson Dennis.

Ed Breen
04-07-2006, 12:43 PM
Dennis,
Thanks for your tutorial. I've copied and included in my primer.
Ed:) :)

Erin Raasch
04-07-2006, 1:10 PM
Great information, Dennis. I haven't yet progressed to bowl turning, but I'll certainly file this away for future reference!

Thanks,

Erin

Ron Ainge
04-07-2006, 1:46 PM
Dennis

Although I boil my bowls I think you did a commendable job with your instructions. I guess that some day I will have to try to do the alky soak to see if it will work for me. I do have some friends in this area that are trying it and they seem to have good results. I now have a good backstock of boiled bowls sitting waiting for me to turn them so it will be a while before I ruff turn blanks again. Good work and thanks!!!

Ed Scolforo
04-07-2006, 5:34 PM
Excellent tutorial, Dennis, and no typos :D . Thank you.
Ed

Barry Stratton
04-07-2006, 6:01 PM
Dennis - THANK YOU!!!! This rookie appreciates all the help I can get. Your tutorial is yet another fine example of the sharing of knowledge this website is famous for. I have never been a part of such a willing to help group.

Amazing. Thanks again.

Stephen Hibbs
04-07-2006, 7:37 PM
Dennis, it appears I just keep owing you more and more. First the blanks and now this. I was having trouble with the bowl hopping off my chuck when I hollowed it. It hadn't occured to me to use the tail stock, thank you. I was worried it was my cheap grizzly chuck and inability to cut a tenon, though they probably don't help .:o

Roger Bailey
04-07-2006, 8:21 PM
OK heres a newbee question...why do you dip them in alcohol before drying?

Don Baer
04-07-2006, 8:23 PM
OK heres a newbee question...why do you dip them in alcohol before drying?

The alcohol act as a desacent which draws out the water trapped in the cells. speeds up the drying process.

Christopher K. Hartley
04-07-2006, 10:15 PM
Dennis, this is great thanks! Very helpful and instructive.

dennis kranz
04-08-2006, 2:25 AM
Dennis
From another Dennis thanks and I hope you do more.
dennis

George Conklin
04-08-2006, 1:43 PM
Thank you very much, professor Peacock. I know that took a lot of time to post for us and I sure do appreciate it.

A question though. Being a bit "chemical-phobic:eek: ",okay, a lot "chemical-phobic:o , what happens to all of the toxic chemicals that have soaked into the wood? If the bowl is going to be used for food at a later date wouldn't this pose a problem? Or, is this process only for ornimental bowls?

Curt Fuller
04-08-2006, 2:11 PM
Thank yoy very much, professor Peacock. I know that took a lot of time to post for us and I sure do appreciate it.

A question though. Being a bit "chemical-phobic:eek: ",okay, a lot "chemical-phobic:o , what happens to all of the toxic chemicals that have soaked into the wood? If the bowl is going to be used for food at a later date wouldn't this pose a problem? Or, is this process only for ornimental bowls?

wikipedia defines denatured alcohol as.....
Denatured alcohol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol), the intentional adulteration of ethyl alcohol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethyl_alcohol) so that it is unsuitable as a beverage.

If you're worried about what is added to 'denature' it you could just go to your local liquor store and by something like everclear or other high proof alcohols and I'm sure it would have the same results.
Denatured alcohol is denatured so that it doesn't have to have all the taxes, regulations, etc of booze.

Ernie Nyvall
04-09-2006, 9:39 AM
Good going Dennis.:)

Ernie

Ernie Nyvall
04-09-2006, 9:49 AM
Dennis,
Since you are the DNA expert, is there anything I should do about this knot in the bottom of my bowl? I have already bathed it and it is drying. It is 13" now after starting out at 17".
Pete

Pete, this is kinda late, but I flood most knots with Ca glue.

Ernie

Jim Dunn
04-09-2006, 9:52 AM
Hey Dennis thanks for the pictorial. Always appreciate the informantion I get from this site.

John Miliunas
04-09-2006, 10:14 AM
Dennis, fantastic tutorial and picture representation!!! :) Many thanks, as I know it will be useful to many! :)

For now, I have made this into a "sticky" for the Turners Forum but, I have also put in a request to Keith/Aaron to kindly turn this into an article for "permanent" archiving. Again, thanks much! :) :cool:

Bob Noles
04-09-2006, 10:30 AM
Thanks for sticking it John and I do hope it can be moved to articles.

Dennis did a fantastic job with this and will make an excellent reference for all of us to use.

THANKS SOOOOOOO MUCH DENNIS!

Dennis Peacock
04-09-2006, 11:20 PM
Thanks Everyone for the kind words.

Remember, this is just the process I go through to take a wet chunk of wood to one that is roughed out, soaked, wrapped and ready for the waiting game of drying.

Please don't assume that it's My Alky Method, when it really isn't. Dave Smith is the author of the Alky Drying Method and he deserves all the credit in the world for such a wonderful way to help dry roughed out bowls and saving bowls from cracking and splitting during the drying process. I just took it for granted that everyone knew it was Dave Smith's Alky Method. I just simply adopted it as my choice of drying wet wood.

Edward E Wilson Jr
04-09-2006, 11:28 PM
Dennis:

Have been following the procedure for drying using DNA, and guess when I really get to turn a green bowl, this is the procedure I will use.

