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Thread: My first wood gloat....how do I handle all of this? (Long post!)

  1. #1
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    My first wood gloat....how do I handle all of this? (Long post!)

    A friend of mine had told me that I could have this wood if I came and cut it up and hauled it away. I looked at it about a month ago and really thought it looked like a rotted out tree stump. Well now that I have my lathe all set up and a few new tools bought I'm ready to give larger turnings a try. I didn't have any wood to "play" with so I had the day off work today and thought I would go over to my friends house and at least cut into this log...just to confirm that it was indeed rotten. Well, it was not rotten at all. In fact it is very beautiful Walnut. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to get it cut up into smaller chunks. I say smaller but some of them are still HUGE. My friend came home about the time I was done and he and his boys helped me load them into my truck. Some of this stuff is 20 inches across. I cut all this with my 16 inch Craftsman chainsaw. I tried to cut some of them into blanks but my chain saw did not like cutting with the grain like that and it became very difficult to cut. Almost impossible. I even put a brand new chain on my saw. Anyway...now I have lots of questions. How does one deal with this much wood at one time? There is no way I can rough out all this on the lathe. I will have to store most all this outside somewhere. Should I still cut it all up to get rid of all the piths? Then seal just the ends with ancorseal? Will it be ok outside with just a tarp over it? I do want to cut up a few blanks to work with on the lathe in the coming few weeks. I'm new at all this so helpful information is appreciated. I just received my DVD from Bill Grumbine today so I look forward to learning all about this large turning.

    Tom
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Walnut resized.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Seal the end with anchor seal, put is someplce where you can keep it off of the ground and cover it to keep it dry.
    Congrats on the haul.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Wow, congrats, Tom. That's a gloatworthy haul for sure.

    I'd recommend cutting out the pith as soon as you can, and getting the end grain sealed on the pieces you're not planning to turn in the next few days. Most of us use Anchorseal, which is sort of a wax-based "paint" you brush (or roll) on the wood. Rockler sells a similar product they call Green Wood End Sealer. You can also use other things like latex paint (a great use for the lime green your wife had leftover from the guest bathroom project) or even Elmer's glue thinned a bit with water. Although a lot of folks seal only the end grain, I prefer to seal all the cut faces, end grain or not.

    It's not necessary to cut them into their final blank sizes, and in fact it can be useful to leave them a bit oversized for now. That way if they do start to check a bit on the ends, you can trim it back to good wood before you turn it.

    I store most of my turning wood in a shady part of the back yard, under a bunch of juniper trees where it's somewhat protected from the elements. I seal it, but don't cover it. That works in my climate...your mileage may vary.

    The timing for Bill's video to arrive couldn't be better. In it, you'll see some good advice for cutting and treating the blanks. I believe he's got a good example of ripping a log (cutting with the grain). If you cut straight into the end of the log (end grain), it's tough going. If you cut lengthwise along the side of the log (following the direction of the grain), the cutting is much easier. You might also need to sharpen the chain on your saw.

    Have fun, and be careful with the chainsaw.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    People often say to use Anchorseal soon after cutting the blanks. How soon is soon? I mean...I'm sure it's best to do it right then and there but is it ok to do it several days later? Or do I need to stay up late tonight and get it all done tonight?

  5. #5
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    It's been waiting this long another half day ain't gonna make any differance.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    I wish I knew enough to talk here Tom, but I'm a lower skill level than most on this board. But, I've cut green wood that will split in literally 30 seconds after it's cut...almond, walnut and pistachio are noteworthy here. Before someone else mentions it...yes, they are all fruit woods as that's what I have access to. If you're talking a different wood that someone has more experience with...go with what they say.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  7. #7
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    Jim this is wood thats been sitting. He just cut it into pieces.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Jim, you make a valid point. Earlier this spring I cut down an Apple tree in my back yard. I simply cut it up and stacked it as I was going to use it for fire wood. It was about a week later while on vacation I saw a guy selling items in a local market that he had turned on a lathe....thats when I "got the bug". I returned home from my vacation and started shopping for a lathe. I went to this wood pile of Apple and it had almost all cracked so bad that it is mostly useless. All within about 2 weeks. So I do understand that some woods are more prone to this than others. This Walnut log has been down about 2-3 years but my concern was that now that I have it into chunks I hope it does not start to split overnight. I hope to get all this wood sealed tomorrow. I went out tonight and bought a chain sharpening jig and files. I will give them a good edge tomorrow before I start.

    Tom

  9. #9
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    Tom this is just how I do it. I don't care if the wood has been down or is green when I cut it I seal it right then. I have found that even with the tree down for 2 to 4 yrs it can still have stresses and moisture. 2 yrs ago I cut up a walnut log that had been down over 3 yrs. I went ahead and cut it up thinking I didn't need to seal it because it was dead and down for so long. The next morning I went out and it had cracked bad enough that all I got out of it was blanks big enough to turn lidded boxes. I got 2 bowls out of a 6 ft long log. This is just my experience. I agree with Vaughn you don't need to cut bowl blanks right away. Just make sure you get the pith cut out.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day
    and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.”

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  10. #10
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    I think you'll be fine waiting until tomorrow to seal the blanks. Even if you do see a little bit of checking, it's not likely you'll have any real deep cracks to deal with this soon after cutting it. I wouldn't wait a week, but a day or two should be no problem, especially since the tree is not freshly cut.

    [Edited to add...] Sounds like Bernie's seen it go quicker than I have. Your haul should be OK overnight, and you can seal it tomorrow right after trimming out the piths.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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