This month Aaron showed us a new, easy and effective way to dry wood evenly without leaving cracking or checking.
The Drying Solution comes from Thomas Stegall who spent years researching and testing the best way to dry wood. –
CAUTION! If you spill any of the desiccant on the floor, clean up quickly as it will act just like marbles and be dangerous to walk on!
Prepare the following prior to cutting your bowl blank or if you have previously sealed your bowl blank.
Put desiccant in container either with or without a bag. The container should be large enough to allow displacement of the desiccant by the bowl blank.
If your container does not have a lid, like a bucket, insert a bag into the container so that the desiccant is collected into a confined space.
Rough Turn your bowl to 1” thickness throughout the piece. If side grain orientation, lightly coat with sealer/wood glue on the rough sections
Note that the Orange and White Beads do not contain cobalt chloride which is carcinogenic
Phases of Drying: Drawing and Equalizing
Drawing Phase – place piece down into desiccant until ½ to 1” from the top of the bowl. Fill bowl ½ to ¾” from the top
Equalizing Phase – place poster board over desiccant and invert bowl and place on top and close the bag or lid to the container
How do I know when the wood is dry enough to turn? What should I use? A moisture meter? No, use a scale. Once the the piece stops losing weight it is ready to finish turn.
For Side Grain 1” thick or less use the following drying (D) and equalizing (E) method. 1 Day of Drawing, 1 Day of Equalizing, 2 Days Drawing, 2 Days Equalizing etc...– 1D, 1E, 2D, 2E until weight has dropped by 15% then 3D, 1E until dry.
For End End Grain 1” thick or less use the following method – 1D, 2E, 1D, 2E, 2D, 2E, 1D, 2E… with 1D, 2E pattern until dry
To keep track of what phase you are in or for how long, it is best to use a spreadsheet or a lined paper where you indicate the date, the piece you are drying, the weight and which phase you are on.
An example would be as follows: 9/23/21 - 136.7 oz - 1D starts at 9 pm. The following entry would be 9/24/21 - 134.2 oz - 1E starts at 9 pm.
Consistency is the key to a successful drying of your piece!
I have successfully taken a log from being cut down to finished within 30 days.
You can reach Thomas to purchase your own Drying Desiccant by emailing him at TheDryingSolution@gmail.com
In this month's Tips and Tricks, Leon guides us through Vacuum Chucks.
Websites, Tools & Products Discussed
Thomas Stegall - The Drying Solution - TheDryingSolution@gmail.com
Show and Tell
Members of the club are encouraged to submit photos and a description of the species and design of their work. Please submit these to Aaron Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the 20th of each month.
Tips and Tricks
Work Holding, Vacuum Chucks By Leon Olson
When you cannot find a way to hold a turning, a vacuum system will probably hold it. Vacuum chucks hold natural edge turnings easily. So how do vacuum chucks work? The vacuum does not hold your turning on the chuck - the air pressure does. It is possible for air pressure to crush your work. You can calculate the pressure by knowing the square inches of your chuck opening, A = pi *r squared. Everything outside of the chuck opening has equal pressure pushing on it from both sides. PSI is pounds of pressure per square inch. The basic PSI value of atmospheric pressure, 14.7 lbs, is calculated at sea level. We adjust for altitude. I made a PSI chart that covers from 1,000 to 7,000 feet. Vacuum gauges give the vacuum in inches of mercury. You use that value to determine the PSI. Then multiply the PSI by the number of square inches of your chuck opening which gives you the total weight pushing your turning onto the chuck
Over ten years ago when I searched for vacuum chuck systems, all the woodturning suppliers sold them. The price was $800 to over $1,000. They sold Gast rotary vane vacuum pumps at over $500. Vacuum systems were so expensive that people made their own.
There are a number of articles on the web about making your own system. I studied them and made my own for my first lathe. The only thing that is hard to make is the adaptor. Adaptors connect the stationary vacuum hose to your spinning spindle. Now you can find adaptors for about $60 to $110. I have a Oneway adaptor for my lathe. You can buy vacuum pumps made in China for about $60. The club has a vacuum system for the Jet 12-21.
Your vacuum source has to be "Constant Duty." What does that mean? You turn on the vacuum source and come back a month lather and it is still pulling the same vacuum and has been the entire time. The two companies that produce constant duty vacuum systems are Venturi Vacuum Generators and Vacuum Pumps.
Venturi vacuum generators need to be attached to a constant duty air compressor. Both the Venturi vacuum and the compressor produce extremely loud noise. Online, the price of Venturi vacuum generators varies from $20 to well over $200. There are different types of constant duty vacuum pumps. They include diaphragm, piston, and rotary vane vacuum pumps. Rotary vane pumps are used as "roughing pumps" to get the absolute pressure down quickly. Rotary Vane pumps are also relatively quiet.
When you have an adaptor for your lathe and a vacuum source, you need all the things that make it work as a vacuum system. That includes, among other things, a filter, a vacuum gauge, and a bleeder valve between your turning and your vacuum pump. If the pressure is too high, you can lower the pressure with the bleeder valve. The easiest way to connect all that is to have a manifold attached to a carrier. I have seen them on walls, carts, or something you can pick up and move around.
Once you have your vacuum system, you will need a vacuum chuck. You can buy them ($$$$) or make your own. You will need multiple sizes. There are a variety of ways and materials used to make them. I used a PVC pipe fitting attached to baltic birch plywood with a modified 1-1/4-8 nut bonded with high tensile strength epoxy. You will also need closed cell foam rubber or some other soft material to provide a seal between your work and the body of the chuck. To make the silicone seal for this chuck, I used the instructions in an article by Jeff Kieserman in the AAW American Woodturner Vol 28.2:21-25.
This article is too short to include all the little details that are important. If you want to make your own vacuum system, I would be happy to help you.
If you have questions on this month's Tips & Tricks, email Leon Olson at email@example.com.
Why We Live in Southern Utah
Semptember 2021 Club Attendees - Both in Person and via Zoom
Jerry Allred, Will Arcularius, Steve Ashworth, Bob Belkowski, Aaron Bryan, KC Bryan, Jack Gunn, Reiner Jakel, Grant Johnson, Paul Johnson, Pete Kaup, Ken Kofoed, David Layton, Sean Lovell, George Mason, Karl Mcmullin, Leon Olson, Joe Peacock, Glenn Pearson, Jim Pope, Vernile Prince, Ken Ragsdale, Bruce Sharp, Don Smith, Bill Vincent, Eric Walker, Tom Watson, Caleb Williams, Chuck Zimmerman
Items for Sale by Members
Please submit items for sale to Aaron Bryan (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the 20th of the month to be included in the newsletter. If you have sold an item listed in the newsletter, please notify Aaron so he can remove it.
Please see attachments to the Newsletter email to see additional items for sale.
For Sale by Will Arcularius, 805-712-2174, email@example.com
1) Makita Compound Sliding Miter Saw, 12", Model LS1214FL. Excellent Condition. Price: $345
2) Robert Sorby Thread Cutting System. Never Used. Have both the 16 TPI and 20 TPI cutters. See page 20 in Craft Supply Catalog. Sells for $129.95 - Will take $85.
For Sale by Bob Hansen, 928-347-5718, Nova Mercury Variable Speed Mini Lathe with bed extension, 1/2 HP, 8" swing over bed; 14" swing outboard. $300. For more info contact Bob directly.