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Happiness is.....

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Hicks, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    A really big cherry tree, cut in 21 inch pieces....for free! Some of these chunks weighed well over 200lbs. I had to roll them out of the truck. Now to find a used chainsaw with some grunt; and I plan on spending a week or so cutting in to square blanks and sealing the end grain with titebond. The tree was felled last November or December. I'm learning how to find free wood. So what if I'm in a nursing home before it dries out! IMG_5921.JPG IMG_5917.JPG
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  2. Charles Cadenhead

    Charles Cadenhead

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  3. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren

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    You may want to leave them as rounds until you are closer to actually turning them. I’ve not heard of using titebond as a sealer, anchorseal or similar wax based product is ideal.

    Buy a good used pro saw in the 60-70cc range.
     
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  4. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    Cherry that looks like that must surely have some end checking already. I find that if you don't break down cherry in less than a week, it's full of cracks! A thin fresh cut on the ends will probably reveal more than you will like to know.
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    First decide if you got a load of firewood or a load of blanks to prepare.
    a little end checking running less than 2” deep can usually be cut off to clean wood.
    Cracks in the pith 4-5” long will be marginal for bowls
    Cracks running to the bark would go in my firewood pile.
    If the wood has been frozen since it was cut you will probably have good wood.

    assuming the wood is in condition.
    My first step would be to rip the rounds through the pith.
    coat the end grain with anchor seal. These are my bowl and hollow form blanks. So I orient the cut to get a balance grain in one side. If I get two good blanks great.

    Often one side will be unbalance grain for a bowl so I would cut it up to air dry.
    2” thick slabs for platter blanks, 2x2 lengths for finial blanks, 3x3 lengths for spheres and boxes.
    These i would sticker and dry for 2-3 years.

    I would then begin working through the blank stack.
    If the sapwood is still white I would turn some natural edge bowls and hollow forms.

    I would also rough bowls for drying.
    .

    Basically I would turn all the bowls I wanted from this find as soon as I could.
    If I couldn’t turn it within 2-3 months I would call some other turners and let them pick some pieces.
    Take some to my club.

    You might take a few minutes to read through the thread on working with green wood.
    I do a 90 Minute demo on working with green wood- show some PowerPoint, turn a green wood bowl for drying(video), and ReTurn a dried bowl ( video)
    http://aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/working-with-green-wood.11626/
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  6. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I cut my longer, then I do not have to worry about checking on the end grain, I do not even seal my wood. Cherry checks a lot, I think you cut yours a bit short. That is if you planning on storing some of it for a while.
     
  7. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I use titebond II to seal end grain, works as well as anchorseal and others. Definitely research turning green wood and twice turned projects - majority of my turning is done that way. There are methods to rough turn most anything, dry, then finish turn, even smaller items. Dont have to wait years for 3”-4” square blanks to dry. Good to get some 2x2 long blanks for tool handles drying though.
     
  8. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Great haul John, that will make some nice turnings for sure!:D
     
  9. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Since it was felled in the middle of our NW wet season, probably very little end checking, but come April or so, that will change very fast, even with end grain sealer. Process it into bowls as soon as you can. Nice score!

    robo hippy
     
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  10. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    It was already cut; I would have cut to 28 inches at least. I'll take it though! Lots of pencil holders in there!
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  11. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    If you run into cracking you can always salvage some spindle blanks of various sizes by cutting down the cracks.
     
  12. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Agreed. I've had a couple of cherry rounds next to my house since early November and they've not begun cracking yet. As you alluded to above, nothing, nothing, nothing, dries out here (west of the Cascades) between November and April. Of course there's a touch of kidding in there but it's not far off of the truth. It's not unusual to see cars around here growing moss in the cracks and crevices, to say nothing of the roofs, tree trunks, and lawns.
     
  13. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    I'm going to look at a used jonsered 490 today; hopefully at 100 dollars, I'll have a bowl blank chopper!
     
  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Don’t know your experience level with a chainsaw.
    If it is limited get some instruction. Get safety gear too.
    If it’s extensive continue your good practices

    It’s only dangerous for people who don’t know how to use one.


    Good luck on your quest.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  15. Bruce Perry

    Bruce Perry

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    I want to second Mr. Hockenbery, a chain saw used without know how, is probably as dangerous as any tool you'll come near. Instruction from someone who really knows the machine is worth pursuing. Where you live it might be hard to find a truly safe day, fifty years back BLM made us leave the mountain woods if it rained, both to avoid lightning, and the slip and screw up injuries we saw enough of.

    If you are only sawing at home, or near housing, a decent electric saw is worth checking out, Stihl, Husquvarna, Mikita and I suppose others make saws nearly as powerful as gas saw, with about half the hassle. Unless you take the two stroke out fairly regularly they will become hard to start, and gummed up with modern fuels. AvGas might even be worth the added expense.

    I had to quit running gas saws 7 years ago when they installed a pacer ( Radio Frequency Interference not recommended) so I've just had to learn how to lift bigger chunks to get them home, or let my wife lift them - she is much stronger than I.
     
  16. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    And those who become complacent thinking they know all there is.
     
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  17. Bruce Perry

    Bruce Perry

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    Thanks Owen,

    New users usually have the sense to stay scared.

    The worst chain saw mess I ever had to deal with was a forest service employee, trained and three years in. He was showing how fast he could cut survey line - the 1/4 mile he cut in the first 15 minutes didn't amount to much, with the 70 some stitches, and 3 weeks off work.
     
