Birch log... how do I handle this? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 116
View MidKnight's Photo Album My Photos
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.

Name:  ForumRunner_20141110_082026.jpg
Views: 148
Size:  64.9 KB

Last edited by MidKnight; 11-10-2014 at 11:15 AM.
MidKnight is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 10:20 AM
Joanne Gonthier's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Whitecourt,Alberta
Posts: 51
View Joanne Gonthier's Photo Album My Photos
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.
Joanne Gonthier is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 12:15 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 997
View BigJoe16's Photo Album My Photos
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.
BigJoe16 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 6 Old 11-10-2014, 01:04 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: McKinney, Tx
Posts: 763
View Bonanza35's Photo Album My Photos
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!
Bonanza35 is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 11-11-2014, 12:13 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Port Alberni BC
Posts: 28
View Ron Rutter's Photo Album My Photos
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.
Ron Rutter is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 11-13-2014, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 116
View MidKnight's Photo Album My Photos
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!
MidKnight is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sheet stock - Birch, baltic birch and more birch Ed'sGarage General Woodworking Discussion 9 09-22-2014 10:29 PM
Axe handle Azur Jahić Hand Tools 3 08-18-2013 09:47 AM
D-handle or not? JCMeyersIV Power Tools & Machinery 34 03-27-2012 12:29 AM
Craftsman Fixed/Plunge D-Handle Router: Why the D-handle? nelcatjar Power Tools & Machinery 5 06-05-2009 09:44 AM
Substitute for birch against birch ply? rbarr110 Wood Finishing 5 01-20-2009 05:59 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome