Finishing wet wood

Finishing wet wood

Post by Prometheu » Wed, 18 May 2005 20:03:02



Hello all,

I went out on Sunday with the bow saw, and cut myself some nice maple
and birch out of some trees that were knocked over when the logging
trucks widened the road in the county forest.  Since I don't have a
big stock of cured blanks yet, I've been turning a little of it
sopping wet.  I know the standard procedure is to put a coat of sealer
over the roughed-out blank and wait for it to dry out, but I want to
have a few finished pieces as well!  I made a little maple bowl
tonight after work, and finished it with a 3lb. cut of shellac, in the
hopes that it may survive.... I have seen a couple of references to
finishing the piece right away, but this is the first time I've tried
this.  Did I mess up a perfectly nice little bowl, or is it likely to
survive with the shellac on it to slow down the moisture exchange?  If
it does survive, does finishing immediately work on larger pieces as
well, or does it need to have a thin wall?

Thanks for any advice you've got!

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Georg » Wed, 18 May 2005 20:22:49



Quote:
> Hello all,

> I went out on Sunday with the bow saw, and cut myself some nice maple
> and birch out of some trees that were knocked over when the logging
> trucks widened the road in the county forest.  Since I don't have a
> big stock of cured blanks yet, I've been turning a little of it
> sopping wet.  I know the standard procedure is to put a coat of sealer
> over the roughed-out blank and wait for it to dry out, but I want to
> have a few finished pieces as well!  I made a little maple bowl
> tonight after work, and finished it with a 3lb. cut of shellac, in the
> hopes that it may survive.... I have seen a couple of references to
> finishing the piece right away, but this is the first time I've tried
> this.  Did I mess up a perfectly nice little bowl, or is it likely to
> survive with the shellac on it to slow down the moisture exchange?  If
> it does survive, does finishing immediately work on larger pieces as
> well, or does it need to have a thin wall?

> Thanks for any advice you've got!

"Standard procedure" is anything but an occlusive coating in my house.
Maple looks best without black mildew spots.  You really want to get the
moisture content down before anchorsealing or such, or woods with the sap up
can grow some remarkably ugly things.   Remember, the ride to the fiber
saturation point is free of cracks or distortion.  That's ~30%, with mildew
and fungal growth stopping at ~20%, so plan accordingly.

What's going to happen with the shellac?  Don't know.  If you cut thin and
spun hard, you took it off the lathe at about 30%.  I'd get it out of the
humidity, but not into the sun and hope for the best.  Shellac will tolerate
a certain amount of excess water, but it looks milky with the stuff trapped
under.

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Derek Andrew » Wed, 18 May 2005 21:18:37


I would agree with George that finishing is probably best left until the
  bowl is dry.  If you must finish it straight away, a non curing finish
like mineral oil or beeswax might be a better compromise.

If you turn the bowl thin enough, it will warp rather than crack. Here
is a yellow birch bowl that I turned recently:
http://chipshop.blogspot.com/2005/04/warped-bowl.html
It is now dry and waiting for the base to be trued up before finishing.

--
Derek Andrews, woodturner

http://www.seafoamwoodturning.com
http://chipshop.blogspot.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/toolrest/

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by robo hipp » Thu, 19 May 2005 00:46:34


Derek,
You can take wet turned bowls, dry them slowly, then sand and finish.
If your turning tecnique is good enough, you can wet sand them before
drying. The main thing with this style is to turn fairly thin,with even
wall thickness at 3/8 to 1/4 inch. If it is fairly humid where you are,
just setting on a shelf, out of sun and wind, will work. You can also
brown bag it which creates a stable mini enviroment for the bowl to dry
in. The bowl will warp, and seldom cracks. It can be dry enough to sand
and oil finish in a week to a month. If it still feels cool to the
touch, it needs to dry a bit longer. Fruit woods seem to be way more
prone to splitting if they are thicker than 1/4 inch. Maple seems to be
okay up to 1/2 inch thick.
robo hippy

Quote:

> I would agree with George that finishing is probably best left until
the
>   bowl is dry.  If you must finish it straight away, a non curing
finish
> like mineral oil or beeswax might be a better compromise.

> If you turn the bowl thin enough, it will warp rather than crack.
Here
> is a yellow birch bowl that I turned recently:
> http://chipshop.blogspot.com/2005/04/warped-bowl.html
> It is now dry and waiting for the base to be trued up before
finishing.

> --
> Derek Andrews, woodturner

> http://www.seafoamwoodturning.com
> http://chipshop.blogspot.com
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/toolrest/

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Georg » Thu, 19 May 2005 02:33:29



Quote:

> Derek,
> You can take wet turned bowls, dry them slowly, then sand and finish.
> If your turning tecnique is good enough, you can wet sand them before
> drying. The main thing with this style is to turn fairly thin,with even
> wall thickness at 3/8 to 1/4 inch. If it is fairly humid where you are,
> just setting on a shelf, out of sun and wind, will work. You can also
> brown bag it which creates a stable mini enviroment for the bowl to dry
> in. The bowl will warp, and seldom cracks. It can be dry enough to sand
> and oil finish in a week to a month. If it still feels cool to the
> touch, it needs to dry a bit longer. Fruit woods seem to be way more
> prone to splitting if they are thicker than 1/4 inch. Maple seems to be
> okay up to 1/2 inch thick.
> robo hippy

Well, here's my experience.  If you think of what prevents checking - since
checks become splits - a moisture gradient which keeps the surface almost as
wet (dry) as the interior, thin is great for all woods.  Only ones I've had
problems with, depending on the slope of the walls, have been woods with
built-in *** plates - medullary rays - like oak and beech.  Of fruit
woods, I've only turned cherry and apple.

Two other good things about thin are the fact that you can throw almost all
the unbound moisture by centrifugal force, and the wood has less substance
to pull against and distort.

As to dry times, it depends on the relative humidity.  Consider that a plank
will lose or gain about one percent per week according to the FPL, and then
remember that water migrates 10-15 times as fast from end grain as from the
face, and you'd really have to have some strange circumstances to have a
bowl which took more than two weeks to EMC at less than a half inch thick.

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Dr. De » Thu, 19 May 2005 03:20:16


Quote:

> Hello all,

> I went out on Sunday with the bow saw, and cut myself some nice maple
> and birch out of some trees that were knocked over when the logging
> trucks widened the road in the county forest.  Since I don't have a
> big stock of cured blanks yet, I've been turning a little of it
> sopping wet.  I know the standard procedure is to put a coat of sealer
> over the roughed-out blank and wait for it to dry out, but I want to
> have a few finished pieces as well!  I made a little maple bowl
> tonight after work, and finished it with a 3lb. cut of shellac, in the
> hopes that it may survive.... I have seen a couple of references to
> finishing the piece right away, but this is the first time I've tried
> this.  Did I mess up a perfectly nice little bowl, or is it likely to
> survive with the shellac on it to slow down the moisture exchange?  If
> it does survive, does finishing immediately work on larger pieces as
> well, or does it need to have a thin wall?

> Thanks for any advice you've got!

And then there is the LDD approach.  50/50 mixture of liquid dish detergent
and water, soak the nearly finished bowl for 24 hours  wipe most of the
solution off, cover the bed of your lathe with plastic sheeting, chuck the
piece up and finish it on out, I usually use shellac and wax for a finish.
Depending on the type of wood, warping will be either non existant or give
you a nice oval effect (oak is bad about going oval).  However, I have had
no problems with any of my pieces splitting.

Deb

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Leif Thorvaldso » Thu, 19 May 2005 05:11:28



Quote:

>> Hello all,

>> I went out on Sunday with the bow saw, and cut myself some nice maple
>> and birch out of some trees that were knocked over when the logging
>> trucks widened the road in the county forest.  Since I don't have a
>> big stock of cured blanks yet, I've been turning a little of it
>> sopping wet.  I know the standard procedure is to put a coat of sealer
>> over the roughed-out blank and wait for it to dry out, but I want to
>> have a few finished pieces as well!  I made a little maple bowl
>> tonight after work, and finished it with a 3lb. cut of shellac, in the
>> hopes that it may survive.... I have seen a couple of references to
>> finishing the piece right away, but this is the first time I've tried
>> this.  Did I mess up a perfectly nice little bowl, or is it likely to
>> survive with the shellac on it to slow down the moisture exchange?  If
>> it does survive, does finishing immediately work on larger pieces as
>> well, or does it need to have a thin wall?

>> Thanks for any advice you've got!

> And then there is the LDD approach.  50/50 mixture of liquid dish
> detergent
> and water, soak the nearly finished bowl for 24 hours  wipe most of the
> solution off, cover the bed of your lathe with plastic sheeting, chuck the
> piece up and finish it on out, I usually use shellac and wax for a finish.
> Depending on the type of wood, warping will be either non existant or give
> you a nice oval effect (oak is bad about going oval).  However, I have had
> no problems with any of my pieces splitting.

> Deb

*APPLAUSE, LOUD HUZZAHS, BELLS RINGING, CANNONS FIRING, 1812  OVERTURE
CRESCENDOS*

Leif

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Prometheu » Thu, 19 May 2005 19:42:50




Quote:
>And then there is the LDD approach.  50/50 mixture of liquid dish detergent
>and water, soak the nearly finished bowl for 24 hours  wipe most of the
>solution off, cover the bed of your lathe with plastic sheeting, chuck the
>piece up and finish it on out, I usually use shellac and wax for a finish.
>Depending on the type of wood, warping will be either non existant or give
>you a nice oval effect (oak is bad about going oval).  However, I have had
>no problems with any of my pieces splitting.

How exactly is this supposed to work?  Does the detergent lower the
moisture content of the wood somehow?  I'm not saying it doesn't work,
of course, just wondering why it would.  One of the other responses
mentioned that the wood may appear milky under the finish without
drying it, does the LDD method cause that to occur, or does the soaked
wood behave in effectively the same manner as dried wood?  I'll
definately give it a try, as I've heard of this before.  Thanks for
filling in the details of the method.

To fill in a couple of details from my original post, the bowl in
question is about 5" dia x 3" deep with a wall thickness of about
3/8", and slightly thicker (perhaps 1/2") on the bottom.  I did the
final cuts at a spindle speed of 1750 rpm, and sanded for a heck of a
long time to clean up some tearout on the end grain, and got the piece
fairly hot.  Sanded though the grits to 400 (60, 100, 120, 220, 320,
400), and then burnished the piece with the shavings.   No way of
telling what the moisture content ended up being.

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Georg » Thu, 19 May 2005 20:00:12



Quote:
> To fill in a couple of details from my original post, the bowl in
> question is about 5" dia x 3" deep with a wall thickness of about
> 3/8", and slightly thicker (perhaps 1/2") on the bottom.  I did the
> final cuts at a spindle speed of 1750 rpm, and sanded for a heck of a
> long time to clean up some tearout on the end grain, and got the piece
> fairly hot.  Sanded though the grits to 400 (60, 100, 120, 220, 320,
> 400), and then burnished the piece with the shavings.   No way of
> telling what the moisture content ended up being.

VERY low.  You cut thin, spun well - bet you saw the water on the end
grain - and then heated it by sanding.

NB on shaving burnishing.  Don't do it if you are careless when cleaning
your lathe.  One or two maple curls can do some distressing things to an
aspen bowl.

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Leif Thorvaldso » Fri, 20 May 2005 03:24:25



Quote:


>>And then there is the LDD approach.  50/50 mixture of liquid dish
>>detergent
>>and water, soak the nearly finished bowl for 24 hours  wipe most of the
>>solution off, cover the bed of your lathe with plastic sheeting, chuck the
>>piece up and finish it on out, I usually use shellac and wax for a finish.
>>Depending on the type of wood, warping will be either non existant or give
>>you a nice oval effect (oak is bad about going oval).  However, I have had
>>no problems with any of my pieces splitting.

