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Thread: Evergreen root ball

  1. #1
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    Evergreen root ball

    There's been an evergreen in front of the house that was there when we bought the place 29 years ago. The wife decided she wanted it gone so she could plant flowers there.
    So I grabbed the chain saw and stripped it of its limbs and cut the trunk off above ground. She thought she was stuck with the stump, but I had other plans for it. I dug down and cut the tap root and that gave me a very nice piece of wood to turn.
    But, oh how I wish I had passed it along to a seasoned turner. I did some roughing tonight, then bagged it in plastic to keep it wet.
    I ended up cutting away some of the pretty, looking for more spalt. Then the idiot hollowed the large end. How I wish I'd left it alone.
    Added a shot with the Oneway to help you see how big it is. It's bagged and I forgot to measure it.
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  2. #2
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    Thats a nice looking piece of wood Bill. Wouldn't worry to much about any mistakes. The biggest mistake would have been leaving it in the ground.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for responding, Nick.
    What finish would you use?
    For the majority of my pieces ( and all for the last couple of years) I've used tung oil finish, if for no other reason than to try to eliminate one variable.

  4. #4
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    Bill,
    That is a yew of some sort (possibly a japanese yew that is common in landscaping). There is some talk of yews being toxic to horses and dogs, etc. I've never had any issues turning or trimming them myself but please be careful to limit your exposure just in case.

  5. #5
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    If it looks and smells like eastern red cedar, its likely juniper. The purple and cream colors are what I see when digging out juniper shrubs.

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    Thank you for the headsup, Stan.

    I read recently that cedar is not indigenous to the U.S., that what we but and use from lumber yards is one of a number of junipers. Can't find varification on that.
    I recently purchased a pickup load of "cedar" from a Comercial hardwood sawmill and some of the pieces were up to 16-18" wide. Not a single board had any sap wood and it is very heavy.
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  7. #7
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    Bill, as I understand it, Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is different species than Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata). Its the ERC that is actually a juniper. This is something I remember from 5th grade shop class teacher. I don't know about being imported, but ERC is considered an invasive species around here. In fact the conservation department was trying to encourage people using wild ones as substitute for Christmas trees, to help get rid of them.
    Last edited by Stan Calow; 06-04-2017 at 4:42 PM.

  8. #8
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    Like Dick above mentioned, this is a piece of Yew, NOT Juniper aka Eastern Red Cedar.

    And yes all parts of the Yew are poisonous, except the soft meat of the fruit on the female plant, so do not eat the wood , wood dust is not healthy of any wood, so wear a mask.

    I have turned a bunch of Yew,and have pictures of it, but can’t find one of the freshly turned wood, the colors are really different from Juniper aka Easter Red Cedar when fresh.

    Juniper is a vivid purplish red color that will become a dull brown, I will add the picture of a piece fresh and as it is now, the Yew is a more orange color when fresh and turns a dark color as you can see in the picture of these pieces.

    Juniper.jpg Juniper now.jpg

    Yew pieces
    Yew turnings.jpg Yew root burl and top.jpg

    The Yew I polished and finished with Carnauba wax.
    Last edited by Leo Van Der Loo; 06-04-2017 at 11:19 PM.


    Have fun and take care

  9. #9
    I also vote for juniper of some sort. There is no mistaking the cedar/juniper smell. The white balance is off which complicates ID ... that's obvious by looking at the color cast of the chuck. After I adjusted the white balance, the color of the wood looks even more like juniper. There are several native juniper species. However, I wouldn't know yew from Adam (bad pun) so I think you can let your nose tell you whether it is yew or juniper assuming that yew doesn't have the same smell.
    Bill

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Boehme View Post
    I also vote for juniper of some sort. There is no mistaking the cedar/juniper smell. The white balance is off which complicates ID ... that's obvious by looking at the color cast of the chuck. After I adjusted the white balance, the color of the wood looks even more like juniper. There are several native juniper species. However, I wouldn't know yew from Adam (bad pun) so I think you can let your nose tell you whether it is yew or juniper assuming that yew doesn't have the same smell.
    Care to show the picture with the balanced white Bill ??

    I tried if changing the colors it got anywhere close to the common Juniper tree, but could not.

    Looking at this picture seeing the white sapwood, the purplish colors of the root area and the more orange color of the rest of the wood, I still say it is Yew and not Juniper, compare the two.

    Root ball 1.jpg Juniper.jpg


    Have fun and take care

  11. #11
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    Leo, as usual, some incredible pieces.
    There was no dust when I rough it out, it was so full of water I was soaked in no time.
    Bill, are you referring to a sheep? I've never met Adan, but pretty sure I could pick him out with the 2 side by side.
    Stan, is that where they got the term "yewl tide"

    It's Bill's fault. He got me started.

  12. #12
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    Using an editing program called Be funky, this is the result of hitting "Beautify" and "Smart Sharp".

    Bill, how did you correct the white balance?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Bill Jobe; 06-05-2017 at 2:14 AM.

  13. #13

    Yew guys are a mess

    I still think that the "scratch and sniff" test will answer the question. If it smells like Granny's blanket chest then it must be cedar or juniper unless it is a yew chest.

    Per Leo's request, here is my attempt at color correcting the image. I looked for something close to white or gray and made a guess that the headstock might be a Jet which is sort of white. So I used the eyedropper in Photoshop Camera Raw and did some sampling and came up with the results shown below. I did a before and after to compare my results with the original. Maybe this looks exactly like yew ought to look, but I wouldn't know yew if one fell on me. But, it sorta looks like Texas Juniper. What do yew think?

    Root ball and chuc_beforeandafter.jpg
    Last edited by Bill Boehme; 06-05-2017 at 10:07 PM. Reason: missing words restored
    Bill

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Boehme View Post
    I still think that the "scratch and sniff" test will answer the question. If it smells like Granny's blanket chest then it must be cedar or juniper unless it is a yew chest.

    Per Leo's request, here is my attempt at color correcting the image. I looked for something close to white or gray and made a guess that the headstock might be a Jet which is sort of white. So I used the eyedropper in Photoshop and did some sampling and came up with the results shown below. I did a before and after to compare my results with the original. Maybe this looks exactly like yew ought to look, but I wouldn't know yew if one fell on me. But, it sorta looks like Texas Juniper. What do yew think?

    Root ball and chuc_beforeandafter.jpg
    Looks exactly like Yew Bill, thank you,

    I found two pictures from Yew pieces turned that are more representative of the fresh color, though there are not wet like the OP ones.

    Yew and Holly.jpg Yew weed pot.jpgRoot ball 1.jpg

    and the Juniper one.
    Juniper.jpg Root ball 1.jpg
    Last edited by Leo Van Der Loo; 06-05-2017 at 10:13 PM.


    Have fun and take care

  15. #15
    I guess that yew would know. I have some pieces of Texas Juniper which folks around here call cedar, but it is a number of years old so it is sort of drab looking now. Texas juniper is hard and heavy unlike eastern red cedar and years ago it was commonly used for fence posts. Some of the posts that are around a century old are still there, but steel posts are now used for barbed wire fences.

    Does the color in the edited version seem right to you?
    Bill

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