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Turning Green Wood

#373 by dasazer » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:26 pm

Any suggestions on how to dry 3 to 6 inch thick wood after I cut down a tree. Just learning and have tried putting in a soap solution from Costco?????

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Dr. Bob

#397 by Unregistered » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:38 am

I love working with "found wood" and have tried several methods to dry green wood. Rockler sells their "Green Wood Sealer" by the quart and the gallon. It works well, although there is still a small amount of checking. I now am turning the green wood into a rough shape (that may be just turning the bark off to make "naked" cylinders, or a rough shape for a spindle or bowl). I don't treat them at all, but seal each of them in a large brown paper bag, like you can still get at the grocery store. Some people have added sawdust to the bag, but I haven't found that necessary. The moisture in the wood slowly outgasses through the brown paper and over the course of several weeks the moisture in the wood slowly comes to approach that of the atmosphere in your shop. (Don't use plastic bags, as they don't allow the water vapor to pass through). I weigh the wood in the sealed bag on a postal scale initially, then every 1-2 weeks, and write the weight and date on the bag. As the moisture is lost, the weight of the bag-and-wood decreases. Once the weight has not changed for a couple of weeks, the moisture is at ambient and the wood is ready to finish turning. This has worked very well for me.

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Turning Green wood

#400 by dasazer » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:32 pm

Thanks for the info I will try the Paperbag method.

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Turning Green Wood

#585 by woodputtster » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:50 am

I haven't done a lot of turning, but have some success with two methods. The first was to use plastic bags, either grocery or newspaper sleeves, with a few holes to let the moisture stabilize slowly. The second was to turn the wood to within an eighth of an inch or so of the finished product, then put it away in a cardboard box until dry. Both worked fairly well. I had to trim an inch or so off the ends of the bagged pieces. The pre-turned ones were better. They were Russian olive from a storm-damaged tree, which I found rather difficult to get real smooth due to its prominent grain, but a couple of goblets and a couple candy dishes finally came out nice. I also tried using PEG (polyethylene glycol) but I was very disappointed, probably because I didn't have the space for a heated tank. Unless you keep it hot enough to prevent growth of molds, etc, it gets a really bad appearance and odor and stains the wood.

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Intentional warped

#672 by Greenvilleguy » Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:38 pm

Like the post above, I've been turning it to rough shape, wrapping in paper and letting it dry. Once dry, I finish turning it. It will have warped some so the extra 1/8" or some is to allow me to turn it back "true" after it's dryed.

In one of my woodworking books, the author actually suggest turning a bowl to final shape while green, drying in paper bags and selling the warp as a "feature". Has anyone tried this? He claims the warp adds interest and value.

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