HOW TO: Seal newly cut wood for bowl blanks?!?!

Grimmy2016

Board of Directors, Development Director
Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
I want to seal the bradford pear bowl blanks I had cut today. Should I wait a few days then do it? Can I use latex? Should I put them in plastic bags?

I guess since I am new to turning and never had a fresh tree cut to deal with I really dont know the appropriate steps or timing to take them in. I prefer not to spend a ton of money on AnchorSeal since I only have a few pieces to keep.

I am open to any and all suggestions.....
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
when I took down the BP that I was offered, I brought home the largest logs I could handle. Then when I was ready to cut them up, I cut them then sealed them immediately! Latex should work fine. DON'T wait! Do it asap! The sooner the better!
 

Grimmy2016

Board of Directors, Development Director
Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
do I only do the end grains? The logs were cut in half for me so they are already open faced. Do I need to do those as well? My goal is to turn a few of them in the next two weeks or less.
 

djvanduy

New User
Jason
get some anchorseal and use that to seal the wood up. End grain is the main area that you want to seal, do all faces if your really interested. I tend not to do any other faces unless its a burl or crotch section. I haven't found latex to work all that well. Get a good coat on it as cracking in bradford pear can be problematic.

Refer to this article i wrote if your still interested in digging further about preparing blanks... Wood Gathering - Sourcing and Preparation of Wood Turning Blanks

JVD
www.vanduynwoodwork.com
 

gritz

Robert
Senior User
Preparing turning blanks takes two cuts, not just one down the center. The pith must be removed. You will wind up with two bowl blanks and the pith plank. Seal the ends of the bowl blanks and leave them outside, but covered. I keep mine under the screened porch. I like Anchorseal or equivalent wax emulsion sealers. If the pith plank is figured, seal it as well. It will almost always crack down the center but can still be used for boxes, etc. Rough turn the blanks as soon as practicable and store in paper bags with their wet shavings. They should be ready for final turning in 6 months.
 

Grimmy2016

Board of Directors, Development Director
Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Preparing turning blanks takes two cuts, not just one down the center. The pith must be removed. You will wind up with two bowl blanks and the pith plank. Seal the ends of the bowl blanks and leave them outside, but covered. I keep mine under the screened porch. I like Anchorseal or equivalent wax emulsion sealers. If the pith plank is figured, seal it as well. It will almost always crack down the center but can still be used for boxes, etc. Rough turn the blanks as soon as practicable and store in paper bags with their wet shavings. They should be ready for final turning in 6 months.
Thanks @gritz Unfortunately I didnt have them cut the pith plank. I will just have to cut off the face side of both halves when I get ready to work them.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
I like to cut the tree up into certain lengths and then put them up on end in the shade with some shavings on the exposed end. As I get to the pieces, I can split them in half and usually find no degradation. If I wait awhile, I usually have some spalting.

Roy G
 

SabertoothBunny

SabertoothBunny
User
Try AnchorSeal 2, it is a wax based coat used to seal logs, end grains, etc

Most of the guys I know who slab logs use it on their end grains to reduce and prevent splitting.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
If theyre split down the pith, I dont think splitting is as much of an issue, The wood shrinks tangentially so when a log is whole, it MUST split as it dries, but opened up there is really no stress to create splitting unless you have limbs etc that wont allow the wood to shrink as it wants to
 

Grimmy2016

Board of Directors, Development Director
Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have a gallon of Anchor Seal and you're welcome to as much as you need. Maybe we can Pony Express it to you.
Thanks Jeff!! I actually ended up doing triple layer of latex paint on both ends and then stacking under my covered porch for now.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I'm going to step outside the box here for a minute.
Sealing the ends of a log has never worked for me. The seasoning checks always got me and made my efforts result in little more than nicely dried firewood.

The term "bowl blank" apparently means different things to different people. My sources of influence conveyed the bowl blank definition as a roughly turned and sealed bowl that is either drying or dried, ready for turning.

