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Thread: Log ID (Help!)

  1. #1

    Log ID (Help!)

    Good evening y’all! Hope for a little help. New to the forum, and still pretty new to the world of woodworking. Could anyone id what type of log this is? Power company cut the tree down and have just left it up the road and wondering if it’s worthy of cutting up for some bowl blanks!! Thanks for your time in looking!
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    Last edited by Nathan Bottoms; 02-11-2018 at 10:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Maybe first I should ask how to post a picture to the thread....

  3. #3
    Any Idea what type of wood this is??? New too turning and trying to find some cheap blanks. Didnt know if this was worth asking about. Power company sawed it down. See if below works
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Bottoms View Post
    Good evening y’all! Hope for a little help. New to the forum, and still pretty new to the world of woodworking. Could anyone id what type of log this is? Power company cut the tree down and have just left it up the road and wondering if it’s worthy of cutting up for some bowl blanks!! Thanks for your time in looking!
    Nearly any hardwood is worth cutting for bowl blanks.

    Best to cut and use it quickly before it starts to dry and crack. Not as much problem this time of year if you live where it is cool. I would still coat the end grain with a sealer such as AnchorSeal unless you are going to turn it the same day you cut it.

    I personally prefer to turn smaller things from dry wood so I cut green wood into turning squares and blanks, seal, then put up to air dry. You can easily do both with a large log.

    JKJ

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Nearly any hardwood is worth cutting for bowl blanks.

    Best to cut and use it quickly before it starts to dry and crack. Not as much problem this time of year if you live where it is cool. I would still coat the end grain with a sealer such as AnchorSeal unless you are going to turn it the same day you cut it.

    I personally prefer to turn smaller things from dry wood so I cut green wood into turning squares and blanks, seal, then put up to air dry. You can easily do both with a large log.

    JKJ
    Thanks for the response. My neighbor “thinks” it’s red oak. Does that turn ok for bowls?

    Yes I thought I would anchor seal and stick in my basement for a couple years. Do you only anchor seal the ends or the whole piece?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    It is always hard to tell from a picture but but it looks like walnut from here.
    Sid Matheny
    McMinnville, TN

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Bottoms View Post
    Thanks for the response. My neighbor “thinks” it’s red oak. Does that turn ok for bowls?

    Yes I thought I would anchor seal and stick in my basement for a couple years. Do you only anchor seal the ends or the whole piece?
    Red and white oak both turn beautifully, although some people don't like them since they are spoiled by cherry and soft maple. I love turning oak for both small and large things. Red oak has open pores while white oak has naturally sealed pores. Red oak can easily be ruined by drying too fast.

    I like to seal the ends of the log immediately, before hauling it or cutting it up into smaller pieces.

    It is very difficult to dry large chunks of wood without it cracking. If you do it may take many years. Whether a bowl blank will survive a couple of years storage in the basement depends on things like the size, humidity, and temperature. A large blank may still be wet inside 10 years later. Oak tends to shrink and warp a lot and may crack even if sealed. One way to keep large blanks in good shape is to freeze them in an old chest freezer. Smaller pieces have a far better chance of surviving. I'm turning wood now that I've been drying for 10-15 years.

    If cutting bowl blanks be sure to remove the pith, and cracks around the pith. Cut into bowl sized blanks and optionally flatten the top and round the blank then reseal the end grain.

    For larger blocks and blanks cut this time of year I seal the ends then leave them outside in the cold/cool weather. I recently cut up a huge amount of ambrosia maple, cherry, oak, and osage orange, cutting turning squares from 2x2 up to 12x12 and a number of bowl blanks perhaps 3 to 6" thick and maybe 15" square. I'll keep what doesn't get turned quickly in a shed attached to my barn for a couple of months to let them lose some moisture then reseal and bring them into a cool location before the weather gets too warm. The picture is a stack of the ambrosia maple cut from just a couple of the big pile of chunks I have. I cut these on the shop bandsaw but I cut up most on my sawmill. Many of these have been given away already and the rest are out of the shop now to keep them from drying too fast - most would not survive two weeks in my heated shop.

    amabrosia_maple_IMG_20171202_175922_594.jpg

    I seal the end grain on smaller pieces like 2x2 turning squares, often seal the sides if there is wild grain, seal the side(s) that have exposed transverse grain, and seal sides that show both heartwood and sapwood. Species that are inherently unstable such as many tropical woods are often sealed entirely in heavy paraffin.

