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Thread: Processing a Bowl Blank - Pics

  1. #1
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    Processing a Bowl Blank - Pics

    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.

    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.....
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    Last edited by Dennis Peacock; 08-15-2006 at 7:34 PM.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
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  2. #2
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    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.

    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.....
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    Last edited by Dennis Peacock; 09-06-2006 at 1:05 AM.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  3. #3
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    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.

    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.
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    Last edited by Dennis Peacock; 09-06-2006 at 1:06 AM.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  4. #4
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    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.
    Glenn Hodges
    Nashville, Georgia

    "Would you believe the only time I ever make mistakes is when someone is watching?"

  5. #5
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
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    Dennis, this is the best "how to" for DNA drying I've seen.
    __________________________________________________ ______________
    I wasn't born in the mountains, but I got here as fast as I could!

  8. Thanks a lot Dennis, that is GREAT!!

  9. #9
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    Dennis,

    That pictorial is worth many thousand words!

  10. #10
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    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.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  11. #11
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    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..

  12. #12
    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?

  13. #13
    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.
    Raymond Overman
    Happiness is a warm chainsaw

    "Do not wait, the time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command. Better tools will be found as you go along." Napolean Hill

  14. #14
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    Excellent instructional Dennis, Thanks
    941.44 miles South of Steve Schlumph

    TURN SAFE

  15. #15
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    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.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
    Get the Benefits of Being an SMC Contributor..!
    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

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