Here's old photos of how I produce "bowl blanks"

1 bowl blanks 1 - 1.jpg

Rough logs ready for processing


1 bowl blanks 1 - 2.jpg

Band Saw litter from processing the round slugs


1 bowl blanks 1 - 3.jpg

Waste that has to be dealt with


1 bowl blanks 2 - 1.jpg

Processing the rough slugs into roughly shaped bowls, usually with a 1" or more wall thickness. Unturned slugs can be seen at the top left of this photo. Lots of damp shavings.



1 bowl blanks 1 - 4.jpg


These are what I've always known as "bowl blanks". Green colored Anchorseal has been wiped on the end grain areas with free areas at the side grain. This way, the bowl blank dries more evenly and most importantly, more slowly. End grain sheds its water very quickly and the long grain slowly. The resulting structural end grain collapse is called a seasoning check. These bowl blanks will dry from nine months to a year.

Getting green wood in log form is a 'right now' kind of thing. The wood needs to be sawn out, rough turned, sealed, and set aside to dry. A few days of dawdling at any point of this process runs a very high risk of checking failures. That's a lot of effort to turn into firewood.

When I first got acquainted with AAW and woodturning in 1993, I've read and probably tried all the "quick and easy" ways to process green wood into turning stock. Most methods failed. The only consistent method of getting good bowls for me is the above. Sure, there are a lot of turners that process green wood into a finished product, but they use wood movement as part of the process and finishing methods have to agree with water soaked wood pores.
 

JonB

Jon
User
The most important thing when processing bowl blanks or even rough turning bowls is getting rid of the pith. If the pith is left it will most certainly crack there no matter what precautions are taken.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Jon speaks the truth. My experiences from early on is that if the pith is in there, its gonna crack. That's a lesson I had to learn the hard way many times. After taking a log, processing it into a bowl blank, sealing, and sitting aside to dry, it got really frustrating when the cracking from the pith channel ruined all that preliminary work.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
I really need to learn how to do bowl cutting from logs....
Its simply a lot of band saw work. Years back I learned from the pros to have a bunch of disks of various diameters cut out and ready to use. Screw the disk to the bark side and run the bandsaw blade about 1/4" away from the disk. That way you don't ruin the disk and still get a fairly round slug. On some of the photos my disk pile can be seen. When the wood is fairly flat both sides then the disks can be used to draw circles in the stock. Its messy and labor intensive but its worth it to get good bowl blanks. The last photo shows slugs ready to go to the lathe to be turned into bowl blanks. if I waited even 24 hours to start turning those slugs, I'd lose some to cracking. A dodge I learned to prevent this was to toss the slugs in a big trash can and fill the can with about 1 foot of water then put some rags in the water to soak up the water to the slugs on the top. A good tight lid is crucial. This will hold the blanks for about a week. A little clorox bleach mixed in will keep down the fungus for a while.

1 making bowl blanks - 2.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 3.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 4.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 5.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 6.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 7.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 8.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 9.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 10.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 11.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 12.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 13.jpg1 making bowl blanks - 14.jpg
 

SabertoothBunny

SabertoothBunny
User
Its simply a lot of band saw work. Years back I learned from the pros to have a bunch of disks of various diameters cut out and ready to use. Screw the disk to the bark side and run the bandsaw blade about 1/4" away from the disk. That way you don't ruin the disk and still get a fairly round slug. On some of the photos my disk pile can be seen. When the wood is fairly flat both sides then the disks can be used to draw circles in the stock. Its messy and labor intensive but its worth it to get good bowl blanks. The last photo shows slugs ready to go to the lathe to be turned into bowl blanks. if I waited even 24 hours to start turning those slugs, I'd lose some to cracking. A dodge I learned to prevent this was to toss the slugs in a big trash can and fill the can with about 1 foot of water then put some rags in the water to soak up the water to the slugs on the top. A good tight lid is crucial. This will hold the blanks for about a week. A little clorox bleach mixed in will keep down the fungus for a while.

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That is a pretty neat idea, thank you. One of my limitations is my 10" delta bandsaw and 12" lathe. I am working through it though, got some oak in my driveway I may try to make blanks out of this weekend.
 

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