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Thread: Turning willow

  1. #1

    Turning willow

    Hello all, new to the forum, (registered that is) as I have browse here for quite some time. My Mother-in-law has some willow trees that need to be cut down at her cabin and she wants to know if I want the wood.

    Have any of you ever turned willow? If so what form/finish. Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Harvey, Michigan
    Welcome to the Creek Jeff!

    Don't have an answer for you but will be watching this thread as my wife has a co-worker with a willow that he wants me to come over and remove. Haven't worked with willow yet - so am looking forward to finding out how it turns.

    “You never know what you got til it's gone!”
    Please don’t let that happen!
    Become a financial Contributor today!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    East of the Mississippi
    Welcome to the Creek Jeff !! Won't find a better place anywhere.

    I have never turned willow so I can't help you with that but I'm sure you will hear from some that have.
    941.44 miles South of Steve Schlumph


  4. #4

    another thought

    If you have turned willow....please ad pics of your success/failures.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lubbock, Texas
    Have not personally turned any willow, but have turned elm. Thay have the same interlocking grain and close to the same hardness. BEWARE OF THE WARP MONSTER. Let this wood wither dry naturally or leave plenty of thickness to be able to true up afer the piece has dried after initial turning. It has beautiful grain, but is hard to keep from cracking and warping. Good luck!
    Be a mentor, it's so much more fun throwing someone else into the vortex, than swirling it alone!

  6. #6
    I have never turned it but I have heard it is not one of the most desireable turning woods. If it was me I would definately grab a couple hunks to try it.
    This guy has several willow pieces on his site.
    Mike Vickery

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Putnam County, NY
    Many people turn it with good results. I have some that is pretty dry by now but I have never never turned it. The weight change is extraordinary from wet to dry.
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Plymouth, Wisconsin
    Jeff this is my experience;

    With willow or some of the elms that I have turned the growth lines can sometimes be very far apart, they are fast growing trees. If you do get them past the WARP stage, and now with DNA you may be able to do so, you really have a challange with the final cuts and finish. The actual growth line has a quite a different hardness than the space in between so a lot of care, patience and cutting rather than sanding or scraping is requried.

    I would say go for it, the end result can be pretty cool. Be sure and post us a picture of however it turns.
    Trying to eliminate sandpaper - one curly shaving at a time.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Vickery View Post
    This guy has several willow pieces on his site.
    Mike, I haven't seen the trees yet....hope they have some burl like on that site your provided.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Welcome to the 'Creek, Jeff.

    I turned a few small knobs from willow a few years ago with success, but nothing "substantial". It was quite beautiful, however.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Jeff I turned a peice of willow burl, it turned very nice


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Goodland, Kansas
    Willow will actually turn pretty nice. Key is hone sharp tools. I tried Ron Kents method of soaking rough outs for 2 or 3 days in dishwashing liquid and water. Willow and cottonwood actually turn pretty nice after they have dried.

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  13. #13
    The willow that I've turned has been pretty stringy. I've had the best results roughing it while its green and then letting it dry a long time, longer than most woods. Once it's dry it turns and sands pretty nice. It can have some great color and character in the older wood in parts of the trunk near the ground.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Little Elm, TX (off 380)

    I loved willow

    I got a cutoff piece from Mike Mastin at Curly Woods. I turned a small HF, a small pedestal bowl and one a sexy little weed pot. I was wonderful, beautiful wood. Reminded me of cherry but more colorful. Smell was wonderful, too. I'd love to get some more.

    PS....Welcome aboard. Sit 'n' spin a while.

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