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What's your favorite wood to turn? and Why?

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Forum topic by TonyArru posted 05-01-2017 03:53 PM 2991 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TonyArru

84 posts in 2637 days


05-01-2017 03:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: woodturning wood lathe turning

Hey everyone, I thought it might be fun for some of us to share what our favorite varieties of wood to turn are. I am new to wood turning, I bought my first lathe (Steele City) about 4 months ago and I just can not get enough wood turning!
So, I look for wood on the side of the road everywhere I go now, looking for more practice pieces. So far I have turned a bunch of pens and a few lidded boxes along with many other small projects. But I have also turned a few different kinds of wood now too. I like oak, because it seems stable and cuts nicely, but I think my favorite so far is Walnut, its aromatic and looks beautiful, not to mention easy to cut and shape but also firm.
What do you all like to turn?

-- Tony S. Arru, Connecticut


32 replies so far

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papadan

3584 posts in 3791 days


#1 posted 05-01-2017 04:00 PM

Walnut is one of my favorites. Look at Craigs List under the free category for free firewood. Lots of great free turning wood there.

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Hockey

170 posts in 834 days


#2 posted 05-01-2017 04:03 PM

Love the smell of walnut. However, I have been having a great time turning some maple from a recently cut down tree.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1908 days


#3 posted 05-01-2017 04:43 PM

I got some pear from a friend. Really fine grain.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View JayT's profile

JayT

6228 posts in 2633 days


#4 posted 05-01-2017 04:48 PM


I got some pear from a friend. Really fine grain.

- TheFridge

I just did a file handle this weekend out of some scrap pear from the firewood pile. Best turning wood I’ve used so far in my admittedly limited experience. Cuts easily and leaves a great finish.

Another one I like is Osage Orange. It is hard, heavy and tough, but because of that, it can polish up to a very high luster just with sandpaper. I’ve taken it clear to 2000 grit and it just kept getting a finer polish. Gotta have sharp tools, though.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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HokieKen

9979 posts in 1561 days


#5 posted 05-01-2017 04:56 PM

The few small pieces of Cocobolo I’ve had turned like a dream. Of course, it’ll cost ya too. I find Cherry and Walnut to be easy turners too.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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xeddog

243 posts in 3430 days


#6 posted 05-01-2017 05:20 PM

Free

View Mark's profile

Mark

1008 posts in 2397 days


#7 posted 05-01-2017 05:57 PM

+1 xeddog. :). Cherry or Maple…..’cause that’s what I have the most of.

-- Mark

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RichCMD

426 posts in 2363 days


#8 posted 05-01-2017 06:09 PM

I like turning maple and walnut. For pens I like olive and pink ivory.

-- Ride the bevel!

View TonyArru's profile

TonyArru

84 posts in 2637 days


#9 posted 05-01-2017 07:08 PM



Free

- xeddog


Ha, this is my favorite kind of wood too! I’ve never tried pink ivory before I’ll have to keep my eyes open for that. I also have a friend who was able to get me some “Ipe” ? anyone have experience with that?

-- Tony S. Arru, Connecticut

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Woodknack

12845 posts in 2802 days


#10 posted 05-01-2017 08:03 PM


Free
- xeddog

Beat me to it.


... some “Ipe” ? anyone have experience with that?
- TonyArru

Slightly harder than brass, dulls steel pretty quickly but carbides do well and leave a nice finish.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View jeff's profile

jeff

1149 posts in 3887 days


#11 posted 05-02-2017 12:03 AM

Mesquite.Love the grain.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View JollyGreen67's profile

JollyGreen67

1676 posts in 3185 days


#12 posted 05-02-2017 01:15 AM

Honey Mesquite for the smell. Screw Bean Mesquite for the grain.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

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Combo Prof

3847 posts in 1700 days


#13 posted 05-02-2017 01:31 AM

I have only turned basswood, maple, birsdsye maple, hop hornbeam, ash and apple. I like turning apple the best.

... some “Ipe” ? anyone have experience with that?
- TonyArru

Slightly harder than brass, dulls steel pretty quickly but carbides do well and leave a nice finish.

- Rick M

I made a joiners mallet (not turned) from Ipe. I did not find it as hard to work as some say.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

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hairy

2876 posts in 3954 days


#14 posted 05-02-2017 12:14 PM

Mahogany.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Babieca's profile

Babieca

178 posts in 1926 days


#15 posted 05-02-2017 04:40 PM

Fruit woods! Apple, pear, and cherry have been great for me.

Hackberry was also surprisingly nice to turn.

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