A friend phoned me up this morning to tell me he's got some apple logs I
can have for turning. He said he's been keeping them in the shade and they
haven't checked too badly. Some are even an inch larger than my lathe can
accept (13"). So he'll chainsaw some blanks for me. He suggested painting
the ends with any oil based paint.
I hope to pick them up tomorrow afternoon. What do you think? Will
painting the ends with oil based paint do the job? It's not likely I'll be
able to turn them right away; how long do I have to get them painted? How
long do I have if I don't paint them? I'm picturing making some bowls, so
I'll get him to cut them maybe six or eight inches long, no more, and maybe
keep one long one to make a lamp or something.
I never had the chance to turn green wood before, so have many mistakes
yet to make. I could use some advice on finishing, and keeping the finished
bowl from cracking, too.
Thanks for any seasoned advice you can give me.
- Owen -
Wood starts checking immediately after cutting so the sooner you coat
the ends the better. If you can't for some reason then keep the wood
out of the sun and in a cool place Put it in a plastic bag with a damp
cloth or paper or moss around the wood. If you can't work it within a
few days then submerge it in water, they will keep fine for a long time.
Apple wood rots fairly quickly if damp and exposed to air but totally
submerged is best.
Owen Lawrence wrote:
Sealing the end grain should be done to a fresh cut. If the log is 13
inches in diameter, the log sections should be cut 15 inches or more in
length. The ends always check some, so when you go to turn the bowls,
trim off the ends, and then make the bowl blank. Also, cut the logs
down the pith (center) There is always some checking off the pith.
Store it covered, out of the wind, and out of the sun. If storing it on
the ground, I always place one end on the ground, and cover the other
end with damp shavings. Check out rec. woodturning.
I brought home three chunks of wood. Two sections about eight or ten inches
long, and one more at least 16 inches long. We were thinking this one might
turn into a lamp.
Seems like all I had to seal the ends was paraffin, so I dripped some on the
biggest piece using a blowtorch and heated it until the wood looked wet.
The whole "log" is wrapped inside a heavy duty garbage bag and standing on
end. I hope it helps because I'm out of time this weekend.
We committed what I hope is a common newbie mistake: We cut one blank
across the middle of the log, as though I were about to turn a really short,
fat spindle. I don't have a chainsaw myself, so I was making on the spot
decisions. Now I know better. This particular piece isn't turning so
nicely. But I did manage to make a small mountain of shavings in very
little time and almost no heating of the tool. Very fun, and I had to stop
myself from turning down the whole piece to nothing. The workshop smells
When I first put it on my little Sears lathe it hopped and walked all over
the place. The lowest speed is 875 RPM, so I had to pulse it using the foot
switch. Eventually I got it round enough that I could turn a foot and chuck
it in the scroll chuck. That's as far as I got tonight. I took it and the
other chunk of wood and immersed them in water, as someone here suggested.
I'm hoping that wasn't a bad idea, because I saw quite a few bubbles coming
out. They float pretty well now, but once they're water logged (no pun
intended) things could get messy.
Still looking for advice; I feel kind of idiotic right now, even if I am
having a lot of fun.
SWMBO has already heard that my lathe is too small.
- Owen -
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