Finding wood for turning

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Forum topic by BB1 posted 04-09-2016 01:40 PM 517 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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421 posts in 270 days

04-09-2016 01:40 PM

Thanks to suggestions from LJs my husband is enjoying his new HF lathe. I would like to surprise him with some good wood selections for bowl turning. So far I ordered him a blank of yucatan rosewood. I have looked up various sources online but am not sure of what types of wood would be best for a beginner…and given the cost am hoping for some suggestions from the LJ turners. Thank you.

6 replies so far

View DonBoston's profile


75 posts in 884 days

#1 posted 04-09-2016 01:51 PM

I actually get a lot of material from a local tree service.

-- Don Boston RECreations by Don

View Nubsnstubs's profile


811 posts in 1152 days

#2 posted 04-09-2016 02:35 PM

Cruise neighborhoods, alleys, and visit Craigslist. You’d be amazed at what you can find. Also, talk to your neighbors. I’ll bet in a couple of weeks, you’d have more wood than you could shake a skew at. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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421 posts in 270 days

#3 posted 04-09-2016 03:04 PM

As a followup question…what makes for a good find when looking for wood to turn?

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2964 days

#4 posted 04-09-2016 03:08 PM

A turner here says he gets most of his from the recycle center where tree surgeons dump anything bigger than a shredder will take care of. He also goes to places that sell firewood and they’ll cut him what he wants or give him some already split.

Turning wood is every where, you just have to keep your eyes open for it and as Jerry said, neighbors and CraigList would probably have more than you can turn in a lifetime just to go and get it.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View TheDane's profile


4938 posts in 3085 days

#5 posted 04-09-2016 03:14 PM

If your town/city/county has a yard waste dropoff site, check it out. We have two within a few miles of our house that I check out regularly for tree limbs, trunks, etc. that people have taken down. A well-tuned chainsaw is a good idea! It is green/wet wood, but makes for some nice turning blanks.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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33 posts in 565 days

#6 posted 04-10-2016 09:38 PM

I check the “Free” section of Craigslist every day. Somebody is always cutting down a tree, etc., and have wood at the curb. Keep an eye out for Utility companies clearing power lines, too. About the only thing I won’t pick up is pine. But I’ve picked up loads of sycamore, cottonwood, pecan, ash, oak, magnolia, maple, peach, etc.

When I started I planned to buy a lot of wood. Now I buy very little. I think green turning is a better way to learn, too. You will have to read up on roughing blanks, twice-turning, and warpage control. I love turning green wood thin and seeing how it will move.

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