Care and feeding of turning blanks

About 2-3 weeks ago I bought 2 turning blanks at Rockler. Don't remember now what the wood is, can"t find the stickers now. Anyway, removed the wax on them and put a couple coats of spray laquer on them to get an idea of what they would look like. One of the blocks is starting to split in a few places, the other is ok so far. These are not going to be used for turning. So what is the proper way to stabalize these blocks?
--
Paul O.


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If you can, core them. By hollowing them out, the outer layers won't split when shrinking/drying over wetter inner layers.
Wax or PEG (polyethylene glycol) will retard the drying process.
-- "Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the latent spark. If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?" --John Adams
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If they dry too fast they get stressed and crack. The drying happens out the ends mostly. You can use latex paint to slow the drying process. My experience is with lumber in general and not specific to turning blanks but wood is wood... I think.
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On Tue, 21 Jun 2011 10:45:23 -0700 (PDT), "SonomaProducts.com"

My experience with latex paint and some Madrone logs was absolutely miserable. Within 3 day, every single one was cracked in at least two places. By week's end, some cracks were 3/8" wide and ran the length of the log. I can not recommend latex paint for moisture control.
-- "Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the latent spark. If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?" --John Adams
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Hmm, has always worked for me. I dried some almond logs for my brother over the last year and it has worked flawless and I've used it on various differnt species over the years and it always seemed to work fine. Maybe I've just been lucky.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

SonomaProducts, Not trying to be a wise guy here, but was wondering if you'd ever done an experiment where you applied latex paint to some logs and didn't apply it to other logs of the same batch and allowed them to dry under identical conditions? A test group and a control group, if you will. Thanks, Kerry
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Not so wise... No I really don't do this too much, only on the rare occasion. Latex was suggested by someone else and it just seemed to work.
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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote in message

Hmm, has always worked for me. I dried some almond logs for my brother over the last year and it has worked flawless and I've used it on various differnt species over the years and it always seemed to work fine. Maybe I've just been lucky.
============== My guess is it would depend when the paint was applied. If the drying out was already done the split is going to happen no matter how much paint you apply.
--
Eric



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My experience matches yours, C-less. I've had poor results with melted paraffin, too. Log end sealer has worked consistently well, otoh.
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On Fri, 24 Jun 2011 00:24:00 -0600, Dave Balderstone

Got a brand name or tech specs on the goo, Baldy?
-- You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. --Jack London
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Yellow or white glue also work, IIRC. I imagine shellac would, too -- good use for old 3 lb that dries too slowly.
Would wrapping the pieces in plastic trash bags work?
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On Saturday, June 25, 2011 11:27:24 PM UTC-7, Father Haskell wrote:

But, otherwise too expensive. A bit of paraffin wax, warmed in a can on a hotplate, or dissolved in paint thinner, is gonna leave you with a reusable brush that doesn't need cleaning.

Probably not well; you could get condensation in the bag, and you don't want water contact. I've tried those plastic perforated boxes that salad sometimes is sold in...
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I'm wondering, if I scraped the wax off the top, bottom, and sides and left the wax on the ends, then let it sit in the house for awhile, if that would help. Seems it might dry out a little slower that way.
Paul O.
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I am no expert on this kind of thing. But I read an article in the local paper of an artist who turned madrone. She claimed it was very unstable. So she turned the bowels green. She then applied some kind of wax based finish. The bowels then warped considerably. But if no finish had been put on them, they would have self destructed. The special finish (a trade secret) that she put on it slowed it down. She made it very clear that you could not completely eliminate this bad behavior with madrone.
So, it could be characteristic of this particular species. As such, measures done to control checking may work on some species, moisture content, etc., and not on others.
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I've been able to get Madrone, after splitting, to dry well in up to two-inch sections (about right for handles, but not too good for doors and drawers).
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I used to own acreage of cross timber - Redwoods and Madrone were the major trees.
It is an ancient tree species. It is a skin type tree, flowers, grows to maybe 20 or 24" in diameter. The bad part is this beautiful hardwood crooks and bends and grows horizontal or at odd angles. The wood is pre-loaded with action. Since it grows under these great pressures, the wood chunk you start to turn might just pop and explode a side out.
As a commercial wood, the only practical product was window blinds. They are beautiful. A light to medium brown with nice flashing grain.
I have turned cups (lots of them) and handles for files, and feet for a music stand I made out of oak. Long moved away, I have several seasoned limb chunks in the shop. I also have some walking sticks.
Martin
On 6/24/2011 4:46 PM, whit3rd wrote:

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"Paul" wrote in message
I'm wondering, if I scraped the wax off the top, bottom, and sides and left the wax on the ends, then let it sit in the house for awhile, if that would help. Seems it might dry out a little slower that way.
Paul O.
==== Slow drying is best as it keeps it even.
Turn often, anyway.
--
Eric


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On 6/21/2011 10:15 PM, Paul wrote:

The main cause of spitting is the end grain dries out faster than face grain. My solution is to use an old iron to melt wax into the end grain of the billet, and this works a charm.
--
Jack
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