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  18. John Walls

    John Walls

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    Guilty as charged! I have 40 some years off and on the end of a chain saw. Got tired, should have stopped for the day but wanted to get-r-done. Saw bucked, here I stood with one hand on the saw, other with missing skin/meat, cut to the bone (was holding the limb with that hand..... yea, dumbarse... It happened sooo darn fast, did not feel it til a little while later, while the Dr. was stitching my finger back together. A year later, it sometimes hurts a little from the cut. Good news was, I got to keep the finger. Now, if I fire up a saw, my wife is right on my butt watching my every move like a child. Yea, I think she is right. Don't tell her I said that. I have to admit, I'm now scared of saws but have no choice, sometimes I have to fire it up. Be careful with those things if you get one. They can/will bite you when you least expect it!
     
  19. Greg Norman

    Greg Norman

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    I have many thousands of hours experience running big saws and IMHO if they don’t scare you at least a little bit you should NOT touch one.
    This is my baby and while I don’t fear it it is a bit scary at 10,000 rpms. 25343B77-DDDB-4978-9B84-D741C8E17258.jpeg
     
  20. John Walls

    John Walls

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    You couldn't pay me enough to run that monster! I doubt I could even lift it.
     
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  21. Greg Norman

    Greg Norman

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    Ow you know you want to give it a go! Haha
    With that bar it’s pushing 40 pounds but once you crank it and the adrenaline kicks in it’s not that bad.
     
  22. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    What do you have for a powerhead on that big saw, Greg?
     
  23. Greg Norman

    Greg Norman

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    Husqvarna 3120xp
     
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  24. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Nice wood pile. Hope you get some good blanks out of it. Must be hundreds of pen blanks there!
     
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  25. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    I just cut some bowls out of cherry that's been sitting in the side yard for almost four rears now. I had to cut 3-4 in off the ends due to checking, but I was surprised that the heartwood was still good (the sapwood was pretty rotten and buggy). It fared at least as well as the pieces from the same tree that I carefully prepped, anchorsealed, and stored on a rack under a tarp in deep shade and turned within 2-3 months of harvest; they checked to about the same extent, albeit without rot from ground contact.
     
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  26. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    That is an excellent comment on the short shelf life of the sapwood.
    To get white sapwood in woods ( like Walnut, Cherry, Florida Rosewood ) into a finished piece I recommend turning it within a few days of harvesting. At 2 weeks it is iffy to get white sapwood from these woods.
     
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  27. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    I may try turning some of it green, then drying it the old fashioned way with chips in a bag. I have never turned green wood.
     
  28. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    For me chips in a bag is a mold factory. If you live in the high desert part of Washington chips in a bag might work. If you live near the coast probably not.

    bowls for drying to return i turn the wall thickness about 10% of diameter.
    Even wall thickness and flowing curves greatly improve drying success.

    what I do with bowls for drying is put them in paper grocery bags one over the top of the other.
    Put the bags out of a direct airflow like a fan or a vent as they will dry the bags too quickly.
    Every day for about 5 days I replace the damp bags with dry bags. I will just let the bags from the previous day dry and reuse them the day after. If I see any mold I wipe the mold off with chloroform and wipe the whole bowl with chlorox. I discard any bags that held a bowl with mold.

    when the bags are dry when I check them I put the bagged bowl on a shelf to dry- takes 8-10 months.

    critical for drying is the relative humidity of the drying area. In a 50% RH wood will dry to 8% moisture content.

    I started a thread in tips and techniques on working with green wood.
    The more you know about green wood the less likely you are to end up with cracked bowls.
    http://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/working-with-green-wood.11626/

    the slides I use in the demo are sort of the seven habits of success bowl turners....
    The deck is a bit stacked against new turners.
    478EE967-506F-4835-AFD4-87D750AAF67D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  29. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Living between the Cascades and the Coast ranges, during the wet months, chips in a bag will lead to mold if it sits in a space without artificial heating (i.e.,my detached garage); if it's inside my home where it's heated then that usually works out OK. During the dry month (;)), chips in a bag is the absolute minimum if left in my garage.

    However...

    My usual method for just about all woods (except plum and apple) is to Sharpie the date on the bottom, completely Anchorseal the roughed out bowl, and place it in a cool "pantry" in my basement. There's no direct airflow from heating vents and it's against the cinder block foundation. Put it there and forget it for a year or three.

    Plum and apple get boiled for an hour or more after roughing, let drip dry, cool, and then to the pantry they go. (They're so saturated after boiling that I don't Anchorseal them.)
     
  30. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I live in MO, fairly humid here. All my twice turned go in a bag sometimes double bag, with chips. Bags are stored in my environmentally controlled house on wire shelf racks. Keeps them at pretty consistent temp and humidity, never have mold issues, and drying is well controlled, minimizing cracks. The better the storage environment is controlled over time the better drying results will be.
     
  31. John Walls

    John Walls

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    I'm sure my question will scream rookie, but why boil this wood?
     
  32. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    Temperate climate hardwoods highly susceptible to cracking, like apple and plum, can benefit from the moist heat to relax the lignin (or whatever) in the fibers. I don't recall the scientific rationale behind it all but I do know it works for me. Though I turn very little of the stuff, Pacific Madrone, is also a commonly boiled wood. A forum search on boiling will likely turn up quite a few threads on the topic.
     
    John Walls likes this.

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