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Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 16th 06, 01:39 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood

It looks like the Group has slowed down a bit so thought I would post my latest
test results of the Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood technique. There may be some who
feel this is a farce, but in the past I've had excellent results with it. My
latest test was on a piece of wet walnut tree root that was about 5 inches in
diameter. Because of its size, I turned an endgrain vase out of it. The rough
turned wall thickess was about 5/8". I soaked it in alcohol that we've used
several times before for 24 hours. I removed it from the alcohol and let it dry
off for a short while and then wrapped it in brown grocery sack on the outside
and top rim, leaving the inside open and upright. I weighed it as soon as it was
wrapped, here are the results:

At time of wrapping 5-4-06 Weight was 450 grams
The next morning 5-5-06 Weight was 400 grams
5-6-06 365 grams
5-7-06 320 grams
5-8-06 310 grams
5-9-06 265 grams
5-11-06 240 grams
5-13-06 200 grams
5-14-06 190 grams
5-15-06 190 grams

After weighing today, I final turned it. The foot was still round so that I
could use the chuck tenon originally used to turn the piece. There were no
cracks or checks. The piece has lost 58 percent of its original weight in ten
days setting in my shop. It was out of round by less that 1/16 inch. The wood
was very dry when turned.

I have no previous experience with walnut tree root, but these results fit
nicely with other tests that we've made. I've never known a soaking wet piece of
turned wood to dry completely in 10 days without some sort of help. I hope this
information will be of use to some of the people on this newsgroup. It will not
help the non-believers who will not give it a try or who have claimed to try it
and found it not to work. For the rest of you, I recommend you give it a try on
your next wet turned piece. We used Methel Alcohol, so don't drink the stuff!!

Fred Holder
http://www.fholder.com


--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth

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  #2  
Old May 16th 06, 04:24 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood

Fred,

After weighing today, I final turned it. The foot was still round so that I
could use the chuck tenon originally used to turn the piece.


Your results are very similar to mine. I've done about thirty small
bowls with the alcohol soaking method with excellent results. Except for
two ash blanks that took over three weeks to reach equilibrium, all the
others dried in two weeks or less.

Most of these bowls have been out-of-round. Enough that I had to true
the tenon before completing them. Most of the bowls have been either
English Walnut or Cherry though there were a couple birch, maple and oak.

Some people over analyze the process. To me it just plain works!

Harry
  #3  
Old May 16th 06, 11:09 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood


"Harry Pye" wrote in message
groups.com...
Fred,

After weighing today, I final turned it. The foot was still round so that
I
could use the chuck tenon originally used to turn the piece.


Your results are very similar to mine. I've done about thirty small bowls
with the alcohol soaking method with excellent results. Except for two ash
blanks that took over three weeks to reach equilibrium, all the others
dried in two weeks or less.

Most of these bowls have been out-of-round. Enough that I had to true the
tenon before completing them. Most of the bowls have been either English
Walnut or Cherry though there were a couple birch, maple and oak.

Some people over analyze the process. To me it just plain works!


Wonderful testimonials. Are you sure the results aren't due to the Q-Ray
"Ionized" bracelet you're wearing, or the dish detergent in the cabinet
under the sink?


  #4  
Old May 16th 06, 02:57 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood

Well George, thank God that you weren't the judge when some of the great
discoveries of our time were being discussed, not on a newsgroup of course. It
never ceases to amaze me how some people can be so critical of a process that
works very well. It has even worked well on madrone for my wife and I. She
definitely doesn't wear and ionized braclet or use the dish detergent except to
wash dishes. I don't care if you ever take advantage of the alcohol drying
process (and hope you don't enjoy the benefits of it), but I hate to see you
debunk it and maybe keep others from trying it to get good results with their
wood drying.

Fred Holder
http://wwww.fholder.com

In article , George says...


"Harry Pye" wrote in message
sgroups.com...
Fred,

After weighing today, I final turned it. The foot was still round so that
I
could use the chuck tenon originally used to turn the piece.


Your results are very similar to mine. I've done about thirty small bowls
with the alcohol soaking method with excellent results. Except for two ash
blanks that took over three weeks to reach equilibrium, all the others
dried in two weeks or less.

Most of these bowls have been out-of-round. Enough that I had to true the
tenon before completing them. Most of the bowls have been either English
Walnut or Cherry though there were a couple birch, maple and oak.

Some people over analyze the process. To me it just plain works!


Wonderful testimonials. Are you sure the results aren't due to the Q-Ray
"Ionized" bracelet you're wearing, or the dish detergent in the cabinet
under the sink?




--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth

  #5  
Old May 16th 06, 04:24 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood

Aw Fred, c;mon. You know, it's just George's way of letting us know
he's still around. As evidenced by his posting techniques, about the
only way he knows how to express himself is to crap on something.

