Woodturning Apricot Bowl – Green Wood to Finished Bowl via Microwave Drying

Woodturning green wood is fun. But it is hard to have patience after rough turning a beautiful bowl while the wood dries. Here, I rough turn green apricot then dry the rough turning in a microwave oven. Finish turning was just a few hours later. All finished within 1 day.

My plan was:

  1. Rough turn the apricot blank leaving the bowl walls thick.
  2. Coat the rough turning with wax emulsion (Not sure this did any good)
  3. Place wood in zip lock plastic bag.
  4. Weigh rough bowl
  5. Microwave at 20% power for 2 minutes & let cool from 2 minutes to 10 minutes. (depending on what I was doing to keep busy)
  6. Dry any condensed moisture from plastic bag.
  7. Repeat #3 through #6 until weight stabilizes. Weight declined from 323 grams to about 170 grams.
  8. Finish turn bowl.
  9. Apply walnut oil finish.
  10. Continue seasoning by placing finished wood bowl in closed paper bag for 2-3 weeks.
  11. Reapply walnut oil or wax.

After the microwave drying there were a lot of end grain checks on the bowl. Some of the center pith had also separated somewhat.

Before finish turning, I applied CA glue to all risk points.

When finishing the bottom of the bowl, the long grain wood still felt very slightly damp after removing several layers.

After finish turning no end grain checks were visible. Some of the center pitch stilled showed some separating. However, stabilized by the CA glue, the grain adds wonderful character to the bowl.

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