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Thread: Found some downed trees today in Brooklyn

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Found some downed trees today in Brooklyn

    Found a bunch of storm damage from Ida and one tree that was freshly cut within the last few days. Typically I just pass this stuff by daydreaming about the day I finally fill the trunk.
    Well today is that day!
    I’ve turned a lot of kiln dried furniture parts and shallow bowls out of 8/4 but I’m excited to enter the world of turning green wood bowls.
    I’ve always been drawn to the warped bowls that are turned to final thickness from greenwood, so I think I’ll give some of that a try first.
    Advice welcome :-)
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  2. #2
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    I like to turn green wood. I "twice turn" - - first cuts are to roughly shape it and get the thinkness down to about 10% of the bowl diameter and uniform thickness. Second cut after it has dried.

    The best advice is to process the wood as soon as you can. It is losing water from its ends and that is where the cracks start first. I typically cut the "round" into a pair of "D's" and remove the pith in the process. The wood on either side of the pith is essentially quarter sawn and can be used for pens and thin things. So, after I have a bunch of "D's" I typically continue to remove wood by marking and making circular bowl blanks. If I don't have time to process all of the wood, I might put the unprocessed pieces into a plastic bag or cover them or better yet, apply anchor seal or PVA glue to the end grain. If they are bagged, keep in mind that some species will mold and discolor. So this is only a temporary thing to do, while you are making bowl blanks.

    I have "shared" some of my new-found treasures with friends who wood turn. They did exactly the worst thing that they could. One put them into a plastic bag for a year and was unhappy that they got punky. The other friend covered them with plastic and left in the sun for 6 months or a year. They were badly cracked. But in both cases the people did NOT process them quickly.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tips. Good to know about storing in plastic! Well Iím pretty anxious to get to it. I actually ordered the 2 battery Makita saw Iíve had my eye on forever. Should get here tomorrow. So I plan on breaking down to blanks and turning quite a few bowls over the next few weeks.
    By process do you mean, trim and seal a blank, or do you mean rough turn for drying?
    Now that I think about it rough turning does kinda seem the way to go unless the plan is to turn them all down now. Will probably be a mix of rough turned and fully turned wet. Are you saying storing a green blank can be problematic?

    Unfortunately I donít have anything like anchor seal. Hoping zinser bullseye will do the trick.
    Last edited by chuck van dyck; 10-24-2021 at 11:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    Chuck, tell about that Makita saw after you have some time on it. I like th idea of it using the same batteries as the rest of their tools, and have been thinking of a battery operated saw for use in the garage during the winter months. Good luck with the wood it looks like good stuff.

  5. #5
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    I donít believe shellac will work well. Craft Supplyís Tree Saver has worked very well for me. You could take PVA glue type I and thin it slightly and use that as a sealant.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Kopfer View Post
    I donít believe shellac will work well. Craft Supplyís Tree Saver has worked very well for me. You could take PVA glue type I and thin it slightly and use that as a sealant.
    Its a different zinsser product from the basic shellac. Its acrylic, basically killz. Either way, will pick up some anchor seal later!

  7. #7
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    I've heard of people using PVA (white glue) as a good substitute for anchor seal. Perhaps 2 coats. Not too expensive if you buy in 1 gallon bottles. It has a little flex so it is less likely to crack. Paints and varnishes are pretty thin and once they crack, they don't do much. I've also used stretch-wrap sealing tape (from an office supply store or HD) and a ring of masking tape to keep it from falling off.

    By "process" I mean rough turning a bowl/platter/vase. If you've got a lot of wood and little time then at least getting the pith out, make it round and seal the end grain is better than nothing.

  8. #8
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    AnchorSeal is all I use. You can buy it in small quantities at WoodCraft. (I bought a 55-gal drum once)
    The PVA glue is reported to be good.
    Paint: latex paint is not very good. I understand it lets water escape too quickly. Oil-based paint is better especially with several coats.
    Aluminum paint is reported to work. So are some things like roofing tar which sounds like a royal mess to me.

