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Thread: Platter Blanks Green or Dry ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Atwood Tn.
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    46

    Platter Blanks Green or Dry ?

    Ive never turned a platter.Do most turn from dried blanks or can they be turned green and follow same process as bowls?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Harrisburg, NC
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    671
    I haven't turned a lot of platters but the ones I have were turned dry to start.
    In Mike Mahoney's video he turn green, then sets back to dry, and then finish turn as you would a bowl.
    I believe it will be best for the blank to be cut quartersawn or as close as possible to quartersawn to resist warping.
    In Mahoney's video the blank was taken just to the side of the pith.
    "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #3
    I have turned several platters and much prefer dry wood. With a larger diameter platter, some of mine will exceed 20", one gets enough movement from just removing material let alone moisture issues. A little bit of warp goes a long way at 20"!! Since one usually starts with 2-2.5" material, roughing out doesn't mean as much IMO. It is hard to disguise warp in a platter and I prefer my platters remain as true as possible as I am cutting heavily profiled faces on them.

    Just my thoughts based on the style of platters I do. I am sure there are some interesting platters that are allowed to warp.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Atwood Tn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Keeton View Post
    I have turned several platters and much prefer dry wood. With a larger diameter platter, some of mine will exceed 20", one gets enough movement from just removing material let alone moisture issues. A little bit of warp goes a long way at 20"!! Since one usually starts with 2-2.5" material, roughing out doesn't mean as much IMO. It is hard to disguise warp in a platter and I prefer my platters remain as true as possible as I am cutting heavily profiled faces on them.

    Just my thoughts based on the style of platters I do. I am sure there are some interesting platters that are allowed to warp.
    John do you buy blanks or dry them yourself.I turn bowls mostly green and as there are no kilns Im aware of close I am a ways out from drying blanks myself.

  5. #5
    With the "bead weaving illusion" platters that I turn, I kind of have to start dry. But even if I was turning more "normal" platters, I would probably still almost exclusively turn dry, even if that meant harvesting green and letting pieces a full 2" of thickness or so dry unturned. It's easy to buy (or buy and glue up) 8/4 lumber to turn into platter blanks from hardwood retailers, albeit sometimes rather $$.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wetter Washington
    Posts
    795
    I've had poor results with green. Bowls work fine, but for some reason green plates always seam to fail.
    Making sawdust mostly, sometimes I get something else, but that is more by accident then design.

  7. #7
    Sonny, I buy most all of my blanks, though some are milled green and I wait for them to dry. Some are kiln dried. I do harvest green wood, but in order to get dimensional platter blanks, I am willing to pay to have them sawn. But, it is difficult to find really wide platter blanks - green or dry.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chicago Heights, Il.
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    1,947
    Quarter sawn dry wood works the best. Flat sawn dry works, but curl as they get larger. I used to turn 20 lazy Susan's from dry oak lumber. Too thin and they would wobble when rotated. I would advice not to turn a platter from wet wood unless you want it to wobble?
    Member Illiana Woodturners

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atikokan, Rainy River district, Ontario
    Posts
    3,152
    Iíve turned all kinds of platters, and all from fresh wet wood, yes dry planks are easier but that does NOT guarantee it will not move or warp, as we all know wood does never stop moving with the changing moisture in the air affecting the wood.

    I have always used wood that had something extra to make into a platter, straight grain planks never inspired me.

    Yes Quarter sawn or right next to it does help minimize warping, and, it does take time to let the wood dry and settle, Iíve rough turned platter blanks that have been sitting 10 to 20 years, as Iím no production turner, just love turning and have been doing it for better than half a century, I have gotten quite a stack of rough turned pieces, and there will be lots left when Iím gone .

    So here a couple that are from 12 to 20 inches and it would be hard to find pieces of wood like that at the lumber yard Iíd think.

    Siberian Elm.jpg White Ash platter.JPG Black Walnut 1.jpg MM platter.jpg


    Have fun and take care

  10. #10
    Here's one of the first I did while wet. plate 2.jpg It warped so fast as I turned it I couldn't get a lip on it at all. It's now on my wall and pretty to look at.

  11. #11
    Easier to turn platters from dry wood if you have it. If you have only green wood, it will dry faster if you rough turn it first.
    _______________________________________
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by John Keeton View Post
    But, it is difficult to find really wide platter blanks - green or dry.
    For some species, it is going to be about impossible to fine really wide blanks. However, part of the scarcity problem even for species where the harvested trees might be wide enough is that there just isn't that much demand. Sawmills know that they will often have an easier time moving three 8" wide 8/4 boards than they will one 24" wide board, so they cut it up into 8"s. So unless it is unusually wide and has very pretty grain, in which case it will likely end up as a table slab (not cost effective for platters), its probably going to get chopped up. On more than one occasions when I have found an usually wide board, I have had the lumberyard owner tell me that it is nice to see someone finally buy it as it has been there for a long time unpurchased.

    The best bet is sometimes just to deal with the sawmill owners themselves and let them know in advance what you want. If they know "that guy that keeps calling me" will buy a 20" wide cherry board, they will be more likely to cut one and call you.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Van Der Loo View Post
    ...yes dry planks are easier but that does NOT guarantee it will not move or warp, as we all know wood does never stop moving with the changing moisture in the air affecting the wood.
    Yup. When I turn something like this (which is about 19" wide):

    LKmGBp1.jpg

    Getting the beads just right is the most critical part and I have learned that it is best to do the beads as early as possible to avoid the almost inevitable wood movement. I true up the bottom and create a recess but remove almost no thickness. Flip it around, turn and sand only the top of the rim, and put in my beads (usually with a bowl steady on the back side) before I have removed wood on the underside of what will eventually become the rim. If I wait until the rim has been turned to thickness, there is usually movement. Not much, but enough to make the beads uneven.

  14. #14
    Justin, that is a superb piece! I like the opposing movement you created with the color variations. I assume you used acrylics? Are the lines between the beads burned?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Forestville, CA
    Posts
    61
    [QUOTE=Leo Van Der Loo;2643127] I have gotten quite a stack of rough turned pieces, and there will be lots left when Iím gone .



    /QUOTE]

    If you ever sort thru that stack, I'd love to have some of the discards.

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