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Thread: Elm

  1. #1
    Matt Dunlap Guest

    Elm

    .....
    Last edited by Matt Dunlap; 03-31-2008 at 06:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
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    4,834
    Matt I think those are the same Elm as we have up here in Kansas. I heard my granddad call them piss Elm and others call them Chinese Elm. If they are indeed the same tree, the wood is a nice easy turning wood with wonderful, beautiful grain. Surely someone will want some. I made 5 bowls about 10" across and 5" deep and sold them all at a craft show in about 20 minutes. I still have about 20 blanks of Elm.
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    98
    I've never turned elm (but now you've piqed my interest!), but I've made plenty of flatwork out of the wood. Up here in Minnesota, they sell the wood as "red elm," due to the reddish-brown color of the wood, which deepens a bit with time. The color is somewhat reminiscent of cherry. You'll see some really nice tiger-eye effect in some of it too - the grain can have quite a luster.

    And that lovely, urine-like smell...you'll notice it when you cut and machine the wood. But once it's finished, there should be no noticeable odor.

    Cheers,

    Kevin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Northeast Connecticut
    Posts
    39
    Matt, I shot you an e-mail..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    29,079
    Matt, I'm currently stocked on wood, but wanted to thank you for the generous offer. And you've done a good job cutting up the blanks and removing the pith. If you have some old half-used cans of latex paint sitting around, you should use some of it to paint the end grain parts of the blanks. That'll help slow down the cracking even more. (BTW, plinth is the base of a column, pedestal, statue, etc.)
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
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    4,834
    Matt I try to get to the painting in say 3 days or less. I just paint with old leftover latex paint. The logs I would do two coats. Then would cut them up into lumber as soon as you got time. Same goes with the bowl blanks. I generally paint them when I cut them up. Again latex paint works good especially if it is left over. At 6' long if they do crack a little it should not make much difference if you cut them into say 8/4 lumber. Then sticker them and let them dry. I am not dead sure and someone please step in but air dried I would think 14" wide and 8/4 thick would take 3 to 5 yrs. to dry. Make sure they are stored out of the sun and covered or inside a barn out of the weather. Anyway that is what I did with some 12" to 14" walnut. It worked out fine. Hope this helps Matt.
    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    8,435
    Matt,
    A good rule of thumb is 1 yr/inch of thickness, that assumes normal humidity, in NM and AZ it could be a bit faster. Good excuse to go out and buy a new tool. A moisture meter..
    "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
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Posts
    83

    Smile Love that Elm...

    Hello Matt,

    Down in this part of Texas, we turn lots of Elm... It's a really nice timber and it can produce some really beautiful zone line definition in spalted blanks. As another poster mentioned, the smell will go away when it is finished, so no worries there... I'm a professional woodturner who works primarily with green wood, so if I can help you with any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, or post your questions here. I have a couple of articles on using wax emulsions on green wood and drying that you may be interested in reading. Here are the direct links:

    This article talks about using wax emulsions on green wood to help prevent checking...

    http://www.woodturningvideosplus.com/wax-emulsion.html

    This article talks about a simple method to dry green wood blanks and rough-outs using paper bags...

    http://www.woodturningvideosplus.com...ag-drying.html

    Whatever you do, you need to treat the exposed end-grain areas with wax emulsion, (some folks use latex paint) to prevent steep moisture gradients from forming, which can lead to checking. I would also treat any high figured areas on your blanks like tight curl, crotch figure, burl etc. It's also best to treat the end-grain as soon as possible after cutting to prevent checking.

    The amount of time that will be required for your blanks to reach EMC is highly variable. There are six basic factors that will influence the amount of time required for your blanks to dry, or reach EMC. These factors include:

    Specific species
    Wall thickness
    Average temperature in the drying room
    Average humidity in the drying room
    Amount of wind velocity in the room
    Adjunctive drying processes, if any, that are introduced (dehumidifiers, heaters, air conditioners etc.) into the drying room

    As you can see, it really depends on the specifics of your situation. With thick blanks it can take quite a while before the piece reaches EMC. That's why most woodturners go ahead and rough out a piece... It dries faster than leaving the blank in its solid form to dry and it's easier to turn green wood to boot! Take care and all the best to you and yours!
    Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

    Steve Russell
    Eurowood Werks Studio
    Professional Studio Woodturner

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,079
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Russell View Post
    ...Whatever you do, you need to treat the exposed end-grain areas with wax emulsion, (some folks use latex paint) to prevent steep moisture gradients from forming, which can lead to checking.
    Matt, the wax emulsion that Steve is pointing out is the better treatment for both turning blanks and raw lumber. Anchor Seal is the predominant brand, and there are others, usually labeled as "green wood sealer". (I get the house brand at Rockler...it's about $20/gallon.) Since you're doing these blanks as a freebie, I suggested old latex paint as a cheaper (free?) alternative. That said, if you're cutting up lumber for yourself you might want to consider getting some sealer, at least for the lumber. I doubt you'll find any at the local lumber yard, but there may be some in the bigger towns to the east of you.
    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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    882

    Elm is good!

    Matt, you might hate me for this but, I have a reciprical deal with a friend in Michigan's U.P. I trade him elm and walnut boards for flame birch, curly maple and birdseye maple. It seems he can't get walnut that easily and uses 8/4 elm for chair seats. He can get the premium woods for next to nothin, and has been real happy when I show up with the walnut and elm. I've been real happy too. I heat with wood and burn elm 80% of the time. Elm dies faster than I can cut it. Most woods I cut in have dead elm in profusion. It will stand for years and is as hard as ever when I need it. I also turn turkey strikers from spalted elm. They sell quite well.

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