I readily admit, I have not tried all of the drying methods we have discussed. Out of those I have tried, I found a combination of methods works well for me.
My preferred method-
1. As soon as possible, slice the log into bowl blank desired thickness and seal the ends with TiteBond wood glue.
2. When ready to turn a bowl, rough turn it leaving a consistent wall thickness about 1/10 the diameter of the blank.
3. Place the rough turned blank in a solution of dishwashing
Bowl blanks can be dried using "chemistry". Submerging the blanks in various liquids can actually facilitate the loss of moisture.
Before the pandemic, denatured alcohol was readily and turners would soak their blanks in it. Several sources of information on this-
From the AAW-
From Mr. David Reed Smith-
Woodturners took a page out of the lumber industry playbook for drying their bowl blanks. If you can speed up drying lumber, why not a bowl blank. Turners have been building/repurposing equipment to create drying kilns for some time.
The trick to incorporating this method is not to dry the bowl blanks too quickly. As with the previous methods, controlling the moisture loss to equilibrium is a balancing act. Too slow and you'll grow old waiting as well as mold can grow on the blanks.
Containers and shavings slows the drying process but can take up extra space in the shop, especially if you have a bunch of blanks in different stages of drying.
Another method of slowing the drying is to put a sealer directly on the surface of the blanks. This can work for the rough CUT blanks and the rough TURNED blanks. The sealer slows the transfer of the moisture from the wood to the air. The majority of the moisture is lost through the end grain pores. Sealing those areas is re
Bowl drying, without cracks, is accomplished by slowing down the escaping moisture until moisture equilibrium (emc) between the bowl and the ambient air is achieved. As a turner, we can improve the odds of successful drying- regardless of the method used- by assuring the roughed out blank walls have a consistent thickness and round over sharp corners/edges before starting the drying process.
One of the earlier more successful methods of achieving slow drying was to surround the blank
The bowl drying adventure continues......
In the beginning, all my knowledge came from books. Isolated in the northern end of the Cumberland Valley and before high speed Internet and YouTube, even written publications on the subject were few and far between. Cheap tools and a cheap lathe were able to produce some rudimentary turnings including some small bowls- of which most cracked. To me drying meant just that- set it up on the shelf and wait.
As fate would have it, som