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.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Vine Maple Goblet

On Wood Central’s Turning Forum Steven Lewis asked about turning goblets from green wood. I decided to give it a try using the alcohol drying method. The only green wood readily available to me is vine maple.

The limb was about 2 ½" in diameter. As you can see the limb was not straight so I expected the stem would warp when drying.

Bowl thickness is about 3/8"

The roughed out goblet is about 2" in diameter and 6" long. and the stem is ½" in diameter.

The piece soaked over night for my convenience. An hour or two in the alcohol would have probably been sufficient. After removing from the soaking container the goblet is wrapped in paper leaving the bowl uncovered.

The goblet is weighed.

Placed upside down on a rack for drying.
Weight in Grams.
11/20 - 1000 - 143
11/21 - 0830 - 117
11/22 - 0700 - 110
11/24 - 2130 - 106
11/25 - 1230 - 106
11/25 - 2100 - 105
11/26 - 1300 - 106
11/27 - 1100 - 105

At 10:00AM November 20th the goblet weighed 143g. Four and a half days later it weighed 106g. By the 27h it hadn’t lost anymore weight so I finished turned the goblet.

The bowl did not distort very much.

Since the pith was in the stem I figured the stem would warp and I was not wrong.

With the tool rest set at the center line I adjusted the goblet to have the stem centered.

Bottom and stem are rounded.

After further refinement of the stem the pith is revealed.

Tenon is glued into a waste block mounted in the chuck.

Steady rest provided stability for finishing the inside.

Goblet is stabilized with a wooden plug on the live center.

Unfinished goblet stands straight and tall.

After two days and two coats of Rocklers Gel Polyurethane the goblet stem remains straight.


  • At 8:07 AM, March 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Im a new turner and trying out some green wood. Any species I choose comes out almost white, like your vine maple goblet or yew box, yet on your final pictures they brown up. Is this the result of total drying or the finish? I just turned olive and carob - both stark white. Maybe its a branch vs trunk thing?


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