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Thread: Free pile of some fir, worth turning?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SW Ohio
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    201

    Free pile of some fir, worth turning?

    Threre is a pile of freshly cut fir. Unknown type. Very green and just cut. Strong pine odor.

    some sites say don't mess with pine, the grain is nice. Do you turn wet pine?

    Thanks, and sorry for the stupid question, but have conflicting info

  2. #2
    Not for me, but each to his own.

    Left click my name for homepage link.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    I think the thing to do is try it and see.

    I don't know about fir, but some conifer species have gooey pitch which might be a messy problem. In KD lumber, this is "set" with heat.

    JKJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Fredericksburg, TX
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    2,444
    Be ready to wipe down your lathe with mineral spirit and watch out for slinging sap around the shop. I use shower curtains around my lathe that really take a sap shower when turning the green wood.

  5. #5
    Thomas,

    I am interested in your pictures / experience with curtains around the lathe. I've thought about it, but haven't made the jump yet.

    Rich

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
    Posts
    518
    Check out the work of Bill Luce. He's turned a lot of Douglas Fir. It is truly an art. Not easy to do well - the variations in seasonal growth brings a big difference in how it cuts. Incredibly hard to get a good clean surface off the tool. Then there's the pitch...
    Bill was severely injured in a motorcycle accident several months ago. Still recovering - it's going to be a long road back. His work is on the web (google) and shows up in Raffan's "Art of the Bowl".

  7. #7
    Run, dont walk away.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Pueblo West, CO
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    495
    Pines (many species), fir (several species), spruce (several species) don't lump them all in the same "no good" basket. Some wil turn well and some won't regardless of the species.

  9. #9
    Try it and see. But you'll definitely have to turn it twice for bowls. And use very sharp tools and a good technique.

    I've turn a bit of kiln dried Fir and it makes some nice legs and ornaments.
    CarveWright Model C
    Stratos Lathe
    Jet 1014
    Half-a-Brain

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    Posts
    826
    In a word: nope. It will be ugly, messy, and you'll hate it.

  11. #11
    In large scale architectural turning ( Victorian style for example ) Douglas fir ,Cedar, Redwood all are well represented using mainly vertical grain. For bowl turning,it is a challenge for most as the wood doesn`t support the cut well.Cutting a flat grain bowl and then sandblasting the surface reveals a nice texture. If its free ,why not try it? Be your own judge.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    South Carolina
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    303
    Overall, I'm not a fan of pine, but I've seen beautiful things made from wood I had previously rejected as worthless. I'm thinking green pine would be pretty messy because of the sap, but it shouldn't do any lasting damage to anything, so if you think you might want to give it a try, go for it!

    I mean, hey... I've seen videos of Tim Yoder turning a can of refrigerated biscuits on a lark...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Craven View Post
    I mean, hey... I've seen videos of Tim Yoder turning a can of refrigerated biscuits on a lark...
    This is my entry in the "turning food" category:



    JKJ

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
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    2,444
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Colvin View Post
    Thomas,

    I am interested in your pictures / experience with curtains around the lathe. I've thought about it, but haven't made the jump yet.

    Rich
    Rich - I do not have any posts as such of my shower curtains, but the ideas are out there if you search . I buy oversize curtains from Amazon and use 3/4" or 1" EMT conduit hanging on ropes to adjust curtain to just touch the floor. The ropes allow for minor adjustment in height when needed. The curtains can be pulled to side when not needed. The curtains also help in winter with my little oil filled space heater warming up that area of shop more. My curtains are now so discolored from sap that I would hate to post a picture.

  15. #15
    It occurs to me to suggest turning an end grain bowl (without the pith). You'll have to adjust your thinking and technique for this kind of a bowl.
    CarveWright Model C
    Stratos Lathe
    Jet 1014
    Half-a-Brain

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