I have seen a lot of evidence that this procedure works, although no
one seems to know why. I have emailed back and forth with different
individuals that are like you and I, ones that do not care "why" but
only use the method as a means to an end. Some swear by it, others
have had different levels of success.

You know the longtime friend of this NG, Leif, swears by the LDD method
and it works well for him. Others have found that protcol successful,
moderately successful, and not successful at all. I think it is the
same for he alcohol method. I was glad you took the time, made the
effort and then went a step farther and shared with all of us.

I would be willing to bet that George has not tried the alcohol method,
but even if he did, it is a shame that a grown man (at least I am
assuming this... maybe not) replies to someone simply sharing
information backed by his careful fact gathering by sarcastic, snotty
opinion. It is often the response of the small mind to make fun of
something they don't understand or are unfamiliar with. But at the
very least, lack of understanding, unfamiliarity, or any other reason
doesn't excuse that kind arrogant, sarcastic remark to someone that is
simply trying to share.

I know this is the kind of horsecrap that ran you off for a long time,
as well as many others. All I can say Fred, is don't go away because
of some of jerks that post here. It is a public forum, and like the
members of the flat earth society (you cannot prove the earth is round
to their satisfaction, nor can you prove we ever went to the moon) they
have a right to their opinion. They are one dimensinal thinkers. If
they haven't experienced "it" themselves in some way, it may not exist
at all.

George is "one of those". He posts very pleasant threads when he is
trolling for compliments on something he has done, or if he agrees with
you, or understands what you are saying. The rest of the time, it's...
well... George. He is no different on the other NGs on which he
participates. The people here are just nicer and more tolerant of his
behavior.

I live this quote, but don't know who said it. It may have been the
"anti George":

"Brave he be, who first tasteth the oyster"

How would you have liked to try to convince your friends you could
actually eat those things raw? Now to me, that's REAL uncharted
territory.

Thanks for the post.

Robert

  #6  
Old May 16th 06, 05:18 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood

I am still experimenting with the various drying methods, and for the
way I do things I don't notice a whole lot of difference.

At first, I would just turn to about 1/4 to 3/8 thick (wet wood), in
sizes from 16 inches diameter to 3 inches diameter, and put the bowls
on a shelf and let them dry. While I never weighed them, they would be
mostly dry in 2 weeks or less: say about 98% of all movement had
ceased, they were dry enough to sand easily (no loading of the
sandpaper), and didn't feel cool to the touch.

The same seems to hold true for the alcohol bath and LDD methods. I
have never bagged a bowl blank. I have had about the same amount of
cracking with all methods. Most of the cracks coming from cracks in the
wood that I didn't cut out, some knots, and some crotch wood. I left
pieces to soak for 24 hours to a month, and got the same results. I
haven't noticed that any of the methods had any effect on movement,
especially on the Madrone.

I was at a demo at Dale Larsons place and the topic of the alcohol
soaking came up, and there was a chorus responce about alcohol soaking
hardens the wood. I had thought to myself that I had noticed how hard
some of them were to sand before I heard that.

The biggest difference that the LDD soak makes is in sanding. I don't
leave my blanks thick, and then return them, I turn to finish
thickness, and then sand. When sanding any of the LDD bowls, the dust
comes off like big wet snow flakes, rather than fine powder. It does
take about 2 plus weeks for the fragrences in the LDD to go away, but
that is minor.

The last batch that I soaked, I added the last 3 gallons of my left
over alcohol to the LDD mix (10 plus gallons). The biggest difference
that I noticed was that it thinned down the solution so that the mix
dripped off a lot faster when removed from the tub. They sanded out
nicely.

Some time in the future, I will take a bunch of bowl blanks of Madrone
(the most difficult wood I have found to dry), from the same tree,
make them as identical as possible, and try all of the methods, and be
a bit scientific about it all. My curiosity is demanding it of me just
to see what and how much difference there really is.

As far as how it works, I have talked to a number of people about this.
Most recently at my last show. As near as I can tell, alcohol and
glycerine (in the soap) act in similar ways to reduce the surface
tension in the water which allows the water to move out easier. Or
something like that. I don't really care about how it works, just the
end results.

To be continued......

robo hippy

  #7  
Old May 16th 06, 06:03 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood - offline response

I apologise for the off-line response, but I don't post to the USENET
any more. The tenor has changed, and I'm not interested in flame wars.

robo hippy wrote:
snip
At first, I would just turn to about 1/4 to 3/8 thick (wet wood), in
sizes from 16 inches diameter to 3 inches diameter, and put the bowls
on a shelf and let them dry. While I never weighed them, they would be
mostly dry in 2 weeks or less: say about 98% of all movement had
ceased, they were dry enough to sand easily (no loading of the
sandpaper), and didn't feel cool to the touch.