    The best advice from the experts is to turn the wood as soon as possible. If you want a bowl to end up round you first rough turn it with a thick wall, let it dry for some months, then finish turn it to size and thickness. The other John Jordan, the famous professional woodturner, recommends to keep the log intact until ready to turn something. Keep it off the ground and in the shade and when ready to turn cut 6" or so off the end and throw it away then cut a turning blank and turn it immediately. This may not be practical for a large log not at your house.

    Other experts who turn bowls recommend to NEVER acquire more green wood than you can turn in a few weeks. Many people can testify to having a big pile of wonderful turning blanks turn into a big pile of firewood. I don't know where you live but around here wood grows on trees, is abundant, always available, and always free. It's just not worth taking more than you, your friends, and your turning club can use quickly (unless you are going to process and dry smaller blanks for future turnings.)

    A good book to read is Harvesting Urban Timber: https://www.amazon.com/Harvesting-Ur.../dp/1635610311
    Another one to get started in turning green wood is Turning Green Wood: https://www.amazon.com/Turning-Green.../dp/1861080891
    To learn about how wood behaves and what to do about it you can't go wrong with R. Bruce Hoadley's book Understanding Wood.

    JKJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Strongsville OH
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    my first guess was walnut also

  9. #9
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    eliminate lots of guesses

    Nathan,

    If you take a closer look you can probably tell easily if it is or is not white oak, cherry, walnut, or any of the many likely guesses. If you are not experience with the different species, maybe cut a smaller piece and take it to someone with experience. Walnut, for example has a very distinctive smell as do red oak and cherry. The color of freshly cut surfaces of these three are also distinctive, something not always possible to show in a photo of a log. You can compare the bark to photos but that looks like a large log and trees that are both quite young or quite large are often harder to distinguish from the bark.

    Examining a small section of the end grain is the best way to tell what it is NOT, for example, you can instantly tell by the pores and rings and rays if it is not oak. It is easy to check - all you need is a little piece about 1/2" square , a single-edged razor blade, and a small magnifying glass (or good eyes, in the case of oak). You can usually cut off a piece with a pruning saw and an hatchet or chisel. It doesn't need to be cut from the biggest cross section but it is better if it is heartwood instead of sapwood.

    Section 7 in this article has good instructions: http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...ication-guide/

    JKJ

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    My first guess was red oak. Fine to try, but plan on turning rough (10% wall thickness) and sealling with Anchorseal or latex paint, and weigh it. Weigh it every month until it stops losing weight, then re-turn to final shape. It'll be tough on your tool edges too, so keep them sharpened.
    Also keep the pith out of the bowl. Check out videos on how to harvest local wood for wood turning, and you'll be ahead of the game.
    Maker of Fine Kindling, and small metal chips on the floor.
    Embellishments to the Stars - or wannabees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
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    130
    Looks like the rare Dos Equis wood to me.

    Seriously, it looks like some type of oak but I'm not really very goos at identifying tree trunks. Can you get a picture of any of the leaves from the tree as that could help tremendously?

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    I think your neighbor has it right, Oak, I can’t tell from that picture if it is White or Red Oak, heck lots of people can’t even tell the difference with the piece of wood in their hands.

    I do not believe it is Walnut, as for the sapwood of the OP’s log is not consistent all around, Walnut does have that.

    If you stick it in your basement for a couple of years, you will end up with useless firewood if it only splits or rotted if the fungus gets at it, anyway you will not get nice large blanks of dry wood to turn that way.

    Turn it now and then let the turned wood dry is the better way to go, or cut it all up in small sticks that probably still will split a lot.

    Walnut.jpg


    Have fun and take care

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Chicago Heights, Il.
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    Lighten up the picture for you. I’m getting to old to see well in the dark?

    C300350B-0AD7-45A2-85FF-94783E4FCFB3.jpeg
    Member Illiana Woodturners

  14. #14
    It does look like red oak to me.

    If you're going to try to dry red oak blanks you should coat the whole thing in anchorseal and try to keep them on the thin side or it will honeycomb when it dries.

    That's my experience anyway.

  15. #15
    Other experts who turn bowls recommend to NEVER acquire more green wood than you can turn in a few weeks. Many people can testify to having a big pile of wonderful turning blanks turn into a big pile of firewood. I don't know where you live but around here wood grows on trees, is abundant, always available, and always free. It's just not worth taking more than you, your friends, and your turning club can use quickly (unless you are going to process and dry smaller blanks for future turnings.)

    Thank you for your very detailed reply! Very detailed and appreciated. let me as you, what do you consider smaller blanks? TIA

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