Birch log... how do I handle this? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Hello all

My old man was taking down some trees on his property. Pine and birch. I took away this birch log. Probably 8" across. 48" long.

My question is how do I handle it? I'm a newbie to green wood. I'd love to turn my first live edge bowls from this. And maybe a few crafty projects like tea light holders.

Should I rough out the bowls and set them to dry? If I keep some or all of the log intact should I use anchor seal on the ends?

How would you handle this wood if you were given it?

Any and all thoughts are welcome. I've not been turning long and this log is going to be a few firsts for me. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: sorry for the wonky pic... Post this one from the phone.


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Last edited by MidKnight; 11-10-2014 at 11:15 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 10:20 AM
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I've turned alot of birch and love it. It turns like butter.! I turn them fairly thin then let my piece dry in a paper bag for a couple of months. Never had one crack yet and it's a wood than sands very smooth.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 12:15 PM
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Both your ideas are right.

If you plan on turning them wet, and very soon you won't need to anchor seal the ends. If it'll be a few days or a week or two before you get to all the blanks, then you should anchor seal the ends.

Cut them into blocks and seal the ends.

Turn them thin and put them in paper bags for a while and if have a small scale, keep weighting the blanks. Once they stop loosing water weight, they should be dry. They might warp out of round but for a natural edge bowl, it generally isn't that noticeable and most of the time adds a nice look to it.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 01:04 PM
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Your on track. I'd get it out of the plastic bag ASAP if you haven't already. You don't want mold. Looks like a great practice log for NE bowls. Not to say its "only" a practice log, just that you could turn several similarly sized NE bowls in a row which is fantastic practice. I'd turn em green and let em warp. You could even turn some cut edge bowls the same way and you'll gain a lot of insight into how wood moves and learn how to plan for it. I like an oval bowl, but not a lopsided one. It's all in the orientation.

I would get a clean cut on each end and seal them just in case you get delayed. Stuff happens.

Don't forget to post pics! It doesn't matter if you think they are good or not, we like pics. It's also a good way to get constructive feedback if you want it. Have fun!
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-11-2014, 12:13 AM
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Split the log lengthwise & seal the ends. Cut down the pith ( eliminate it if possible ), seal the ends and then cut off the section you need to do a bowl, resealing that end. Repeat. I wouldn't worry about turning to thin- nothing wrong with 1/4 to 3/8" ( or more especially for a beginner).
Short sections are harder to deal with re splitting!! Ron.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-13-2014, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses. I'll be hacking up half this log this weekend. The other half I'll anchor seal and keep stowed away.

I'll post some pics when the chips start to fly!
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