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post #1 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Help an Old Noob out

We have had several bad storms roll through our area in the past few weeks and there are a lot of trees down. If I cut some pieces off one of the trees how should I go about letting it dry so it can be used to turn? I know that it will crack from the ends drying too fast. Any Ideas? Les
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 01:08 PM
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Sorry double posted some how.

Last edited by rrbrown; 07-07-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 01:09 PM
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You need to seal the ends with something like this or maybe this one.

Last edited by rrbrown; 07-07-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 04:59 PM
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Try to store in the shade if possible, if not, then cover loosely. They do need some air flow. Most of the time I cut mine in 4-6’ lengths and store on end due to space limitations. Or for larger diameter, cut about 4” longer than the diameter and stack. I have had some sycamore and sweet gum start cracking down the side but it took about six months for this to happen. I have not had that problem with any others.
If you are going to saw into blank sizes to start with leave them about 4” longer than the diameter. For smaller diameter (9”&<) I just split down the pith. For larger diameters I typically remove 1 -1.5” from each side of the pith; this small section (2-3”) can be used for small items. It also produces some nice grain patterns since it is in effect quartersawn.
For all of the above I use anchorseal and coat the end grain and about 1” down on the inner side.
Woodcraft is just off I-485 on the SE (Monroe) side of Charlotte. There may be some place in Rock Hill that sells it also.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. With Anchorseal on the ends about how long would it be before say a one foot diameter Bradford pear or common Maple are completely dry?
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 06:44 PM
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They'll rot before they dry in log form. It won't dry until you get into smaller pieces. I do the same as NC, leave them in longer lengths but if you leave them too long they won't be worth anything.

Tim
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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OK thanks,

Les
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-07-2011, 08:22 PM
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The rule of thumb for air drying is 1” per year in log form. As stated before, it will probably rot by the time it is dry.
Most people turn them as soon as they can. Typically you leave the “rough turning” about 10% thickness, for example, a ten inch diameter bowl would be left about 1” thick. After the rough turning you again coat the end grain with anchorseal and set it back to dry. When the rough out dries (4 months – 1 year) you would finish turning it.
Turning green wood is much easier than after it dries. Some people even turn to completion using the green wood and allow it to warp.
The wood will “keep” in log form but not for an indefinite period. After a while it may start to get punky/spongy. I have kept some woods like pecan for a year before rough turning it and there were no problems.
It depends on your storage, the type of wood, and the time of year it was cut.

Bradford pear is very soft when green and tends to go punky on me sooner. I try to rough turn it within three or four months. For the maple you should be good for about six months or more. Note: once you have it roughed and dry to finish turn, then there is no time limit, if it is several years it is no problem.

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