Blank with Pith - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-10-2010, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
djg
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Blank with Pith

I'm trading a neighbor some firewood for some fresh cut, dead standing cherry firewood sections. I read that some people cut blanks along the axis of the log with the pith ending up on the bottom of the vessel. I was considering doing this with the cherry. This way I could make a deep vase which would be impossible if the blank were to be cut in the traditional method of perpendicular to the axis.
The question is: If I cut fresh ends to where no cracks are visible and seal in wax, will the debarked blank survive until my skill level is to the point where I can attempt a deep vase - which will not be any time soon. I got side tracked and still haven't completed my first bowl. Or would it be better to cut fresh ends and wax the log longer then I'll need, and then store it in my basement?

Maybe trying to save these pieces this far in advance would be a waste of time.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-10-2010, 08:52 PM
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Blank with pith

If what I think your talking about keeping the long round and just cutting short sections for later use, then no that would not be a good idea,especially with cherry as that stuff can split real easy with the pith left in.What I would do is leave the log maybe 4ft if you can then seal the ends and let them lay for a year or so as it takes quite a while for the whole log to dry out,depending on the dia and where you live.

God Bless all
Ken Ward
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-10-2010, 10:26 PM
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Good news: Cherry, very nice to turn, tight grain, you can get some fine detail, smells good to.

Bad news: End grain turning is very difficult and the pith is a killer, the wood will tend to split to the pith, not saying it can't be done, just hard to do the deep vessel. try it and you will find out. Usually you try to cut the pith out to do away with that problem.

More bad news: To air dry, 1 yr. for every 1" of wood, so if you have a 6" log it will be 6 yrs.

Some not so bad news: Turn the vessel to a rough shape, say 1/2" thick, wax the crap out of it and set it aside for 6 to 9 months, then do your final turning.
Or you can turn it to it's final shape green, much easier to turn, If you go down to 3/8" or 1/4" thick, or thinner, depends on your nerve or skill, the heat from turning and sanding will dry it out a lot. You might have to wait a day or two before sanding, sometimes it's still to wet to sand, just gums up the paper. But then you run the risk of warping if it's not dry enough.

I turned a piece green Magnolia, a vessel with a lid, I needed a towel to wipe the water off my glasses. It didn't split but the lid is loose now. You'll be surprised how much wood shrinks and moves when it dries.

Take a piece and give it a try. Get a hefty bowl gouge and round nose scraper, the deeper you go the heftier the tool.....and be careful. Take very lite cuts, you'll fined out, end grain is tough.

If there is a turning club near you, I suggest joining it, ask a lot of questions, you will learn a lot, I did.

Gary
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