Bowl Drying Problems

I turn primarily green wood which requires long periods of drying before the final turning.  I have had excellent luck with rough turning and putting green bowls in a paper bag with wet shavings.  This method slows the drying process and minimizes stress cracks from the drying process.  I usually put the bags containing the roughed out bowls in my cellar.  This April I turned a substantial number of green bowls requiring me to put some out in my garage.  I expected similar positive results given the spring of the year and the cooler temperatures in the garage.  Well, I was wrong!!

Cracked Cherry Bowl

Cracked Cherry Bowl

This roughed out Black Cherry bowl split in several places.  I took about 20 bowls out of their bags and about one half had varying levels of cracking.  At least 3 of these bowls are not salvageable.  Bottom line, the garage was too warm and too dry.  This atmosphere caused the bowls to dry too quickly and the stresses caused the cracks.  Also, the larger bowls had more cracks than the smaller bowls.  I think this happened because I was unable to fit enough shavings in a standard paper grocery bag with these larger bowls to prevent them from cracking.

I am very disappointed as these bowls were very large and from an interesting log. I hate wasting any wood although this piece will go in my wood stove this winter.   No more drying in the garage for me!!  I learn something every day from my wood turning!!  Happy turning!!




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