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Drying roughed out wood bowls quickly

Alcohol soaking method for drying bowls

I stated looking for a method to decrease the time it takes to dry wood bowls in 2001. By the end of that year I had refined a method of quickly drying bowls which is consistent and cost effective for both hobbyist and professional turners.

After a year of testing by other turners an article describing the process was published in the November 2004 issue of More Wooddturning. The information was disseminated Saturday November 13th on several internet woodworking forums. The thread on Woodcentral provoked a lot of discussion and answers a lot of frequently ask questions. Drying rough turned bowls quickly. A condensed version of the published article was put in the Articles section of Woodcentral on 16 November 2004. Alcohol soaking method for drying bowls.

The article has several pictures which help explain the process used to soak and dry wood bowls.

alcohol wood drying One aspect that I had not anticipated was the availability of denatured ethanol alcohol outside the United States. In Canada and the UK denatured alcohol is methyl hydrate or methanol. I do not recommend the use of methanol due to health safety concerns. It is also important to obtain a Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS) to access the dangers of using alcohol. Both ethanol and methanol are labeled highly flammable so appropriate safety measures need to be implemented when using alcohol. Ethanol is listed as harmful while methanol is considered toxic. It is incumbent upon anyone using the alcohol soaking procedure to read, understand and follow all precautions listed on the containers. Do not do anything you are not comfortable with. The information I have provided is my experience. You assume all responsibility for any results stemming from using any part of this procedure.

More information will be added to this web site in the future. Until then please refer to the above mentioned sites for information on the alcohol soaking process for drying rough turned wood bowls.

Laser depth finder for the lathe

I was turning a natural edge bowl and needed to determine the inside depth of the bowl before parting it off. I have a shop made depth finder that is OK when the bowl rim is uniform. But the uneven rim of a natural edge bowl requires a different measuring devise. So I commence the noodle dance to come up with an alternative method for measuring the inside depth of a bowl and transferring that depth to the out side of a bowl. I was considering a mechanical devise when I saw the laser light I purchased with the Laminate Pro software program. It was then that I had, what Tom Peters calls, "A blinding flash of the obvious." It only took a couple of minutes to set up the whole system.

A drill chuck is placed into the tail stock with a 1/4" socket extension of sufficient length to reach the bottom of the vessel being measured. Any suitable rod that fits into the drill chuck will work. I chose the 1/4" extension because I have a selection on hand and the male end is not larger than the shaft so it will seat properly in the chuck.

Note that my camera took the red out of the laser light beam which appears as a white dot in the photo. The laser light's magnetic base is attached to the tail stock. Next align the laser beam with the end if the extension. Move the tail stock until the extension contacts the bottom of the bowl. The laser light will indicate the depth of hollowing which can be conveniently marked on the outside. This method is more accurate than sighting along dowels and trying to mark the bottom of a vessel.

I purchased the laser light from Wood Turner Pro for $50. I used the light because I had it on hand. The magnetic base and goose neck is very convenient for mounting and aligning when needed. A similar light and base is probably available elsewhere. I mention Wood Turner Pro as a convenience to the reader. I have no financial connection with Wood Turner Pro.

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