Turn wet, dry, or what?

I bought three half log cherry burls at an auction. The logs were cut in
half and the ends were somewhat coated but not very well. I expect they
have been stored like that for some time.
Today I cut them into turning blanks. The newly cut wood measures 14-16%
moisture, compared to 24+ for fresh wood and about 8% for kiln dried in my
basement. So, they are pretty dry, but not bone dry.
A large piece of roughcut 12/4 curly maple I bought at the auction also
measures 14-16%, so it was probably just humid where they were stored.
Do I:
1) rough turn them, dry them, and finish turn them.
2) just finish turn them now
3) let them dry, and then finish turn them
4) something else
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Wet cherry wood may contain the "pit beetle" which will emerge and eat pits in all your wood stock.
I have a secret method of dealing with those little fellows, you'd better send those burls to me (carefully isolated in double plastic bags) before your wood stock experiences unmentionable damage.
(Looking forward to seeing some pics of fine projects.)
Old Guy
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Old guy
I appreciate your concern, but the edges are quite solid, with lovely grain. I think it will be okay.
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Two choices here, rough turn it thick, let it dry (1 to 6 months), and then return, or turn to final thickness (about 1/4 inch), let it dry (about 10 days) and warp, then sand and finish. The biggest difference is the warped bowls are a lot harder to sand if you are hand sanding. If you power sand, then the warped bowls are easy. I do get better success rates (no splitting) with the finish turned bowls than I do with the thick bowls. If it drys too fast, it cracks, and if it drys too slow, then in molds. You have to figure out what works best for you. robo hippy
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robo hippy
Green would be > 30% of course. That's the fiber saturation point, though there may be additional unbound water beyond that. Your wood has finished half it's movement if you're going to go to zero moisture, but since that's not possible, you might as well consider it's done 2/3. Inside/outside may also differ. Turn to about half again final thickness and let it relax. Week or two tops at your 50% RH should do for it. Weigh after week one and week two. Re-turn as desired.
Of course, burls are seldom bowls at my house. I like the edge out there catching the eye, so I'd do them to my final thickness at the start
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All of the above... depending on what YOU like as a finished project..
I used to turn wet, dry, return and finish.. It was (for me) a real PITA and some cracked while drying, no mater if they were sealed, bagged, etc..
If the wood is cooperative, I like to finish turn them green or wet, as thin as possible...
I wet sand my stuff with Danish Oil, so if the wood will fine sand, (some does wet, others just clog the paper), I sand to a fine finish, add a few more coats of oil and set them aside to warp..
IMO, warped bowls are unique and interesting.. and seem to have a certain appeal to buyers... works for me, because I love the shapes and features that develop when they warp..
OTOH, cracked bowls don't sell well and make awkward firewood.. YMWV
Please remove splinters before emailing
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mac davis
Toller I would not take the big chance that you could dry it in log or half log form without splitting. You are probably lucky for it to be a burl, as for straight grained wood it almost certainly would have splits in it by now. It is hard enough drying roughed out bowls without splitting, never mind the nearly impossibility to dry whole logs or large pieces of wood. So yes turn the wood, depending on what you want the final product to look like, turn to finish green thin or rough turn to 8%-10% for wall thickness and brown bag it, let dry and return in a couple of months.
Have fun and take care Leo Van Der Loo
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