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Thread: Whisky Tumbler - orientation and wall thickness

  1. #1

    Whisky Tumbler - orientation and wall thickness

    I am new to turning. I turned a beautiful whisky Tumbler in white oak yesterday but the rim came off the lathe w some micro cracks between grains. No doubt I went to thin on the walls at approx 1/16-1/8 of an inch.

    Can I get some advice ?
    - spindle vs bowl orientation - I think everything I have seen online is spindle.

    - minimum thickness for the walls.

    - width - I am using firewood and it seems 3.5 inches is as wide as I can get - reasonable ? I think so but....

    Finally: the micro cracks. If I got it w CA glue and sand it, will the glue be visBle in any way ? Can I still out a finish like waterlox on it w CA glue repairs ?

    Thanks
    Allen

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Seidman View Post
    I am new to turning. I turned a beautiful whisky Tumbler in white oak yesterday but the rim came off the lathe w some micro cracks between grains. No doubt I went to thin on the walls at approx 1/16-1/8 of an inch.

    Can I get some advice ?
    - spindle vs bowl orientation - I think everything I have seen online is spindle.

    - minimum thickness for the walls.

    - width - I am using firewood and it seems 3.5 inches is as wide as I can get - reasonable ? I think so but....

    Finally: the micro cracks. If I got it w CA glue and sand it, will the glue be visBle in any way ? Can I still out a finish like waterlox on it w CA glue repairs ?

    Thanks
    Allen
    A close up picture might be helpful. What kind of wood did you use? Some is worse than other. If the wood is green shrinking and cracking is possible. Heat from enthusastic sanding can also cause tiny cracks. I primarily use dry hard and fine-grained wood.

    That thickness might be OK with some species. I've turned small things to far less than 1/16" and they were fine - but the wood I used was probably different.

    I turn things like goblets and boxes in spindle orientation with the grain running down the axis of the lathe.

    Are you planning to put liquid in this? If not, the CA method might hide the cracks - I use a method from a friend: wet sand (by hand, off the lathe) with thin CA glue applied to sandpaper.
    If planning to use it with liquid, I think I'd try coating the inside with epoxy.

    JKJ

  3. #3
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    CA glue will stain the wood. Not like a colored stain, but like a permanent wet mark that has soaked into a local area. Some will put on a coat of shellac before the CA so the CA doesn't soak into surrounding wood. But if you are turning firewood, it likely has some drying to do yet. That means the cracks may grow wider or longer. If this is going to be used regularly for whiskey, shellac isn't a good idea. Best to put a couple coats of epoxy all over the piece. That's going to be a tough application inside.

  4. #4
    Last year I was very surprised to learn that Waterlox finish will degrade in presence of mild liquid dish soap, in case you envision washing the item after use.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    CA glue will stain the wood. Not like a colored stain, but like a permanent wet mark that has soaked into a local area. Some will put on a coat of shellac before the CA so the CA doesn't soak into surrounding wood. But if you are turning firewood, it likely has some drying to do yet. That means the cracks may grow wider or longer. If this is going to be used regularly for whiskey, shellac isn't a good idea. Best to put a couple coats of epoxy all over the piece. That's going to be a tough application inside.
    That may depend on how you use the CA. If you apply it directly to the wood and too much at a time such as a drop from the bottle tip, yes you will get a "stain", sometimes extensive and ugly, worse if the drop runs on the surface. The stain is worse for porous wood.

    However, you can usually eliminate the stain if you use a fine capillary applicator for a small amount directed just where you need it then immediately wipe with a piece of paper towel with the grain/figure, especially if the wood if fine grained and has some character. I like these applicator tips: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H7H4NW (they can easily be cleaned with the proper size of fine wire or some air and used many times)

    To apply extremely small amounts of CA to pinpoint areas I first put a tiny drop on the end a fine wire (dip the wire into a drop on applicator tip) then apply the wire to the wood - can almost put it into a pore that way, certainly in a small enough spot to be invisible. I've used this many times on very small cracks on small work.

    When I wet sand with thin CA on 220 to 400 paper I get no stain. A small drop of CA spreads out on the sandpaper and the small amount that gets applied to the wood is mixed with sawdust and is invisible, the CA/sawdust mixture forced into to fill and hide small voids such as a small chip. Since the sawdust is from the wood from around the defect it more often than not blends nicely with the wood. I learned this from John Lucas.

    JKJ

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