How wide is the pith? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-24-2012, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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How wide is the pith?

I was given a couple of cherry logs that are about 16" in diameter by 21" long. How much of the center (pith) should be cut out? Is it a percent of diameter or can I tell some other way? I want to cut these logs up for various size bowl blanks tomorrow. All advice is appreciated.


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post #2 of 3 Old 03-24-2012, 08:11 PM
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This is just what I would do... you may want to do differently.
I would take a cut(s) 1 to 1-1/2" on each side of the pith. This will leave you with two sections 6-7 inches thick which for me is plenty deep for bowl even losing a couple of inches from the bark side. You can mark and measure but the cut side should be about 13-14 wide.

You will have a center section 2-3 inches thick 16" wide and I assume 21" long. Again cut it down the pith giving you two section for shallow bowls, winged bowls or lots of other stuff.
In general if you remove about 3/4" of the pith area you should be fine.

If you go here there is a sample of Richard Raffan's book. About page 15 may give you some ideas.
I am assuming you will cut to match the grain on each side of the pith so you may come out with one larger and one smaller section.

Hope this makes sense.

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Last edited by NCPaladin; 03-24-2012 at 08:42 PM. Reason: added link
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-24-2012, 09:10 PM
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Wood moves the most near the pith. The closer the edge or bottom of a bowl is to the pith the more warping you get. Sometimes you want this, most of the time you don't. I usually cut through the pith but then plan to remove that while turning. That's on wood I cut today and turn today.
If I'm going to save that blank for later then I cut about an inch on each side of the pith. I will often take the 2" wide section and cut out the pith and use those sections for platters. They are quarter sawn and make good stable platters. If this section is too small I cut it up into spindle turning sections.
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