> How exactly is this supposed to work?  Does the detergent lower the
> moisture content of the wood somehow?  I'm not saying it doesn't work,
> of course, just wondering why it would.  One of the other responses
> mentioned that the wood may appear milky under the finish without
> drying it, does the LDD method cause that to occur, or does the soaked
> wood behave in effectively the same manner as dried wood?  I'll
> definately give it a try, as I've heard of this before.  Thanks for
> filling in the details of the method.

<SNIP>

Its manner of action can be only speculated on.  Some ascribe mystical,
alchemical qualities to it, but a "vast consensus" of turners (errh, well,
at least myself and two others!) seem to believe that the soap solution
draws out water from the cell walls and replaces it with some substance in
the soap.  I have never had a finish appear milky from use of the soap
solution.  It makes the wood cut easier. And it takes any kind of finish
with the wood still damp after final turning and sanding. Don't mention that
I sent you the samizdat on The Soap Solution as you will receive the same
scorn and loathing that I have had to suffer from the reactionary turners.
You know the type:  the boilers, the bakers, the microwavers, the soakers,
the spin driers, the drycleaners, the air driers for ten years, etc. They
will cause you to doubt the truth behind The Soap Solution, yea, verily, to
cause it to appear un-Constitutional.  Heed not the fearmongers!  I am
available for a limited time only free consultation by email.  *G*

Leif

P.S.  I have turned complete salad sets for my two nieces (18 Pieces in all)
and not a one has warped or gone out of round.  Maybe it is the type of oak
that is referred to above, but in my experience, if you follow the
directions you will not suffer from cracked, out-of-round turned items,
chilblains, cracked hands, low libido, etc!*G*

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Dr. De » Fri, 20 May 2005 04:15:00


Quote:

> Hello all,

> I went out on Sunday with the bow saw, and cut myself some nice maple
> and birch out of some trees that were knocked over when the logging
> trucks widened the road in the county forest.  Since I don't have a
> big stock of cured blanks yet, I've been turning a little of it
> sopping wet.  I know the standard procedure is to put a coat of sealer
> over the roughed-out blank and wait for it to dry out, but I want to
> have a few finished pieces as well!  I made a little maple bowl
> tonight after work, and finished it with a 3lb. cut of shellac, in the
> hopes that it may survive.... I have seen a couple of references to
> finishing the piece right away, but this is the first time I've tried
> this.  Did I mess up a perfectly nice little bowl, or is it likely to
> survive with the shellac on it to slow down the moisture exchange?  If
> it does survive, does finishing immediately work on larger pieces as
> well, or does it need to have a thin wall?

> Thanks for any advice you've got!

Leif has said it all.  But then why shouldn't he, he is the High Priest of
LDD! :-)

Deb

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by robo hipp » Fri, 20 May 2005 12:48:37


I am just going to have to try the LDD method. One question though,
when you take the bowl out of the solution, do you just drip dry it, or
rinse it off, or what?
robo hippy

Quote:


> > Hello all,

> > I went out on Sunday with the bow saw, and cut myself some nice
maple
> > and birch out of some trees that were knocked over when the logging
> > trucks widened the road in the county forest.  Since I don't have a
> > big stock of cured blanks yet, I've been turning a little of it
> > sopping wet.  I know the standard procedure is to put a coat of
sealer
> > over the roughed-out blank and wait for it to dry out, but I want
to
> > have a few finished pieces as well!  I made a little maple bowl
> > tonight after work, and finished it with a 3lb. cut of shellac, in
the
> > hopes that it may survive.... I have seen a couple of references to
> > finishing the piece right away, but this is the first time I've
tried
> > this.  Did I mess up a perfectly nice little bowl, or is it likely
to
> > survive with the shellac on it to slow down the moisture exchange?
If
> > it does survive, does finishing immediately work on larger pieces
as
> > well, or does it need to have a thin wall?

