Alcohol Soaking

Welcome to my blog on alcohol assisted drying of wood. The intent is to provide an avenue for information sharing about the process. Much time has been spent answering individual emails from around the world and countless questions on many woodworking forums. As time permits I will share information about current pieces I am drying as well as the final outcome in the form of pictures of finished pieces.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Alcohol soaking method for drying bowls.

I stated looking for a method to decrease the time it takes to dry wood
bowls in 2001. By the end of that year I had refined a method of quickly drying bowls which is consistent and cost effective for both hobbyist and professional turners.

After a year of testing by other turners an article describing the process was published in the November 2004 issue of More Wooddturning. The information was disseminated Saturday November 13th on several internet woodworking forums. The thread on Woodcentral provoked a lot of discussion and answers a lot of frequently ask questions. Drying rough turned bowls quickly. A condensed version of the published article was put in the Articles section of Woodcentral on 16 November 2004. Alcohol soaking method for drying bowls.

The article has several pictures which help explain the process used to soak and dry wood bowls.

alcohol wood drying
One aspect that I had not anticipated was the availability of denatured ethanol alcohol outside the United States. In Canada and the UK denatured alcohol is methyl hydrate or methanol. I do not recommend the use of methanol due to health safety concerns. It is also important to obtain a Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS) to access the dangers of using alcohol. Both ethanol and methanol are labeled highly flammable so appropriate safety measures need to be implemented when using alcohol. Ethanol is listed as harmful while methanol is considered toxic. It is incumbent upon anyone using the alcohol soaking procedure to read, understand and follow all precautions listed on the containers. Do not do anything you are not comfortable with. The information I have provided is my experience. You assume all responsibility for any results stemming from using any part of this procedure.

More information will be added to this web site in the future. Until then please refer to the above mentioned sites for information on the alcohol soaking process for drying rough turned wood bowls.


  • At 3:55 AM, November 26, 2005, Blogger Kevin Gerstenecker said…

    Great looking site Dave! Your method has "revolutionized" the turning and drying of green wood. What used to take many months, and often was a "crap shoot" as to the outcome has been reduced to mere weeks, with almost 100% success. I have been using this method, with excellent results, even on the notoriously difficult to dry species. Thanks again for sharing your research with the turning world Dave. You have indeed changed the turning world with your method, and for that, anyone that turns green wood owes you a debt of gratitude!

  • At 8:39 PM, November 25, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    David, when we pull our blanks from the DNA and begin drying them...what are we removing during the drying process? Are we removing water, or has most of the water in the bowl been replaced with DNA, and we are now waiting for the DNA to migrate to the surface, to evaporate off?


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