Tornado damage, what next?

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Forum topic by Bill Szydlo posted 09-25-2018 01:18 PM 797 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill Szydlo

69 posts in 3458 days

09-25-2018 01:18 PM

I am looking for some advice. Last week a tornado went through my property. We suffered massive damage to our trees. A rough estimate would be that we lost 100+ trees. What used to be trails through are woods now look like they were clear cut with trees piled up over 7’ high and impassable. Fortunately no one in the area was hurt. I am looking for advice on 2 questions I have.

1. How to store the wood for later turning? I have been turning for years and have cut blanks and then sealed them but with this volume that is impractical. My first idea would be to cut the trees into shorter lengths (5’ for instance) and let them sit or stack them and then as needed cut off the checked ends and go from there. Sealing the ends is not feasible as to the volume.

2. Currently I own a Nova DVR lathe but am considering upgrading to a large lathe and basically starting a part time business making bowls. While I have the materials I am curious for those of you that sell your turnings is this a good idea? I should mention that I am retired so other work would not interfere but by the same token I don’t want to go back to feeling I have to work.

Thank you and I appreciate any advice,

8 replies so far

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1260 days

#1 posted 09-25-2018 01:26 PM

Do you live in Dunrobin? I’m in Ottawa and I was just talking to people I work with from that area. They’re all fine, but some have lost a lot.

If you are from this area, you may want to talk to these people

Good luck with everything.

View Bill Szydlo's profile

Bill Szydlo

69 posts in 3458 days

#2 posted 09-25-2018 01:50 PM

Thanks for the info but I live in Southern Minnesota.

View Fresch's profile


489 posts in 2691 days

#3 posted 09-25-2018 02:09 PM

I would save the expensive wood first, sell to a mill or have it milled and sell. You can cut what you think you could use in a life time.

View sras's profile


5456 posts in 3900 days

#4 posted 09-25-2018 02:56 PM

Yep – contact a local mill. doesn’t have to be a large operation – could be a guy with a portable mill and a chainsaw.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Snipes's profile


459 posts in 3015 days

#5 posted 09-25-2018 03:32 PM

What town, what type of wood? lots of ways to store, but the best is to probably look for interesting pieces then put some anchor seal on the ends. Otherwise leave int the woods and cut as you need. Most mills I know of in MN don ‘t pay much for trees if any, but you could definately have some milled up. Good Luck

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View Wildwood's profile


2864 posts in 2905 days

#6 posted 09-25-2018 08:36 PM

Don’t know much about Southern Minnesota, nor species of trees you have.

I would process as many blanks bowl, hollow form, spindle, think can handle for couple years then try to unload the rest.

If have a vendor that caters to woodturners might be able to sell bowl, hollow form, and spindle blanks to them with minimum processing. Some of the turnig clubs in you part of the country might also be interested.

Don’t do many craft shows any more, and not interested of selling online. When did a lot of shows sold more spindle turnings than bowls. My way of saying gave away more bowls than sold ( I still do). One of my biggest seller was 3” hand held mirrors, never brought any back home. One thing that help me sell lot of bowls, scored couple boxes of artifical flowers. Made up few bowls with flowers and let ladies select flowers from the boxes to make their own center pieces.

Good luck and have some fun with it!

-- Bill

View Ocelot's profile


2535 posts in 3409 days

#7 posted 09-25-2018 09:06 PM

A local guy here in Alabama has an LT40 mill. On his property he has a pond. A few years ago under similar circumstances (tornado), he accumulated too many logs to mill and just sunk them in the pond. A couple of years ago when I was talking to me, he said he’d pulled a red oak from the pond and sawed it 5 years later and it was just like a newly felled green log.

View JCamp's profile


1179 posts in 1321 days

#8 posted 09-26-2018 01:36 AM

My uncle got hit my a tornado a few years back and it kicked over a bunch of pines and oak trees. He had a guy with a portable sawmill come to his house and custom saw them for him. He ended up building a big pole barn with some of the lumber and storing the rest inside

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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