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Thread: How Is Butternut Wood For Turning?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rockwood ,Ontario
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    61

    How Is Butternut Wood For Turning?

    I have been pointed In the direction Of a old Butternut tree that was hit by lighting back In the bush
    I went to see It today, It had tall grasses all around, but could be hauled out by my tractor.
    It looks like Its been down for a while, and has some small pin holes In the wood here and there.
    I'm guessing the bigger end Is about 24" dia.
    Would It be worth while to try to turn some of this? It would take me aprox 3 hrs to get It out of the woods and back to my shop

    TIA...Daner

  2. #2
    Daner, butternut is wonderful wood to turn, particularly after it gets bugs in it!! Beautiful color and soft. It can get a little tricky on rough endgrain, but still nice.

    The problem with this tree - other than the 3 hours! - is the lightning. When a tree is struck by lightning, often it literally explodes inside - depending on the time of year and moisture content. The wood inside the tree may be filled with damage. You won't know that until you cut into it, but I certainly would do that before I move it.

    I had a large locust tree get hit up from the house, and pieces of the wood were found well over 100 yards from the tree and the tree was still standing. The next year, we had it taken down for firewood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    22,605
    Butternut is a great wood to turn. I do agree with John if lightening hit it you might want to take a cut or two to check out the wood. I have had some that had bug holes in it and it really looks nice when finished. The end grain can be a pain with tearout but is worth the effort if the wood is solid.
    Bernie

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



  4. #4
    Here is a butternut bowl I turned last year. The wood was dry and wormy, but BLO really brings out the color.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Gorgeous bowl, John. Anyone would love to own that.

    Rich
    *** "I have gained insights from many sources... experts, tradesman & novices.... no one has a monopoly on good ideas." Jim Dailey, SMC, Feb. 19, 2007
    *** "The best way to get better is to leave your ego in the parking lot."----Eddie Wood, 1994
    *** We discovered that he had been educated beyond his intelligence........
    *** Student of Rigonomics & Gizmology

    Waste Knot Woods
    Rice, VA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wetter Washington
    Posts
    888
    Something else..... it stains your hands a "butternut grey", and it takes a bit-o-time to wear off
    Making sawdust mostly, sometimes I get something else, but that is more by accident then design.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rockwood ,Ontario
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    61

    Hey Guys,
    Sorry It took me this long to get back on here, My Internet has been down.....And still very slow......Any guys I got that tree
    And It looks like It was just a high wind that took It to the ground

  8. #8
    Then, you have some very nice wood to turn!!! I look forward to seeing what you do with it, Daner.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Rockwood ,Ontario
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    61
    Its hard to load a pic here.......but I will try......John The wood Is good......It has some ants In it though.....but good solid sections.......thanks for your reply.........I cut most of the wood In 8- 10' pcs......I will be turning somthing soon
    Dan
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Daner, sweet haul! I wish I was there - love butternut!

  11. #11
    Shoot..... Guys I was gonna tell him that it was just AWFUL stuff, and to send me all of it so I could tur... dispose of it for him...

    Seriously, wood carvers like this stuff because it's fairly soft, easy to carve, but keeps crisp detail, and has a nice grain. It's related to Walnut, isn't it?

    And I've never even touched a piece of that wood. Isn't it a shame?
    CarveWright Model C
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Enid, Oklahoma
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    6,741
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Lindberg View Post
    Something else..... it stains your hands a "butternut grey", and it takes a bit-o-time to wear off
    Try lemon juice! It's actually the only use I've found for the nasty 'lemon juice' that comes in the little lemon shaped bottles.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
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    3,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Underwood View Post
    Shoot..... Guys I was gonna tell him that it was just AWFUL stuff, and to send me all of it so I could tur... dispose of it for him...

    Seriously, wood carvers like this stuff because it's fairly soft, easy to carve, but keeps crisp detail, and has a nice grain. It's related to Walnut, isn't it?

    And I've never even touched a piece of that wood. Isn't it a shame?
    butternut other name is WHITE WALNUT

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    McMinnville, Tennessee
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    Yeah White Walnut is what it is known as in my part of the world.

    Sid
    Sid Matheny
    McMinnville, TN

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    997
    It is the same family as walnut, and much lighter color, hence the common name "white walnut".. It is a little softer than walnut, but machines nicely like walnut (though even easier). Nice score, and nice save. Give that wood a new life.

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