Now a couple of questions>

What do you start with for a blank. Do you use a 4 to 6 inch slice of the log or do you take a much larger piece and half the log getting 2 bowls. I am completely unsure where to start. If you do half the log, how to I do it. Wedge and hammer. I do not have a band saw that will cut that much with only a 93" inch blade.

Looking at your first picture, I saw it as a slice.

Thanks all for the comments that have been coming on this thread.

Ed

Dennis Peacock
04-09-2006, 11:44 PM
Ed,

I use a chainsaw and just rough cut a bowl blank. What I usually do it cut just to one side of the "pith" of the log (heart of the tree) and mount the block. It's usually about 6" to 8" thick depending on how tall of a bowl I want to end up with. The important thing is to remove the Pith as it will cause checks and cracks in the bowl if you don't.

I don't use a bandsaw at all. Chainsaw works just fine.


Dennis:

Have been following the procedure for drying using DNA, and guess when I really get to turn a green bowl, this is the procedure I will use.

Now a couple of questions>

What do you start with for a blank. Do you use a 4 to 6 inch slice of the log or do you take a much larger piece and half the log getting 2 bowls. I am completely unsure where to start. If you do half the log, how to I do it. Wedge and hammer. I do not have a band saw that will cut that much with only a 93" inch blade.

Looking at your first picture, I saw it as a slice.

Thanks all for the comments that have been coming on this thread.

Ed

Edward E Wilson Jr
04-10-2006, 10:28 AM
Hello Dennis:

I am still not sure what you are telling me, other than to cut the log down through the middle, a little to the side of center on each. Looking at your first picture, I am seeing a block of wood about 2 - 3 inches thick, flat on both sides and I would say about 8 - 9 inches across. What size log are you using and why does the outside not have the circle of the tree.

Again, your postings have been what I have been looking for.

Ed

Hank Merkle
07-16-2006, 11:08 PM
GREAT POST! (article) something like this belongs in wood turning design!

..but (and there always is one) I tried to find more information on the alcohol bath and searched for dave smith and alcohol and found nothing!

Can you point me in the right direction?

Thanks,

Hank Merkle



Continued from previous post......

4th Pic - Shows the bowl all roughed out on the outside and the inside and still mounted to the Super Nova Chuck. It's now ready to be removed from the chuck.

http://www.beautifulwood.net/assets/images/bd_1567-4.jpg


5th Pic - Here's the freshly turned bowl blank now setting in it's 24 hour home of an alky bath (Developed by Dave Smith). Notice that it's not fresh alky. Black Walnut and other dark woods will turn the Alky dark like that....so I call it my Alky Tea. :D

http://www.beautifulwood.net/assets/images/bd_1568-5.jpg


6th Pic - Here's the bowl getting ready to come out of the alky bath at about 24 hours later. Don't pay any attention to the color of the outside of the wood. It all turns away when finish turning the bowl.

http://www.beautifulwood.net/assets/images/bd_1574-6.jpg




Continued on the next post.....

Vaughn McMillan
08-13-2006, 5:55 AM
Is it just me, or did the pics in the initial post disaappear? I can't see them anymore, but I can see them in Hank's post above.

- Vaughn

John Miliunas
08-13-2006, 7:46 PM
Vaughn, nope...It's not just you. I can't either. I note the article, at length, is still on Dennis' site. I wonder if maybe the locations of the original pics may have gotten moved, rendering the pics with the article here kind of useless. :confused: Sounds like Dennis may have been having some issues loading the pics to the SMC server when he did the article, hence the links. As always, it's best to store related pics at SMC for situations just like this. Hopefully, Dennis will see your post and can maybe upload the pics here or correct the links. It's a SUPER article and I'd hate to not have it in its entire form! :) :cool:

Andy Hoyt
08-13-2006, 8:06 PM
I read a post by Jim Becker couple of days ago that said:


The reason ......is that HTML is currently turned off on SMC. You must use either the normal upload or use the vBulletin image linking button. You cannot just write HTML code any more. Reason? Our recent hacker attack...)
Wonder if this is the cause of the issue?

Dennis Peacock
08-15-2006, 9:18 PM
OK...it's fixed now. Aaron removed the ability for including html code in a post. So I've had to revamp it and just upload the pics. Sorry for the confusion.

Dave Crisher
08-25-2006, 8:56 PM
I have one question, though. What is the container you are using to soak your bowls in?
I use DNA as well to dry bowls, but I don't have a container big enough to put the large bowls in. I double up a couple of trash bags and use that to soak my roughed out bowls.

Dennis Peacock
09-06-2006, 2:02 AM
I have one question, though. What is the container you are using to soak your bowls in?
I use DNA as well to dry bowls, but I don't have a container big enough to put the large bowls in. I double up a couple of trash bags and use that to soak my roughed out bowls.

Dave,

It is a plastic container that was sent to me by a fellow SMC member. I don't know where he found it, but it's really great to use. It must hold something like 30 gallons and that's a lot of money in DNA. If I find a source for these, I'll post back here and let you know.

Jon Shively
12-15-2006, 3:45 PM
Dennis, daaa gone!!! Roughed out bowl blank? Geez, I would be happy to take one looking like that in as a finished product! Thanks for the tutorial, great information I will use in the future.

Dennis Peacock
12-15-2006, 10:01 PM
Jon,

Glad you found it useful. I try my best to post things that would help others as I come across things that I feel could be of use to someone at sometime. :D

Andy Livingston
12-24-2006, 1:33 PM
Please keep the tutorials coming! Those of us that simply lurk here and never post quietly gain from your experience! Thanks!:o