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Forum topic by Keary posted 07-10-2017 12:51 PM 694 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 929 days

07-10-2017 12:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning wood

I’m new to turning and carving wood. But I love it so far. If I cut an oak or other tree. To use on my lathe how long do I need to let it dry before working with it. Ok take any and all the help Learning I can get thank you in Advance.

4 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1662 posts in 2338 days

#1 posted 07-10-2017 01:35 PM

Cut it now at 8 am, mount it at 8:05 am, turn to 10% of od, bag and store til it’s dry. No sweat. If it cracks, there are a number of things you can do. 1- toss it in your next fire. 2- Fill any cracks with filler and clear glue of choice. 3- Drill across the cracks and insert dowels. 4- make butterfly pockets, and insert butterflies. 5- There are other things you could do if you put your mind to it….. ......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Wildwood's profile


2794 posts in 2743 days

#2 posted 07-10-2017 07:32 PM

This time of the year sap is running so your wood will be really wet. After cutting down a tree need to do some processing into turning blanks by length and diameter. Leave your blanks longer and wider than will actually need. General rule of thumb not written in stone if 3 inches of less just end seal and store. If over 3 inches split removing the pith then end seal. Store off the ground out of the weather especially direct sunlight & strong winds and rain.

Basically you some idea of whether want bowl, hollow, form or spindle blanks. End sealing slows down the drying process so wood your wood doesn’t end check or slit while being stored. You want to do this ASAP!

Wood drys 12 time faster from the ends than sides that why we end seal. Wood drys from the out side in end sealing slows down the drying process allowing you blacnk to reach EMC.

You have a wide choice of end sealers, oil or latex paint, paraffin wax, comercial end sealers like Anchor Green wood sealer. I use melted canning wax cause easy & cheap.

If want to turn a thin bowl 3/16” or ¼” uniform thickness can often finish a bowl and then watch it oval but not crack or maybe crack. If going to rough turn a bowl turn to a uniform thickness any where from 5/8” to 1” thick depending upon diameter and design then set aside to dry then finish turning. Could take anywhere from month or two to about six months.

For spindle blanks you can speed up drying by processing blanks in to turning squares just leave larger and longer then will eventually need for your project.

Drying times depend upon where you live and relative humidity, store in a place described above and simple air circulation will allow moisture to evaporate from the your blanks. Storing wood with or without bark often comes up. With bark on risk bug infestation or mold depending upon where you live and store your wood. Have done it both way and turn or left bug infestaion as part of an item turned.

-- Bill

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7597 posts in 2807 days

#3 posted 07-12-2017 09:25 PM

We have been getting hit with storms almost every day for the past few weeks… and the ground has become really saturated because of it. It’s this time of the year that we have a lot of trees come down thanks to all the rain. Last night at around 3:00am, I had a ~50 foot oak come down next to my house. Heard it from inside the house, and the dogs went absolutely nuts thinking we were being invaded by squirrels (their arch-enemy). But it was a double score – 1) it didn’t hit the house (much)! and 2) I see a lot more turning blanks in my future :)

My typical procedure is to cut it up with the chainsaw into rough blanks, paint the ends with some old latex paint, then store them away and forget about them for a year or more. I tend to use white latex, as it allows me to use a marker to put the date and other info on the blanks, making it easier to pick ones that have aged sufficiently later on. If you have a community recycling center nearby, you can usually get all the latex paint you want for free.

I rarely turn green wood into rough blanks… for me, it’s just too messy and encourages too much warpage. With nice aged blanks, the wood is more or less stable, and you can address any checks or cracks before you start turning pretty easily. I also frequently leave the main trunk/large branches out in the elements (up off the ground) for a few weeks/months to encourage spalting.


PS: I’ve got a huge maple tree behind the house back in the woods that is about to come down on its own… sure hope it does so soon… I’ve got more oak now than I know what to do with!

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View TheDane's profile


5728 posts in 4271 days

#4 posted 07-13-2017 12:25 AM

But it was a double score – 1) it didn’t hit the house (much)! and 2) I see a lot more turning blanks in my future :)

You must be living right!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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