> > Thanks for any advice you've got!

> Leif has said it all.  But then why shouldn't he, he is the High
Priest of
> LDD! :-)

> Deb

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by william_b_nobl » Fri, 20 May 2005 14:22:44


in contrast to most other posters, here's my approach:

turn the form to final size while wet - turn the walls thin, so light shines
through - with ash, this is around 1/8 to 3/16, maple is a little thinner -
put a bright light behind the piece and turn for uniform "glow".  Then sand
and finish with laquer immediately.  never have mildew problems, rarely any
checkng even on the foot, which is of course a bit thicker.
bill

Quote:
> Hello all,

> I went out on Sunday with the bow saw, and cut myself some nice maple
> and birch out of some trees that were knocked over when the logging
> trucks widened the road in the county forest.  Since I don't have a
> big stock of cured blanks yet, I've been turning a little of it
> sopping wet.  I know the standard procedure is to put a coat of sealer
> over the roughed-out blank and wait for it to dry out, but I want to
> have a few finished pieces as well!  I made a little maple bowl
> tonight after work, and finished it with a 3lb. cut of shellac, in the
> hopes that it may survive.... I have seen a couple of references to
> finishing the piece right away, but this is the first time I've tried
> this.  Did I mess up a perfectly nice little bowl, or is it likely to
> survive with the shellac on it to slow down the moisture exchange?  If
> it does survive, does finishing immediately work on larger pieces as
> well, or does it need to have a thin wall?

> Thanks for any advice you've got!

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Leif Thorvaldso » Fri, 20 May 2005 16:32:24



Quote:
>I am just going to have to try the LDD method. One question though,
> when you take the bowl out of the solution, do you just drip dry it, or
> rinse it off, or what?
> robo hippy

=====>A private email has been sent to you with a copy of The Soap Solution
attached.  Hopefully, this method will allow the counterrevolutionary
turners to keep napping while they wait for their wood to dry.*G*

Leif

 
 
 

Finishing wet wood

Post by Prometheu » Fri, 20 May 2005 19:13:44


On Wed, 18 May 2005 11:24:25 -0700, "Leif Thorvaldson"

Quote:

>Its manner of action can be only speculated on.  Some ascribe mystical,
>alchemical qualities to it, but a "vast consensus" of turners (errh, well,
>at least myself and two others!) seem to believe that the soap solution
>draws out water from the cell walls and replaces it with some substance in
>the soap.  I have never had a finish appear milky from use of the soap
>solution.  It makes the wood cut easier. And it takes any kind of finish
>with the wood still damp after final turning and sanding. Don't mention that
>I sent you the samizdat on The Soap Solution as you will receive the same
>scorn and loathing that I have had to suffer from the reactionary turners.
>You know the type:  the boilers, the bakers, the microwavers, the soakers,
>the spin driers, the drycleaners, the air driers for ten years, etc. They
>will cause you to doubt the truth behind The Soap Solution, yea, verily, to
>cause it to appear un-Constitutional.  Heed not the fearmongers!  I am
>available for a limited time only free consultation by email.  *G*

ROFL!  So, if I use the method, do I get to learn the secret
handshake?  If you've actually got a blurb on it handy, you can email

course)  I figure it's worth a try, at any rate.

So, have you only tried this with dishwashing detergent, or have you
tried out simple glycerine as well?  I haven't gone out and priced
them, but I would suspect that glycerine flakes can be had in a
reasonably large volume for far less than a commerical soap.  That'd
also narrow down the list of possible chemicals that are working in
the wood to one.  

Quote:
>Leif

>P.S.  I have turned complete salad sets for my two nieces (18 Pieces in all)
>and not a one has warped or gone out of round.  Maybe it is the type of oak
>that is referred to above, but in my experience, if you follow the
>directions you will not suffer from cracked, out-of-round turned items,
>chilblains, cracked hands, low libido, etc!*G*