Q: I have a large walnut slab that I’d like to cut into bowl blanks and turn on my lathe. What’s the best way to store the blanks so that I can turn them over the next few years? Vincent Stinson, Boise, ID A: Cut and rough-turn the blanks before storing them. This speeds up the drying process and decreases the chance that they will crack. First, cut the pith out of the slab. Its instability can ruin a bowl blank. Next, cut out the blank and round it at the bandsaw. Then turn it until the wall thickness is 10% of the bowl’s final diameter, so it won’t be too thin to turn after the blank shrinks as it dries. Any thicker and the walls will likely crack while drying. Last, cover the entire blank with a green wood sealer, like Anchor Seal, and store it in a cool, dry place. Start turning at the bandsaw. Cut the square pieces into oversize round blanks to make turning them easier. Click to enlarge Leave the walls thick, but not too thick. About 10% of the bowl’s diameter is right. Turn the walls thinner and there won’t be enough left to…
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