Making dry wood into green wood for turning?

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Forum topic by jayman7 posted 04-20-2010 09:20 PM 2649 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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218 posts in 2923 days

04-20-2010 09:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning green wood

Has anyone come across any methods (if there are any) to saturate dry wood with a liquid to make it easy to turn as green wood? This Wood Juice from Woodcraft seems to do just that while minimizing risks of checking, but it’s kinda pricey. Is there a homemade formula of the juice or any other method to do that?

Wood Juice

9 replies so far

View EricRFP's profile


106 posts in 2512 days

#1 posted 04-21-2010 03:12 AM

I would say no, at least not without potentially dangerous chemicals. Once the wood drops below the fiber saturation point,(usually about 30% moisture content) there is no going back. You can’t un-shrink the wood and re-saturate the wood fibers.

I’ve tried Wood Juice and Pentracryl to stabilize burl wood. The results were very poor. A lot of shrinkage and distortion during drying. If you are using dry wood(less than 10% MC), you should not have to worry about cracking. Wood Juice and Pentracryl are meant to displace water in the wood. In my opinion, they do a very poor job of doing that compared to something like PEG.

Most people want dry wood. Sure green wood is easier to turn but then you have add another bunch of drying issues to deal with. I prefer to be able to start and finish a turning in a day.

-- Eric, NorCal

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

317 posts in 2500 days

#2 posted 04-21-2010 04:07 PM

What about putting it in a pressure cooker? Just thinking. I have never tried it.

-- Steve

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2492 days

#3 posted 04-21-2010 04:56 PM

I think about how they create pressure treated lumber. They are, effectively, saturating the wood with a liquid. Maybe something like that, with a different liquid, is possible but I it would be much more difficult with hardwoods and I suspect it would be cost prohibitive.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View bill1352's profile


130 posts in 2539 days

#4 posted 04-22-2010 04:39 AM

I was going to try Pentracryl. I have a bunch of spalted maple i want to turn but it splits too easy. I’ve never heard of PEG.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

View bill1352's profile


130 posts in 2539 days

#5 posted 04-22-2010 04:46 AM

Answered my own question. thought i’d post a how too link.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

View brian watts's profile

brian watts

53 posts in 2400 days

#6 posted 04-24-2010 07:39 PM

might have to try this . has anyone done this yet?


View millmgr's profile


27 posts in 2530 days

#7 posted 04-27-2010 08:48 PM

If the wood is already dry and stabilized, why not turn it as is? Should turn well with sharp tools. Then get a finish on it ASAP. By rewetting the wood fibers and then turning and redrying, the wood wil distort and check as it dries.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3003 days

#8 posted 04-27-2010 09:00 PM

The kirkland dishawashing liqid sounds exciting enough for me and maybe others to try it out. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2376 days

#9 posted 04-27-2010 11:30 PM

From how these articles read it seems as if your quest is unattainable; PEG and the Wood Juice products seem to stabilize the wood but neither really state they return it to a green-like state. Certainly you could wet it to the point of saturation, but I don’t know if that would be what you are looking for. I’m no turner, I don’t know, just tossing in my observation. Curious as to what the rest of you have to say about this.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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