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Thread: Cutting Crotches

  1. #1
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    Cutting Crotches

    How do you cut crotches to get the best turning ??


  2. #2
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Carefully...

    I'm sure others will have better suggestions - but I usually just punt and cut them right down the piths and then use that as either the top or bottom of the bowl as I feel like. There might be a better way with larger logs though - most of what I get is small stuff so getting the most bowl/log is more of a concernt

  3. #3
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    I will give you all of the wisdom of my great expertise (1) in locating the place to cut to get the best possible bowl.

    (1) My great expertise is that I did it once. I have cut a circle in one crotch. You might have read about the walnut crotch that Larry Merlau and Paul Gallian sent me. It was such a great piece of wood that I worried about where to cut for several weeks. I put a bowl in the crotch in SketchUp. I cut out a cardboard bowl and positioned it all over the crotch. Need I add, "etc. etc. etc.?"

    Well several FWW members said something pleasant like, "Bradley, quit messing around. Cut a circle out and get to work." Well that is pretty much what I ended up doing. Net result=I have a bowl roughed out. It is beautiful. That is one really beautiful piece of wood. The chatoyance, as you turn it, is alive. Now, if I can just get the world to settle down so I can finish it---.

    Enjoy and stop sweating it. As Larry said, "The stuff grows on trees."

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  4. #4
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    Thanks Jim, I understand what you are saying....I dont get maple like I have much at all...actually this is the first big one I have ever seen to know it and it was growing right in my yard....I just thought it was some sort of other tree....Duhhhhh a gem right before my eyes ...Hope to have a friend lined up to cut today !!! Thanks !!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I'll pretty much echo Ryan...I try to cut the piece in such a way as to remove the pith from both the trunk and the two branches simultaneously. It's not an exact science, because the pith isn't always consistent. For example, it was impossible to know exactly where the pith was in this piece of elm:



    So I made my best guess and cut a slab about 1 1/2" to 2" wide out of the middle, leaving these tow halves:



    Here's a similar crotch half, showing where the bowl is hiding:



    Here's a random forum post I found elsewhere showing a few pics to illustrate the "cutting a slab out of the middle" part. Now personally, I don't go to nearly the same trouble this guy did, with all the rulers and straight edges and whatnot. I tend to just take a lumber crayon and roughly sketch a few cut lines on the wood, then get after it with the saw.

    http://www.worldofwoodforum.com/vb/s...s-crotch-piece
    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
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    Thanks Vaughn !! Thats is pretty much what I thought...He said he coats "all" cut surfaces....I have been coating just the end grain for now as I only have the one gallon of anchorseal..I could grab out some latex paint but I know there are a gazillion different opinions on this.....Whats yours Vaughn and anyone else ???

    When I run out of anchorseal should I lather on the latex paint?

    The pieces Ive cut I have just cut and spit them and removed the pith.....And anchorsealed the ends and stacked them off the ground and outside under a plastic garden pond that we took up out of the ground in the yard...It is just leaning on one side of the stack so the wood can get good air flow.
    Last edited by Mike Turner; 05-14-2013 at 10:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    If you can turn it fast enough you can skip the sealing altogether

    If you don't seal everything, I'd de-bark it so the rate of drying would be closer from the inside-outside of the trunk. I think the main reason to seal all of the cut surfaces is that there is very likely to be a fair bit of end grain in there, especially with a crotch piece like that.

    Personally I haven't had great luck with latex doing anything that appeared to be useful as far as preventing cracks, primer seemed to work slightly better (but it could have been in my head) in that it adhered more and seemed to block up the grain a smidge better.

  8. #8
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    If the wood is real wet, I typically seal all the cut surfaces unless I'm going to be turning it within the next few days. If the tree has been dead a while, I'll only seal the ends. And if it feels really dry, I'll skip the sealer altogether. If there's bark present, I leave it on...I haven't seen any indication that the wood under the bark is more likely to crack.

    I've had pretty unspectacular luck with latex paint for anything other than short-term sealing.
    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

  9. #9
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    I feel pain just reading the title to this thread.
    You are right, Vaughn. Cutting pieces like that is always a discovery adventure. Whatever that piece ends up as should be very attractive.
    BTW, depending on where you live, getting the bark off quickly can be important to discourage the buggies and wormies.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ...BTW, depending on where you live, getting the bark off quickly can be important to discourage the buggies and wormies.
    Frank brings up an excellent point. Not much of a problem in my area, but for other folks, de-barking can be critical.
    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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