Drying turning blanks in microwave

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Charlie James 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #8448
    Robert DeMarco
    Robert DeMarco
    Participant

    Has anyone tried to dry turning blanks in a microwave and how did it turn out .Talking about pieces that wood be 1 1/2 square by 12 inches long .And if so how long in the microwave .I have seen some videos but wood like some first hand info thanks.

  • #8465
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    I know it can be done but it may stink up the microwave for a while. If you’ll be doing it a lot buy a cheap microwave…

  • #8488
    Ben Nawrath
    Ben Nawrath
    Participant

    I’ve done it. No problem with lasting smell, but maybe that’s more commentary on the current state of my microwave. I did it with small rough bowl turnings, not the full blank, so there’s that. I did it at 50% power for 2 minutes at a time letting it cool off in between. I would even go so far as you put a fan on it while cooling to speed it up some. You’re supposed to keep track of the weight and do it til it stops losing weight… That seems like a lot of work. You’ll notice it starts getting hotter as the water content lowers, so you may need to drop to 90 seconds. (less water heats up faster) You don’t want to cook the wood. Just encourage evaporation. I probably didn’t do it long enough, because I still got some warping, but you can tell when it stops getting lighter and starts heating up much faster. Or use a moisture meter after it dries/cools between shots.

  • #8490
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    Charlie James
    Participant

    Ben, doing it is the only way to learn. Glad it worked out..

  • #8491
    Robert DeMarco
    Robert DeMarco
    Participant

    Thanks guys guess its time to buy a cheap microwave . And give this a try. What’s the worst that can happen I ruin a piece of wood .

  • #8492
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    I’ve turned pens from wood that I only dry for a month or so. I just cut it into oversized blanks and let it sit. I have used green wood that’s only dried for a week or so but the wood tends to split more often, not all the time but certainly more often than the dried wood. If it makes it through to the finishing process it’ll be okay. I guess the thinness of the walls, the spinning on the lathe and the heat of the finish and waxing dries it out completely.

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