    Preserving round log sections is difficult, worse in the summer than the winter. Best to process them quickly and seal well. Another thing which works very well is called "ponding": submerge the chunks of wood in clean water, say in a big drum or an actual pond or creek. Change the water if in a drum. Keeping it wet keeps it from drying out. If kept cold in the winter mold and discoloration due to fungi is not much of a problem so wood chunks can be kept in big plastic bags with water added. Can even be frozen. (As an experiment I wrapped a big chunk of wet wood in plastic and kept it in a freezer for maybe 10 years - was still good when thawed out.)

    BTW, I define processing another way as well - cut the wood into blanks without the pith and perhaps without the bark, and seal. I've processed log sections into many 100s of blanks over the years, usually for smaller turnings and usually to air dry (I prefer to turn smaller things from dry wood). The rate of success in drying a blank decreases with the size with some species easier than others.

    Best advice I've heard is never take more wood than you can turn in a few weeks unless you also like firewood. The exception is if you can get a longer log - the other John Jordan likes this method. Keep the log off the ground and in the shade. When ready to turn something he said he cuts off about 6" and throws it away then cuts a blank and takes it immediately to the lathe. No sealing is needed.

    JKJ

  9. #9
    If I may ask, on the same subject, i have some treasures we saved from the land fill all maple, 8" to16"in diameter and 12 to 16 inches long.
    So I am assuming to leave it set on the garage floor and not cut on it till ready to turn? I coated the ends with tight bond and have been keeping it dry.

  10. #10
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    Paul, Iím digging the saw. Works quiet well. It cross cuts great. Gets little bogged down when getting along the grain, but gets it done. The waste when getting along the grain is super stringy and seems to clog the saw a bit. But all in all made quick work of the 12Ē log pieces. If you buy one, make sure you find the 4x battery deal. Mine came with a dual charger and 4x batteries. Basically a free saw.


    Can anyone help me ID this wood? I thought it was maple, but now Iím thinking poplar. Unfortunately there were no leaves around this log.


    Thanks for lookin!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck van dyck View Post
    ... The waste when getting along the grain is super stringy and seems to clog the saw a bit....
    That's typical for chainsaws when cutting along the grain.

    If you don't know how, learn to sharpen the chain with a file. Quite easy. Need to keep it sharp.
    One thing that easily dulls chains is cutting into bark that has dirt on it, gravel down in the bark. Best to brush or hose off any dirt. Sometimes I use a pressure washer.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck van dyck View Post
    ...Can anyone help me ID this wood? I thought it was maple, but now Iím thinking poplar. Unfortunately there were no leaves around this log.
    This article is about identifying wood. Pay attention to section 7
    https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...ication-guide/

    Yellow Poplar and the maples have different smells, usefulness of this comes with experience.
    If you post a photo of the bark someone may recognize it.
    Yellow Poplar often has a lot of green color.
    If interested in getting started with wood ID I highly recommend the book "Identifying Wood" by R. Bruce Hoadley.

    JKJ

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the information on your new saw. Enjoy it.
    The wood looks a lot like the birch I just received from a neighbor. Unfortunately there are several similar looking woods. Seeing a leaf and more of the bark would help. The database John linked is a wonderful resource.

  13. #13
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    Lots of good advice so far. You have a nice looking burl on the bottom right log too. That should be fun. Enjoy your windfall-literally.
    Happy and Safe Turning, Don


    Woodturners make the world go ROUND!

  14. #14
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    Oct 2020
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    You could say Iím pretty excited. Got most of it processed into blanks and will start turning soon Iím sure. Iím positive its maple now.
    That burl should be fun! Any advice on processing it?
    Hereís a blank I cut from a smaller burl on the same log. Should be a pretty piece if I can manage my end of the deal.
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    Last edited by chuck van dyck; 10-30-2021 at 10:09 AM.

  15. #15
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    I just had a thought. How concerned should I be regarding ambrosia? The logs with the darker heart wood seems to be ambrosia. I haven't found any worm/beetle holes but I'd hate to infest my shop with any wood boring insects. I work in a shared shop with about 6 other wood workers so combined we have several thousand board foot of various lumber. This is the only green wood, though there is a bit of air dried stock. Do my turning blanks belong in the yard?

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