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What is a quick and easy finish for "green turnings"?

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Forum topic by Dan Campebell posted 02-03-2010 02:51 PM 1155 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan Campebell

36 posts in 2634 days


02-03-2010 02:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishes lathe green turning finishing

Hello everyone,

I have started equipping a shop which will need serve my need to do home maintenance and woodworking. (Sometimes it is difficult to know where one starts and the other begins. Anyway, to my question; I bought a lathe (Jet 1442 VS) and I would like to do all facets of “turning”. Though, I was a skilled turner, it has been 10 years since I have used one. I would like to do natural turning/green turning. My thought is to do some good turning crafts that I might market to help pay for the cost of setting up and euipping my shop (or a least the lathe). I would like any suggestions you all might have for a quick and easy waterproof finish for turned birdhouses, weed pots and vases. I would appreciate any and all suggestion.

Thanks, Dan

-- Dan Campbell


4 replies so far

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2902 days


#1 posted 02-03-2010 03:47 PM

Dan,

I do not know what exactly you consider green/natural, but I imagine you are refering to the natural finishing, and not refering to turning “green” or still wet wood/stock. if you are looking for a green not chemically based, good quality wood finish for outside, then it all depends on where the object will be placed (direct weathering or under some sort of over hang).

I can not think of anything off hand excecpt maybe tung oils (which is made out from the tung tree) and is very good in protect wood against water… in fact better than any other oil than I could think of off hand. Linseed oil is supposed to be good too but it can be subceptible to mold and nobody wants that.

I would not go to any mineral oil based finsihes such as varnishes. Although I have heard that one can produce a resin based terpintine and a kind of varnish from tamarack/larch trees, by collecting the sap and cooking it down…. if its water resistant I can not say, but might be worth looking into.

In any case, I definetly would start my out door project using the proper woods. I mean by this, not using poplar or pine, or fir, maple, beech, ash… the list goes on and on for woods that may be pretty, but rot very quickly or are very subceptible to fungus growth. Stick with woods like white oak, walnut, chestnut, larch/tamarack, cedar… Thats half the problem solved right there.

hope this helped!

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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Dan Campebell

36 posts in 2634 days


#2 posted 02-03-2010 04:28 PM

Hi Nicholas,

I appreciate your suggestions, everything you said seems perfectly true and I will take them into consideration. (I was in Germany about 3 yrs. ago for a total of 5 months,,,,,,,, beautiful country and wonderful people.)
I will make some functional birdhouses and some will be primarily for decoration. Tung oil sounds like a reasonable finish for exterior; I was thinking Watco penetrating finish for those that will not be exposed to the elements. I plan on experimenting with different domestic woods I find from trees already fallen. (I am a “tree hugger” and hate to see trees cleared when it is not really necessary). MY experience in turning is extensive but from years ago,,,,,,, I seem to remember more as I talk with other woodworker/turners).
Thank you for taking the time to write and I hope I can return your kindness.

Thanks, Dan

-- Dan Campbell

View Waldschrat's profile

Waldschrat

505 posts in 2902 days


#3 posted 02-03-2010 09:59 PM

No problem… I hope to see some pics of your new projects. And I do agree with you, its always better to use wood / trees from blow downs, wash outs, and so on. i find that there is usually a ton of great lumber to be had from the city. The local goverments are usually responsible for maintaining parks and streets and cut down bigger “in danger of falling on someone trees” and ofter cut it up into small chuncks for burning unfortunately, if you are not fast enough, lots of great straight wide hardwoods and softwoods, with out branches (because they have been maintained over the centuries) get used as heat in the winter instead of beautiful pieces of work….. Your big advantage (mine as well when I am wood turning) is that as a wood that most carpenters and cabinetmakers would throw away, the wood with cracks discoloring, knots, imperfections, are the most prised, and the best to turn!

Anyway, I wish you fun and success!

Nicholas

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#4 posted 02-07-2010 07:51 AM

Sounds like Nicholas has this handled

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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