What do do with a Crotch?

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Forum topic by snowdog posted 10-19-2007 12:29 AM 1767 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1164 posts in 3949 days

10-19-2007 12:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: blanks turning

I had no idea what to call this post or where to put it in the forums but this looked close.

I am not sure if I can do anything with this wood, anyone have any ideas they can give me on how to finish them or if they should be thrown in the fire?

Here are a few pic of wood sitting in my wood pile (soon to be winter heat- love them BTUs). I hear them calling to me during the day when I am in the shop
more wood
and more

Here I made a few blanks for the winter months, I thin this is maple:

Some of my wood pile:
wood pile

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

13 replies so far

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3964 days

#1 posted 10-19-2007 04:25 AM

Rip them open on the bandsaw or with the chainsaw! Looks like you may have some interesting materials for box making or if you cut them thick you could turn some nice bowls if they’re not too checked…

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

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4367 days

#2 posted 10-19-2007 04:58 AM

Enjoy the wood is can be beautiful.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4294 days

#3 posted 10-19-2007 06:50 AM

it can still be firewood if you don’t like the project… maybe all our firewood should spend a week in the shop first… try milling it, or cutting it into blanks… some might speak to you, others will beg for the fire…. a spin on the lathe is good practice, and you don’t really need to keep all those practice pieces (Don’t tell my wife I said that)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4061 days

#4 posted 10-19-2007 06:56 AM

I’ve got a piece of maple that will likely be the same type of challenge. I’m at a loss because I rescued it from the father-in-law who didn’t want to tear up his chainsaw trying to cut it down. I’m with the others. See what you can make of it. Good luck.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3860 days

#5 posted 10-19-2007 06:27 PM

I leave them natural, at least the face you are showing. Pic the loose bark off and scale/dirt etc and then hand sand them not to lose the natural patina. Piece them together and miter/join figured or plain sawn wood around them. I sometimes add a little glaze to give “depth”

Not for everyone but works for me.

cherry crotch


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4127 days

#6 posted 10-19-2007 06:32 PM

oh my !!!!! I really love his, Roman. Stunning

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3860 days

#7 posted 10-19-2007 06:35 PM

to add one more. In the 4th photo down. That very figured exposed crotch, I sometimes usethe band saw to cut it off making that slice about 1/4” thick. It doesnt have to be axactly a 1/4” thick, the fact that it comesout from paper thin to 3/4” works to my benefit.

This easier to descibe it another way. The artists called the “Group of Seven” were some of the first Canadians to use European impressionist styling, Tom Thompson was another. Many of their painting were painted on Lake Huron, specifically Georgian Bay and often showed a wind blown white pine tree….........I use that 1/4” slab of natural exposed crotch, cut little pieces out which resemble the wind swept bow of a pine tree, by piecing them together on a piece of driftwood…..........pretty cool looking piece of sculpture. I’ve sold several and have buyers for more but after a dozen or so….......I get bored!

Have fun, thats all that really matters?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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5032 posts in 3860 days

#8 posted 10-19-2007 06:51 PM

Thank you MsDebbieP

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View W1ngnu7's profile


27 posts in 3886 days

#9 posted 10-19-2007 09:10 PM

I can’t believe you titled this, “What to do with a crotch”. lol I also can’t believe I’m the only one immature enough to point this out. <shame> :)

-- W1ngnu7

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3957 days

#10 posted 10-19-2007 11:16 PM

Ah Wingnut, don’t feel bad. If the thought police were here I’d have to confess I thought the thought as well. I think.

Anyhow Snowdog, I see all kinds of goodies in there. Maybe some bowls or tool handles. You never know when you cut something open as to what treasures lie within. You might even get lucky and find “The Blessed Virgin Mary” and then you could sell it on Ebay and retire. Or, you could use it for stove feed and be happy in the warmth.

And Roman! That’s a cool panel! I bet this would make some interesting cabinet doors!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3949 days

#11 posted 10-20-2007 02:06 PM

Roman – that is what I was looking for, I’ll clean em up, I would guess normal sanding 100 150 220 etc working my way up the sandy ladder and then frame them some how. What possible finishes would you suggests, toug oil and poly? Maybe a light stain? buff it?

As far as crotches go.. I try to keep my deviant and somewhat controversial side low key but it creeps out now and again :) more now than again and again I try to stuff it back into the bottle like the genie that gives wishes but not fishes .. I better stop there :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Woodminer's profile


69 posts in 3904 days

#12 posted 10-22-2007 04:24 AM

To Wingnut & Dado, I thought seriously about suggesting that they try out as body doubles for major league baseball, but decided not to go there.

Crotch wood is some of the coolest stuff for all woodworkers, round or flat. It’s right there next to burls for sheer jaw-dropping beauty.

I’ve seen two or three applications for crotch wood that I thought were worthy uses. One is turned bowls. The feathering that appears from some pieces is just stellar.

Another is to make a serving platform from it, if it’s large enough. If you have a piece that would round out to 16” or so, you can just sand and finish it so that it’s both water and heat resistant, put legs on it or use some other subtle way of making the thing sit stable on a table, and use it as a feature for serving cheese or bread (not for cutting bread, IMO).

The third way would be to cut it into slabs if it’s large enough, and do something creative with those slabs.

And does anyone remember seeing the tables made from huge cross-cut slabs of cypress trunks near the base? I think that if the crotch were large enough, such a table could be made from a 3” slab of it, and that it could be lovely. One man’s late evening thoughts…

-- Dean, Missouri

View TheLandYacht's profile


32 posts in 3204 days

#13 posted 07-16-2009 06:24 AM

As long as you’re talking about the crotch in a tree, yah ripping it is a good idea. Don’t think you wanna rip your crotch on a bandsaw though. Might be a bit painful, not to mention difficult anatomically to get up on the saw.

And no, wingnut, you’re not the only immature person out there.

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