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Thread: Catalpa wood for turning?

  1. #1

    Catalpa wood for turning?

    I have access to a few Catalpa (we called it Catawba when I was growing up)

    Has anyone turned it? How was it? Is it worth getting?
    "Time flys like an arrow........ Fruit flies like a bannana."

  2. #2
    One of my favorites. Turns well, good color.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Atikokan, Rainy River district, Ontario
    It is a rather soft wood, with a funky smell, but it turns rather well, it is also split proof to dry with never a split or check showing, even large chunks left sitting dry without splitting.

    The first one is made from a large double crotch and had lots of chatoyance, though it has turned darker after some years, the other is a smaller wobbly bowl that feels just nice to hold.

    Large Catalpa crotch bowl.jpg Large Catalpa bowl.jpg Catalpa bowl.jpg
    Last edited by Leo Van Der Loo; 05-13-2018 at 2:49 PM.

    Have fun and take care

  4. #4
    A soft light weight wood with beautiful grain, stable when dry, and a soft brown color. Turns and finishes easily.1818.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Griswold Connecticut
    Maybe I need to go get that 24"+ diameter, limb section, I just cut off out of the brush pile, from the Catalpa in the front yard??
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  6. #6
    I agree with the previous comments. some additional opinions:
    * It is very corrosive to steel while wet.
    * It is very stable and takes longer than most to dry (consider turning to finished thickness while wet)
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  7. #7
    The smell does not agree with me..... When finished and sanded, you pick it up, and it just doesn't feel right because it is very light weight. Color is nice...

    robo hippy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    lufkin tx
    Often ignored is that is extremely durable--good enough for fence posts--should make great outdoor items like birdhouses ect. It is an escaped tropical species--big leaves, durable wood, open crown ect.

  9. #9
    You folks are a wealth of valuable information, I think I will try some!

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