Found some cedar logs

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Patsquatch posted 04-05-2018 02:31 AM 1380 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Patsquatch's profile


3 posts in 826 days

04-05-2018 02:31 AM

Hello all! I’m new to woodturning but I already love it. I’ve bought a few bowl blanks from stores but thats not financially sustainable. So I took three 24” logs from a construction site in my neighborhood where they had cut some trees down. I think they are cedar, at least the entire neighborhood smells like it, though I’m not 100% sure exactly what kind of cedar. The logs are 24” long and 12” wide. My moisture reader says they are about 39% mc. I’ve applied anchorseal to the ends and am storing them in my garage off the ground. Is there anything else I need to do? I can’t cut them up yet because I do not have a chainsaw, but its on the wish list for sure! Is there a general guideline on how long the wood will take to dry? Whats a good MC to get to before final turning and finishing?!

12 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


3078 posts in 2570 days

#1 posted 04-05-2018 03:11 AM

Looks like some nice easy turning wood. Should make some nice live edge bowls so trun them green and let them warp and dry. It will be a very unique look that will fascinate even the most casual observer.
If you let them dry whole they will crack or check and turn into firewood.

-- Aj

View turnkey47's profile


315 posts in 3463 days

#2 posted 04-05-2018 09:40 AM

looks like red oak

View Steve's profile


2078 posts in 1354 days

#3 posted 04-05-2018 01:51 PM

looks like red oak

- turnkey47

+1 on the red oak

And you could cut them into smaller pieces with a sawzall.

View Wildwood's profile


2864 posts in 2906 days

#4 posted 04-05-2018 03:35 PM

Combination of electric chain saw, axe or maul and wedges will help you process logs into turning blanks! You will be able to remove the pith and decrease size allowing blanks to dry little faster because you have reduced size. End sealing will slow down drying process and reduce drying defects.

Not sure what size lathe you have but would cut those 24” logs in half with an electric chain saw. Then split in half with chain saw or axe and reseal ends until ready to turn.

Drying wood is simply a water removal process due to evaporation. Wood drys from out side in starts at sap wood into heart wood. We had a post here couple weeks back where cedar was dry and sap wood was cracking and about ready to penetrate heart wood. I have had the same experience with cedar spindle blanks crack that were stored under my work bench for more that couple years.

I would find a 14” or longer electric chain store can afford and some chain oil and buy that.

If don’t have an axe to split wood would get one you can afford. Also two splitting wedges.

-- Bill

View Aj2's profile


3078 posts in 2570 days

#5 posted 04-05-2018 04:41 PM

Why do you want to dry them?
Don’t you want to make bowls

-- Aj

View Ocelot's profile


2535 posts in 3410 days

#6 posted 04-05-2018 04:50 PM

I really don’t think that’s cedar. Red oak seems more likely.

Here’s cedar

View Steve's profile


2078 posts in 1354 days

#7 posted 04-05-2018 05:06 PM


View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3535 days

#8 posted 04-05-2018 06:02 PM

+ on red oak. Better seal the ends real quick !

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

View ScottM's profile


747 posts in 2918 days

#9 posted 04-05-2018 06:51 PM


View Okbowhunter's profile


12 posts in 823 days

#10 posted 04-05-2018 06:53 PM

I would paint the ends to prevent cracking.

-- Damon, Oklahoma

View Wildwood's profile


2864 posts in 2906 days

#11 posted 04-05-2018 07:56 PM

View LesB's profile


2553 posts in 4215 days

#12 posted 04-05-2018 09:43 PM

I agree that it does not look like Cedar I’m familiar with; which is Incense Cedar and Western Red Cedar. There are other varieties of Cedar so in your Southern location it may be one of those.

In any case You need to seal the end cuts to prevent them from cracking. If you want to accelerate the drying process I would cut or split them down the center but still seal the ends. Leave them in a cool dry place for a year or two to dry. I would NOT make them any shorter because if end cracks start they may only go a few inches into the log and stop so you can cut them off later on longer logs. In either event you can cut the logs shorter after they dry.

If you are in a hurry to use them there are several methods of drying the wood faster, including rough turning the blanks and letting them dry in paper bags or, microwaving them.

-- Les B, Oregon

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics