To Bag or not to Bag

I just turned a piece of mulberry (about 11.5 x 6.5d) to rough shape and
have set it back to dry. I heard somewhere that it was better to put the
piece in a brown paper bag than to leave it just set out in the open air.
So, (with apologies to the Bard) "To Bag or not to Bag, aye, that is the
question . . "
BTW, I have used LDD but always had shrinkage and warpage. I tried soaking
for 24 hours, 48 hours, no difference, still warped.
Reply to
Dr. Deb
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It's all relative. Humidity, that is. If you have high relative humidity right now, say 70% or better, even a nasty wood like mulberry could be all right. If not, you might want to create a microenvironment inside a container which will keep the relative humidity at or above that level until the water has a chance to leave the wood for a while.
Paper bags are a particularly advantageous medium, because they're basically delignified wood. As such they will adsorb water to roughly 30% moisture by weight inside, and then lose it slowly to the outside air. With a short distance for the water to travel, they aren't the same as storing in shavings (dry, in my preference) or a bag of shavings. I like cardboard boxes. Makes for a slow come-down. It's the differential drying rate between the surface and the interior that you fear most. If the surface doesn't check, there is much less chance that the checks will grow to destroy your piece.
If you don't have one, buy a hygrometer. That's where the valuable information lies. That, and
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chapter three. Look at figure 3-3 for the direction of warp, and compare to your piece. The curvature and annual ring interval are big determinants of success. I'm boxing everything at 40% RH right now.
Did I mention there's no such thing as a free lunch? Keeping the wood at high relative humidity for fairly long can grow some ugly black mildew. Spin the water out, blow it out, and don't bag until the surface looks dry if you can't tolerate re-turning a lot of wood away.
Reply to
Since the rh here in middle Alabama is usually 70+, it looks like unbagging is the way to go.
Reply to
Dr. Deb
Hi Deb
I turn Mulberry often, and it can be a real challenge to keep it together, even when bagged. Crotch, tension wood and wood with knots would be better boiled, IMO. Also use a recess rather than a tenon, the extra wood in the foot likes to split, so keeping it thinner helps, and yes bag it, it is the first couple of weeks that you have to try to really slow down the drying, after that you could place it just on a low shelf. I do check my bags every couple of days at least in the first week and keep the CA handy, if anything looks like it might split I will put the glue on it, the glue will be turned away when finish turning, the same applies to mild cases of mildew.
Have fun and take care Leo Van Der Loo
Reply to
I tried bagging a few times, and it didn't yield any better results than air drying. Of course, the relative humidity here (Oregon) is high. In the winter, especially with difficult woods, and when I actually have a heater in the shop, I will put the fresh bowls almost on the floor. After a week or so, they go up on a shelf. The exhaust for my air scrubber/filter will blow on the blanks if I aim it there, and I am in a bit of a hurry, but never on fresh bowls, I can even dry Madrone this way. I do turn to final thickness, and let them dry and warp. I don't think I have ever turned thick, let it dry and then returned. robo hippy
Reply to
robo hippy

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