Woodturning #3: Green Wood & New Toys

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Blog entry by PhilipR posted 02-09-2008 11:34 PM 1631 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: It's not as easy as it looks... Part 3 of Woodturning series no next part

For the past couple months I’ve been trying to get my hands on some green wood to practice with. Aside from being cheaper it’s so much nicer to turn and there’s very little dust involved. I called several tree services around town and finally found someone who was willing to let me come by and go through his wood pile. Unfortunately, work got in my way three weeks ago, and the flu got in his way the week after that. Work was hectic again this week so I was expecting to go another seven days without any wood to play with.

I asked my fiancée’s parents to be on the lookout for any freshly fallen trees around town; if they found anything I asked that they call me so I could go check it out. On Tuesday I got a call from my mother-in-law while at work…she was very excited. “Guess what I found!?” she asked. It turns out that this wonderful woman spent the better part of two hours lugging huge chunks of a felled sycamore into her Subaru. I now have a nice pile of beautiful soaking wet sycamore to turn into long ribbons all over the floor of my shop.


Friday rolls around and, on my way home from work, I passed by a yard where a huge maple had just been cut down. Once home I ran into the house and yelled to my fiancée that I wanted to run over and get some more wood. “Ok,” she said, “but first I want to show you something.” I should have known by the grin on her face…she took me out to the shop, and there on the floor was a nice long piece of trunk wood from the very same tree that I had seen on the way home.

More Wood

So, now I have lots to play with, and no way to cut it up! Not being very patient, I decided that a chainsaw needed to be purchased immediately. I headed over to Lowe’s today and, after much internal debate, I went with the 18” Poulan Pro.


I have yet to actually use it – my lady demanded my presence inside the house – but I fully intend to get out early tomorrow to start making some sawdust. Again, being mildly impatient, I had to make at least a little mess. Using one of my Bear saws I cut a small chunk of the sycamore limb wood, threw it on the lathe and started it up.

Small Mess

Now, if only there were a few more hours in the day.

5 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 02-10-2008 02:02 AM

Hi Philip,

As a suggestion why don’t you turn something for these two wonderful women. Then perhaps, with suitable pleading and groveling, beg your fiancee to let you buy some more tools.

By the way I see lots of dust around the lathe did you end up making something or did you simply have to generate some dust?

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3957 days

#2 posted 02-10-2008 02:38 AM

Where did that dust come from?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3904 days

#3 posted 02-10-2008 02:58 AM

Philip, I’ll be waiting to hear how the fresh wood goes. I generally have a good supply of it available to me and want to get a lathe for that reason.

Thanks for posting looking forward to more.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View PhilipR's profile


17 posts in 3755 days

#4 posted 02-10-2008 07:54 AM

Scott & Gary -

Ha…actually, I didn’t think to take any pictures until after I had cleaned off the lathe. Besides, what I turned was just a practice piece. My parents used to always tell me, if I’m going to learn how to do something I might as well work on actual projects rather than just practice making nothing. Unfortunately, I’ve found that easier said than done. Today’s turning didn’t actually result in anything other than a round piece of wood with a bunch of coves cut into it. Learning to keep my tools/hands steady has been my focus lately, though I have to admit I’m getting a little bored with it. Maybe a bowl would be a good project to start on tomorrow.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3965 days

#5 posted 02-10-2008 08:22 AM

What a great post – really exciting finds and the fact that you have the support from your fiancee and her mother, I’d say you’re in good hands! Have fun with the wood – and the saw – and the lathe!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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