Small limbs: Maple and Magnolia

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 06-27-2011 08:49 PM 1671 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4486 days

06-27-2011 08:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: reclaiming green wood turning maple magnolia

A neighbour had a tree cut down and has offered me a bunch of tree limbs ranging from 1 inch to 3 or more – I haven’t seen them so I don’t know the exact sizes. I’m thinking they could be great for small turnings. I’m going to pick some up tonight and was wondering, is there anything I should know about working this stuff? I am thinking that I will take most of them, seal the ends (and wherever smaller branches were cut off) and let them sit in the shop for a while to dry a bit, but may take some of the larger ones and rough them out while they’re green.

This stuff is all theoretical for now as I’ve never had the chance to turn branches before. Any advice that I should consider would be welcome!

4 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4313 days

#1 posted 06-27-2011 09:46 PM

Limb wood has a lot of internal stress, I am told. Will warp and twist as it dries. Can’t say from experience as I haven’t tried working with it yet. That may only be an issue for someone wanting to make flat stuff, may not even apply to spinny work. But, let us know how it works out. I have some Red Bud tree limbs and a small trunk, ~6” diameter, from a tree that blew down. I been letting it dry some before I try something like pens or wine bottle stoppers.

View lew's profile


13489 posts in 5097 days

#2 posted 06-28-2011 03:00 AM

You can turn it “green” or “wet”. It is great fun to watch the shavings just peel off. Trifern turns his beautiful projects from “green” wood.

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

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4486 days

#3 posted 06-28-2011 06:49 PM

Thanks guys. I collected a car load of maple yesterday – I don’t think the magnolia was put out. Most of the branches I got are in the 1.5 inch range but I have a couple 2” and one 3” ish – and six feet or more of all of those. I will definitely post anything that I make out of it!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23350 posts in 5018 days

#4 posted 06-29-2011 01:42 AM

One thing you can count on is them splitting down the pith. If you make anything keep that in mind an work around it.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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