What are Wood Turning Blanks: Turning Supplies and More

what are wood turning blanks

A blank, in crafting and manufacturing, is a stock of material that has been processed to produce a particular object. The same is true for a woodturning blank.

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What are wood turning blanks

A wood turning blank is a stock of wood that has been appropriately dimensioned and prepared for shaping on a lathe.

Woodturning blanks are what you need to turn a wood project into what it will become. What are they used for? Woodturning blanks can be turned on a lathe into bowls, vases, and other popular items. There are many different types of woodturning blanks that work well with this type of process.

How do you make wood blanks?

wood logs

Wooden blanks for turning start out in a lumber yard. A giant log is cut up by an equally big machine. The sections are then cut into smaller pieces with another machine called the sawmill. These smaller pieces can then be turned on a lathe to make them into the shape you want.

Many DIYers choose to make their own blanks at home. Common supplies that are used include logs from fallen trees, firewood, and other sources of wood. The log is sectioned into the desired size before being turned in a lathe machine. Pre-dried or dehydrated fleshly cut wood may be preferable due to the fact that these dry pieces are easier to shape.

What are wood turning blanks used for?

Woodturning blanks are often used by woodturners to create various types of goods. Woodturning blanks are shaped typically into a cylindrical or round shape- which can be turned into anything from basic pen tops, coffee mugs, bowls, and more. There is no set design that must be followed for woodturning blanks.

Woodturning is the craft of shaping wood on a lathe. Some common items that are turned on a lathe are kitchen utensils like wooden spoons, bowls, rolling pins, furniture pieces, fishing lures, art or decoration pieces, and fashion pieces.

You can also sell most of the items you create on a wood lathe. Here is a list of 14 items to make on a lathe that will sell.

Woodturning blanks are securely fastened to the chuck of a lathe. Turning at a certain rotation rate, the spindle enables the blank to form into an object.

The woodturning operator starts by roughing the piece of wood down to the desired size, using chisels and gouges. Once it has been roughed down to size, more precise cuts are made with the chisels and gouges until it takes shape as the desired object.

Read: Top 7 Best Pen Blanks for Unique Pens

Buying wood blanks from Amazon

If you don’t want to make your own blanks or you need a specific type of wood then you can always buy them from Amazon. The prices vary but what you should focus on is the specific type of wood that the blanks are made from.

The benefit to using Amazon, as opposed to other sources for buying online turning supplies is they have a one-stop shop and all you need to do is find what you want then buy it.

Here are the best wood blanks for turning.

If your local supplier doesn’t have what you want then it is easy enough to find what you need using their search engine.

How do you dry the blanks?

There are a few methods for drying wood blanks.

One method is to leave the blank in a well-ventilated area for several weeks or months, depending on what type of tree it was cut from. Another way to dry out a woodturning blank is by using an electric drying kiln. These are expensive and take up space that may be limited in some shops.

Another method is using desiccant pellets for your rough or finished wood items. Desiccant pellets are used in industry to dry items quickly and to keep them dry during shipment.

The pellets come sealed in a plastic bag with a rubber gasket inside of a screw-top pail, keeping the pellets dry until you want to use them. The indicator chemical reacts, turning reddish as if they have absorbed water and become expended.

They can be used over and over. Once they turn red, you can put them in an oven to make them new again. You should use a convection oven, and spread the pellets thin on a cookie sheet. They are new again after two or two-and-a-half hours at 250° F.

The time it takes for a woodturning blank to dry is dependent on the thickness, species of wood, and how wet it is.

When turning wood, the best way to know when it has dried enough is by weighing it. First, place your recently turned bowl on a kitchen scale and weigh it. Wait 24 hours then weigh the bowl again and if it lost at least one-third of its weight, you can apply finish to a once-turned bowl or re-turn a bowl that has warped.

Conclusion

Blank is the term used by woodturners to describe a piece of unfinished wood. This piece has been cut and shaped into an object. Woodturners use these blanks as their starting point for creating beautiful items like bowls, vases, or even lamps.

The same concept holds true in other crafting industries. Sometimes you will see blank cards at your local craft store waiting to be filled with messages from loved ones on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Keep this in mind when purchasing materials!