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Thread: Cottonwood Turning Question ?

  1. #1
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    Cottonwood Turning Question ?

    There is a guy cutting down a fallen Cottonwood tree and managed to pickup a truck load of it. However, I have never tried to turn cottonwood before. I tried to turn a pc when I got home today but it seems a bit of a pain to turn green - its comes off in long strands and has alot of punky kind of areas in some of it. However, I only tried a scap pc of it and did not the time to cut up some of the large trunks to try a better sample....
    Anybody ever turn any of it ??????????????

    Kind of looking for a quick answer because I can pick up another load if I want it possibly on Saturday - after that it will become firewood or taken away.....................
    .
    Thanks Dan
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    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  2. #2
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    I did a search on cottonwood on the forum and came up with quit a few hits. Looks like nice stuff.
    "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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    Don...........its has red and browns all over in it with alot of yellow around it .......................hope its good wood
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  4. #4
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    Most of what I've heard about cottonwood has said it's better in the fireplace than on the lathe, and it's not any good in the fireplace.

    Seriously, I've seen a few nice finished pieced made of cottonwood, but most everyone I've known who turned it said it was a pain to turn, and not always worth the effort. Personally, if I was already pretty well stocked on other wood, I think I'd pass on the second load of cottonwood.
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  5. #5
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    If you can get some from a bifurcation it can have awesome figure. We used Cottonwood for cabinets in our bathroom. It has many of the same figure you can find in Maple.
    The down side is that it can be difficult to get a smooth cut on and it soaks up finish like a sponge. You need to keep the gouge sharp and take smaller cuts than with most wood.
    Barbara

  6. #6
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    If it is a pretty wood it might be a candidate for stabilizing.
    Do ye know enneyone in Cal. that does stable?
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  7. #7
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    I called the guy (tree cutting buss) and im going to pass on any more of it (cottonwood).....ill just cut up what I have for next year and the fireplace - Saturday im going to try to pick up some ash, grapefruit, and pepperwood...........running low on turning stock.

    There was a flood near the guys house and some trees were uprooted and they are cutting alot of them over the week. I am hoping for a better selection of the down stuff.

    Thanks.............Vaughn I am hoping it will burn ok though................
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 02-04-2011 at 08:50 PM.
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  8. #8
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    Growing up in Kansas we had a little saw mill and cut a lot of Cottonwood for pallets and roof sheeting.
    I also used a lot of it for painted furniture (antiques made daily) It is kind of for turning it is kind of like trying to turn bubble gum. It takes very sharp tools to cut and it wares them down fast. It sands very well however. Even when kiln dried it still fuzzes when cut.

    All that being said I have made some rustic boxes from wormy Cottonwood and just stained them and then a coat of wax and they looked great everyone want one.
    A Turn N Time
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  9. #9
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    I've only turned one thing from the "cotton-less cottonwood " that my neighbors cut down in '09. (See the pics in the [Whats-It Tray] thread.)

    It's probably not quite the same as the stuff you picked up.

    If you haven't already cut a piece down the middle, you might try it just to see what you have. Still, I agree with the others about not picking up a second load. There are too many other woods out there to try!

  10. #10
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    Thanks............I started the long process of cutting it up for firewood today and contacting the guy to see if i can pick up some pepperwood, ash and some other wood from him - I think im going early am to pick up a truck load ($30.00 for a full load of wood). So at worst I guess I have some firewood for next year and ill spend another $30 tomm for a load of good hardwood.................................

    Vaughn------------you were kidding about the wood and burning or were you serious ????
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

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