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Thread: Turning Willow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee

    Turning Willow

    Anyone here ever turned willow? What can you tell me about the wood. I have an opportunity to pick up a hugh chunk of the wood and just wondering if it's worth the work I'm going to be in for to get it home.
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    I have turned some. First and foremost you will need sharp tools because the wood can be stringy. I would get it anyway and turn it especially if it is free. The pieces I have turned all have turned out ok. My sister has them and I haven't been there yet to get pictures. She slipped out the door with them before I did.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    lutefisk capitol, USA
    i have turned small branches into bud vases out of what is called diamond willow up here. this stuff is a creamy white with reddish brown knots. unfortunatly it was pre-digital and i don't have any photos. i agree with bernie, any free wood is good. maybe only for practicing technique but you may be surprised. crotch wood should be good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Boise, Idaho
    I turn a lot of willow. I have about 1/2 a tree. Would have taken the whole tree but the wife stopped me.

    Willow is low density so your turnings will be light. The wood itself is a light cream color with lots of surprises in figure. Voids can appear out of nowhere as well as knots of all sizes. However, I find these to be features and not defects.

    The only downside is the wood is subject to tear-out especially on the end grain. Best to use very sharp tools and burnish where possible.

    Willow will split if left in a dry environment even gobbed up with a sealant.

    If the wood is very green you may find it will sprout for an unexpectedly long time. Don't cut it until it stops sprouting. Mine took about 3 months to stop sprouting indoors!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Yes, I turned in the past willow too, small pots, etc.
    I like it to turn willow, can be surprising.

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