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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I prepare for a future woodshop, I have had to cut down some trees. (Oak, Hickory, Maple)
First off I am a novice at working with wood and as I prepare to go at some projects for fun, I have a question about turning bowls.

I have stacked logs off to the side and I also have some nice pieces that are rough cut to 16” long. How should I store these pieces so I can start to turn bowls. I have seen some videos of people turning green wood down to a rough dimension and seal it to store for drying. I can take some pics if that would help. Just looking for advice on preparing to turn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some hickory
427175
427176
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some Oak
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I cut mine into the sizes I think I’ll use later on and then I wax the ends with paraffin - then wait...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I cut mine into the sizes I think I’ll use later on and then I wax the ends with paraffin - then wait...
Wait about a year?
 

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Use some kind of paint or wax to seal the ends. I used to use the same coating as used on mobile home roofs. This painting of the ends slows down the moisture leaving the logs which causes splitting.
As for turning a green log 1/2 way and waxing for future use, I say that they have been reading too many books. Turning green wood, especially just cut down wood is an experience to behold. The blank (section of log to be turned) is turning, you are cutting one uninterrupted ribbon of wood, the moisture in the log is making your face shield VERy wet. You can feel the water on your arms. The bowl is taking shape all at a speed you wont believe is happening before your eyes. You are holding your bowl gouge and watching the ribbon on wood sailing over your head and even glancing backwards while it is happening. You will turn a bowl from start to finish in one reasonably short session. You will learn to turn with the natural bark edges. When the bowl is finished, it will continue to change shape due to the rapid drying out for about a week. Depends on how thin you make the walls. It will tend to look more oblong than round. This has something to do with how the blank is cut.
The technique of shaping the bowl is somewhat different. Not more difficult but different.

Now lets hear from other VERY GREEN turners.
 

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I cut mine into the sizes I think I’ll use later on and then I wax the ends with paraffin - then wait...
Wait about a year?
I seal my logs sections with paraffin also. I don't really even pay much attention to any set period to "wait". My goal is only to preserve the log, not wait for it to dry.
When I whish to turn a bowl, I rough turn it wet (green), sack it in a paper bag along with the wet shavings from the rough turn Fill the bag), seal the bag and "wait".
My goal at this time is for the bowl to dry, yes during the drying process the bowl will warp and shrink into an oval shape. I will periodically weight the bowl as it is drying, once it reaches a point in which there is no more weight loss, it is ready to finish turn into a completed bowl.


Now lets hear from other VERY GREEN turners.
A small bowl wet turned from Ash. I still need to remove and clean up the tenon.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the advice. When I cut down some hickory years ago I milled up the logs into 2” slabs. I asked the same question about storing the wood planks and was given the advice of painting the ends with latex paint. I did that very thing and the boards dried very well.
Is this another option as well or is there more to the anchorseal and paraffin for this application?
 

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Thank you all for the advice. When I cut down some hickory years ago I milled up the logs into 2” slabs. I asked the same question about storing the wood planks and was given the advice of painting the ends with latex paint. I did that very thing and the boards dried very well.
Is this another option as well or is there more to the anchorseal and paraffin for this application?
Either way is acceptable. The goal is to seal the open end grain. Shorter pieces are easier to stand on end and apply the hot liquid paraffin. Longer logs might be better suited to applying a couple coats of paint. I personally have not used Anchorseal so I can not comment on it's application.
 

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@Dave McCann

Beautiful bowl. I especially like the 2nd Photo with curved rim accented at this angle. I dont know if you are aware of this, so I will say it anyway. There are small little drum sanders that go on an electric drill. Th edrums are only about an inch or so in diameter. They are great for sanding the base of turnings and putting a small hollow to it so it will sit flat.
I'm sure it was fun and you should be proud.
 

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@Dave McCann

Beautiful bowl. I especially like the 2nd Photo with curved rim accented at this angle. I dont know if you are aware of this, so I will say it anyway. There are small little drum sanders that go on an electric drill. Th edrums are only about an inch or so in diameter. They are great for sanding the base of turnings and putting a small hollow to it so it will sit flat.
Thanks,
Yes aware of the different options for cleaning up the tenon, thanks. My normal procedure is to remount against a jam chuck and turn away the tenon, while producing a shallow arc recess. Then I will follow up with a 2 inch disc pad to sand that area (off the lathe).
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I used to do that also. Lots of ways to do it. Sometimes seems like different green turned bowls need different procedures for finishing the bottom. Each green turned bowl has it's own character. I use to like to turn them really thin with the bark edge still on it. When dried they looked more like they were oval shaped than round.
Cant remember offhand about turning with the bark edge. had something to do with the time of year the tree was felled. I'm pretty sure it was winter though. But then again, that was a very long time ago.
Beware: woodturning is addicting.
 

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I harvest a few blanks from trees on my property. I usually cut the wood in lengths at least as long as they are round. Most of the lengths I will split in half with a chainsaw. I seal the ends with wood glue, cheapest I can find. I have a moisture meter I use to periodically check the moisture content of the blanks. Depending on the size of the blanks it takes a year to two for them to reach 8 or 9 percent moisture content which is as low as any wood will get where I live.
 

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I'm new at this, so don't believe anything I say... When I got my lathe I had a firewood pile under a shed for winter. Part of the wood was from the year before, the rest had been cut and split for about six months.

The newer wood was definitely easier to turn, at least for a beginner. Cutting back into the ends of the wood a few inches eliminated the checks that had already emerged, I had to cut further in for the older wood. The first pieces I turned split apart in the first few days.

I found info online about turning, then using the microwave to dry the wood faster. It isn't perfect, but I was able to save most of the bowls and goblets (sorry, I call them Grails) I have turned.

I have several good sized trees that need to be cut on my farm. I plan on using sealer on the end and building a rack to let them dry as usually recommended. But the microwave has been a good enough solution to let me learn to use the lathe and chisels.
 
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