I've dried a couple of rough turned bowl using a microwave. Both were trial and error. Both became an oval. No big deal because I left the rough bowl 1" thick. The second one out of American Elm I almost caught on fire from the inside out. I cooked it for 30 minutes on medium, let it cool, again for 30 minutes on medium but stopped it at about 20 when I started to smell burning wood (no fire), let it cool, then for 15 minutes on medium. I weighed it before and after each time to see when the weight stabilized. I over cooked it because it was extremely dry and burnt. I have attached a picture of that finished bowl. You can see the dark burn spot. I will be doing this again soon with shorter times. I would appreciate any tips that someone may have about time, settings, and anything else. Thanks in advance. 🙂
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When I've used the microwave for drying, I have always done it in small increments (30 seconds or so). You also need to let it cool between heatings. Here's a good video on the technique I've used. It takes a couple of days, but beats a few weeks in a bag with shavings or too fast and burning it in a microwave.
I put mine in for 2 minutes, let cool at least 10 min, then keep going as needed.
I want to thanks everyone for their advice. I used the method in the video to dry 2 Elm bowl blanks. They turned out really good in only a couple of days. I am finishing one now and likely the other real soon. I added a video of the one I'm working on.