The same seems to hold true for the alcohol bath and LDD methods. I
have never bagged a bowl blank. I have had about the same amount of
cracking with all methods. Most of the cracks coming from cracks in the
wood that I didn't cut out, some knots, and some crotch wood. I left
pieces to soak for 24 hours to a month, and got the same results. I
haven't noticed that any of the methods had any effect on movement,
especially on the Madrone.

snip
The biggest difference that the LDD soak makes is in sanding. I don't
leave my blanks thick, and then return them, I turn to finish
thickness, and then sand. When sanding any of the LDD bowls, the dust
comes off like big wet snow flakes, rather than fine powder. It does
take about 2 plus weeks for the fragrences in the LDD to go away, but
that is minor.


The last batch that I soaked, I added the last 3 gallons of my left
over alcohol to the LDD mix (10 plus gallons). The biggest difference
that I noticed was that it thinned down the solution so that the mix
dripped off a lot faster when removed from the tub. They sanded out
nicely.

snip

While I wouldn't presume to question a turner as experienced as you are,
I'm curious about one aspect of your LDD use. When I use it, I turn to
final thickeness and then finish immediately. I don't allow the wood to
dry before I finish it. Is that what you are doing, or are you drying it
before finishing? I ask because I haven't had very many bowls crack,
some warped, but cracks were very rare.

Dave Leader
--
Volunteer at Cluade Moore Colonial Farm (National Park)
http://www.1771.org
American Association of Woodturners
http://www.woodturner.org
Capital Area Woodturners
http://www.capwoodturners.org/
PATINA
http://www.patinatools.org
M-WTCA - Mid-West Tool Collectors Assoc
http://www.mwtca.org/
  #8  
Old May 16th 06, 06:20 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood

In article ,
Fred Holder wrote:

At time of wrapping 5-4-06 Weight was 450 grams
The next morning 5-5-06 Weight was 400 grams
5-6-06 365 grams
5-7-06 320 grams
5-8-06 310 grams
5-9-06 265 grams
5-11-06 240 grams
5-13-06 200 grams
5-14-06 190 grams
5-15-06 190 grams

After weighing today, I final turned it. The foot was still round so that I
could use the chuck tenon originally used to turn the piece. There were no
cracks or checks. The piece has lost 58 percent of its original weight in ten
days setting in my shop. It was out of round by less that 1/16 inch. The wood
was very dry when turned.


Hi Fred. After the last discussion on alcohol, I contacted Dave Smith to
get permission to run his article in our chapter newsletter. Several
members approached me telling me it really does work for them. I've not
tried it yet, but plan to give it a go today if I remember to hit the
local hardware for some alcohol.

What would be most interesting to me concerning the drying results above
would be a side-by-side comparison of two similarly sized and shaped
forms from the same section of tree. Treat both the same with the taping
and bagging, but treat only one with the alcohol. I'd give it a go
myself, but I don't have a scale...

--
Owen Lowe

Northwest Woodturners
Pacific Northwest Woodturning Guild
___
Tips fer Turnin': Place a sign, easily seen as you switch on your lathe, warning you to remove any and all rings from your fingers. Called degloving, extended hardware can grab your ring and rip it off your finger. A pic for the strong of stomach: www.itim.nsw.gov.au/go/objectid/2A3AC703-1321-1C29-70B067DC88E16BFC/index.cfm

Besides, rings can easily mar the surface of a turning as you check for finished smoothness.
  #9  
Old May 16th 06, 06:42 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood - offline response

Dave,
I haven't tried to sand and finish the bowl as soon as it comes out of
the LDD solution. I would guess that one reason for doing this would be
that by putting the finish on you would slow down the drying rate, and
keeping the wood moist with finish. Both of these would aid in the slow
controlled dry = less cracks method. One reason that I don't do this is
that I turn a lot of bowls first, and then sand them all at once. I
have a big sanding hood that I use that I can't turn inside of, so has
to come off and on between turning and sanding. Another is that I think
(haven't tried so it isn't proven to me) I would have to spend more
time with the cleaning stick on the sand paper that I would if it is
dry wood. Another is that I would worry about sealing the soap
fragrance in the bowl, which I would not like. Some woods like blm (big
leaf maple) which are starting to rot smell sour. They have to dry
totally to get the sour smell out. Now I guess that I will have to try
sanding and finishing a wet bowl some time.
Don't worry about questioning me about anything, I do it to myself all
of the time, and am always experimenting. After all, that is how we all
learn.
robo hippy

  #10  
Old May 16th 06, 06:52 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Alcohol Drying of Wet Wood

George,

Wonderful testimonials. Are you sure the results aren't due to the Q-Ray
"Ionized" bracelet you're wearing, or the dish detergent in the cabinet
under the sink?


My mother taught me that if I couldn't say anything nice, not to say
anything at all. Also there is an old saying, "It is better to keep
quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!"

You may want to think about these things.
 




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