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Forum topic by EMFritz posted 01-02-2016 04:49 AM 640 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1026 days

01-02-2016 04:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: greenwood working walking stick hand tools plane carving

Question for green wood woodworkers. I saved my 8 foot Nobel fir Christmas tree after trimming all the limbs off and I am wondering if I can use it for anything. I have never worked with green wood, I am interested in making a walking stick or something similar.

Questions: how long does it need to dry in my shop before working it?
Do I Debark it while I let it dry?
Any advice for first time green work?

1 reply so far

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1026 posts in 3034 days

#1 posted 01-08-2016 05:38 PM

There are probably others who are more experienced with this, but I’ve done a fair number of projects with green wood. Here are a few suggestions:

- debark it unless you plan to incorporate the bark.
- The sooner you work with it the easier it will be
- For small pieces such as spoons, I just make the project and let it dry. It typically dries satisfactorily within a week or so with a small project stored in dry conditions. I haven’t had any problems with cracking, and the tiny bit of distortion that happens from the drying process is inconsequential.
- For larger projects, I use Pentacryl to minimize the distortion and cracking. I’ve had very good luck with this, and it also accelerates the drying process.
- Avoid using the pith. With something as small as a Christmas tree trunk this might be tricky to avoid, but the pith will cause cracking and movement far more than other areas of the wood. Having said that, sometimes it can’t be avoided, and it will be ok if your project can tolerate some movement.

For something as large as a walking stick that is made with a soft wood, I would shape it, soak it with Pentacryl, and let it dry before sanding and finishing. Sanding green pine sounds like a frustrating process. Just to be clear, I have never made a walking stick or worked with green pine, so I’m just offering my best suggestions based on my other green projects to get you pointed in what I hope to be a decent direction since you have not received other responses.

-- PaulMayer,

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