Bowl Drying with Moisture Absorbing Silica Gel - Spoiler Alert - IT WORKS

I read on the internet someplace a while back, that a green wood woodturning can be dried using moisture adsorbing silica gel. So I purchase Blue Silica Gel by Interteck, 15 lbs. at a cost of $65. I just had to satisfy this itch to try the process.

For my test I turned a 7 inch diameter, 3 inch depth Boxelder bowl to finish size and sanded. The log I harvested the bowl from appeared to have be cut months ago and had lost some moisture.

Picture of the the product label.

Next I weighed the bowl (427 grams).

I placed the bowl in a container with the gel and sealed the container.

Photo above is the bowl in the gel. The gel turns pink as it gains moisture.

At points in time I weighed the bowl. Bob Wolfe and Joseph Voda both witnessed several of the measurements.

Above is a photo of the weight after sitting on the shelf for around 26 hours. It gained 5 grams!

Results: in appr0ximately 55 hours the bowl lost 154 grams while in the silica gel. In reality the bowl could have received an oil finish at the end of 24 hours and most likely a lacquer within 48 hours.

Here is what 154 grams of water looks like (food color added to water).

Just over 2/3 cups of water. Out of this little bowl? If I had not done this this myself I may not have believed the results.

I was so excited I had to test the process a second time with a newly turned Ash hollow form that had been harvested from a large log that was about 6 months old. WOW - in 14.5 hours it lost 82 grams and was dry enough for pyrography, carving and General Finishes Milk Paint.


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