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Thread: My first turning stock score...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    My first turning stock score...

    During the storms we've had recently, among the trees that were blown over were 4 ~ 5 cherry trees my neighbor had planted at the edge of their large yard. The 56mph gusts we had blew them over, and my neighbor decided they were history...so he cut them up. I saw it, stopped by and asked if I could have the larger wood (trunks and larger limbs). "Sure, take anything you want" was all I wanted to hear.... So, tomorrow I going to pick up what looks like some I can use for turning.

    Here are just 2 pieces I brought back for pics. I'm surprised how heavy the wood is, but I'm used to getting cedar at my local lumber yard "dumpster".










    I want to try turning it green for practice, and learning DNA bath techniques, which I believe is the alternative to a long drying time. If all works out, some simple bowls and maybe some pens.

    Since I'm a total newby to this, any comments, advice, tips will be welcome.

    Thanks, and more pics to come tomorrow.

    Greg

  2. #2
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    Super score,
    Cut the stuff up and treat the end with anchorseal. Rough turn what you can but don't worry about the rest, if you seal it it'll be fine next year if you need to wait that long.
    Great score.
    "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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    Thanks, Don,

    However, I would like to turn it as soon as reasonable.... We may be moving later next year, and I would like to make some things right away, or before Summer. Any hints on working with it now, along with what is necessary to keep it from cracking as much as is possible?

    Greg
    Last edited by Greg Cook; 12-31-2006 at 03:26 AM.

  4. #4
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    Greg,
    I moved from California to AZ last August. I brought some eucalpytus with me in August. It is aeging rather well and actualy developing a nice spalt (if thats the proper way to say it). I was lookiing at it today trying to pic a piece to turn. LOML thoght I was crazy for moving a bunch of wood but I know better..
    "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

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Congrats on a good find. Since you asked for advice...and pardon if you already know any of this...

    For bowls and such, you'll have less potential for cracking if you cut the pith out of the logs. The pith is dark part at the center of the
    tree's rings. There's a main one running through the trunk, and also secondary piths at each branch. (I dunno if 'main' and 'secondary' are the correct terms, but that's what I call 'em.) In general, if you cut an inch or so out of the center part of the log lengthwise, you'll remove the pith. Something like this (sorry for the crude sketch):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So far in my limited bowl turning experience, almost every crack that I've had show up was the result of not cutting the pith out. (Of course, cracks can be incorporated into the whole look of the piece, too.)

    On smaller diameter stuff like branches and upper trunks, some folks have success turning with the pith in the wood, but most recommend centering the pith in the piece, which apparently evens out the stresses and reduces the potential for cracking. I've done this with weed pots and little vases, with decent success. Since the wood's free and apparently plentiful, I'd say try all sorts of things, and you'll see what works best for you.

    Once you've rough turned it, soaking for a day or two in denatured alchohol does indeed seem to help dry it out more quickly. I simply got a gallon of DNA and a 2-gallon plastic bucket with a snap-on lid at the local hardware store, and I can fit two or three pieces in the bath at once.

    If you haven't seen it yet, I do recommend Bill Grumbine's Turned Bowls Made Easy video. Lots of tips and tricks to be had, even if you don't follow his exact procedure. (Heck, he's among the first to say there is more than one 'right' way for many things on a lathe.)

    And don't be afraid to ask questions. If we don't know the answers, we'll be glad to make some up! Have fun with your haul!
    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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    Vaughn,

    Thanks for the info. I'll take a look at getting the video, and post more pics, maybe with a particular piece. I've got to go to HD for some stuff, and will pick up a bucket and the alcohol. Oh, and your drawing's very good...thanks.

    I think this is gonna be fun, but totally new and different...

    Greg

  7. #7
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    Greg, you are going to love turning that cherry. Maybe it's just me but the smell of cherry is one of the better wood smells there is.

    Along with the good advice you've already received,I'd also reccomend you watch Bill's video....I did, several times but I am a slow learner
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  8. #8
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    Way to go Greg, now you are REALLY going to be hooked when you start roughing out them green bowl, that is just WAY too much fun

    You want to go here.......

    Wonder Wood's Turners Corner <-Bill's site.

    Cutting the blanks from logs is fun, but can be hard work, make sure you have a good base to cut on, some slabs from previous bowl blank cutting works well, but you don't have that at first, so throw down some junk 2x4 or something, nothing dulls a chain like trying to dig holes in the dirt with it, which I'm sure you are aware of

    Like Vaughn says, cut about a inch out of the middle, but to save you some back ache, there is a way to do it.

    All better shown here, but excuse me if I try my hand at explaining it....

    First, you want to cut your log into lengths that are just a tad longer than the diameter of the log, if you have a log that has a diameter of 14" cut it to 16", unless you can cut the log really straight and square, if you can do that, make it 15". Cutting it to 18" is just a waste of wood, DAMHIKT!!

    Now take your chunk of wood and lay it on it's side, with one end pointing towards you. Now cut on either side of the pith, so you have about an inch of waste in the middle, try to cut straight, as this will end up being the top of your bowl. Do not cut all the way through, this just makes for a lot more work, leave at least a couple of inches at the bottom so it remains in one piece.

    Now you have the two inside cuts done, move to the two outside cuts. These cuts will become the bottom of the bowl, so again, try to make sure the inside and the out side cuts are parallel. Again, do not cut all the way through.

    OK now you have a round chunk with four cuts almost all the way through it (see A in the pic below). You finish the outside cuts, then the inside cuts, this is a whole lot easier to do as the chunk usually stands up on it's own all the way to the end.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    With the pith being the brown dot in the middle.

    If you do the four cuts, you get the result, B which is two bowl blanks that are similar in size and shape.

    The thing is, I've almost never found really round logs, they are usually some what oval shaped and or the pith is almost NEVER right in the middle, so if you cut up C the way it is sitting, you get on larger blank and one smaller one, this might be what you want, or you could rotate the log around so that it is more like D, and again, you get equal blanks.

    In some cases the pith is WAY off center, and the log is not even sort of round. In E if you cut it his way, you end up with one blanks of use, again this might be good, depends on what you want, but again, if you rotate the log and cut, then you get F, two fairly balanced blanks.

    Now if you want to do Natural Edge (NE) Bowls, then don't do the outside cuts, and then the inside cut surfaces actually become the base of the NE bowl.

    One more thing, the "Waste" in the middle can be sawn up on your bandsaw for pen blanks!

    Good luck, stay safe with that chainsaw and............ take pics !
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Jim King does a lot of boiling of blanks. I think he has a tutorial at SMC. Or write him, he is very helpful.
    BTW, nice haul.

  10. #10
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    WOW, Stu, great explaination...thanks a bunch! I'll get the load, take some pics and make some initial cuts and post my "progress"...

    Frank, I'll search for that too..

    Steve, I'll see if I can attach some "aroma" to my pics...(aka Emeril's "Smell-a-Vision")

    Greg

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