Turning pine boards

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Forum topic by murch posted 06-21-2011 04:46 PM 1264 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3677 days

06-21-2011 04:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question pine lathe turning traditional

I picked up a pine board about 9in diameter and 2in deep.It was probably bone dry. I tried turning
a plate from it but the result is a very rough, torn and ripped looking piece of crap. I can save it by sanding
but I’m wondering
a) Are some pieces of timber just too dry to turn successfully?
b) Is there any magic mix I can soak it in so that it turns more like green wood ?
c) Should I speed up or slow down my lathe for dryer wood?

My chisels are sharp in case you’re wondering.
All replies are appreciated.


-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

3 replies so far

View lew's profile


13332 posts in 4808 days

#1 posted 06-21-2011 05:03 PM

Pine does not turn well. You need very sharp tools. Cutting tools (gouge/skew) work better than scraping tools. I think it is because it is so soft.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View MrWoodworker's profile


65 posts in 3648 days

#2 posted 06-21-2011 06:20 PM

Pine is too soft to turn like a hardwood. The fibers have a tendency to lift and peel easily. Kind of like how a piece of paper acts when you dampen your finger to turn the pages of a book. It just sort of wants to come along with the tool. I agree that super sharp tool will help somewhat, but a good bit of sanding will be needed to get a pretty finish.


View hairy's profile


3266 posts in 4585 days

#3 posted 06-21-2011 06:29 PM

I agree about pine not turning well. I prefer dry wood to green.

-- You can lead a horse to water, but you can't tie his shoes. Blaze Foley

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