Dry time for eucalyptus log

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Forum topic by oldwoodman posted 06-03-2010 04:33 AM 8048 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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137 posts in 3365 days

06-03-2010 04:33 AM

How long does a eucalyptus log, 8” thick by 18” long, need to dry before I can put it on the lathe for turning? I want to practice turning some bowls with this wood.

I have three logs of this approximate size. I applied two coats of acrylic paint to each end of the three logs the day after they had been cut down.

Thanks in advance for any help.

6 replies so far

View jack1's profile


2103 posts in 3995 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 04:47 AM

There is a lot of “eucalyptus” species and I imagine they are not all alike. I do know the ones we have here in CA are always worked green. That is cut, split etc. If these are allowed to dry, nothing can cut them that doesn’t get dulled. I’ve heard that splitting is out of the question after a while too! I’d check to see what type you have. I know there is a hybrid that Weyerhauser has developed on an island somewhere in Brazil that works easier though. I have access to it here at a hardwood seller.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3544 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 04:53 AM

I agree with Jack1 It’s turned green like most woods.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rustfever's profile


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#3 posted 06-03-2010 05:10 AM

I can offer my observations for only Red Gum Eucalyptus.

First, they RGE is very snakey. It will split uncontrollably in just hours. I have learned that air drying requires a great deal of time and plastic.

First, you must seal the end cuts within hours. Second, you must ‘wet-cure’ using plastic or other similar system. My sawyer machined a large quantity of the RGE several years ago. The wood was immdeiatly placed out of the sunlight and sealed in plastic. 4/4 wood dried with minimun splitting in the hot California summers.

I found the wood left out without sealing, started splitting within hours of being cut. At about 48 hours after sawing into cants, flitches and board, the splitting was uncontrolled. However, the same lumber, within a sealed envoirnment, have shown only minor degredation, slpitting, cracking. Sealing will lead to moulds being formed on the wood.

It is my understanding some other variteis of Euclayptus are even much more difficult to cure. Under no circumstances can you cure Euclyptus using any form of kiln.

I have also found the RGE to have some very beautiful graining and figure.

Degoose on this list, may be able to offer more information on Eucalyptus

Good Luck

-- Rustfever, Central California

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2103 posts in 3995 days

#4 posted 06-03-2010 05:28 AM

P.S. Makes great firewood. LOTS of BTU’s… ;0)

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View oldwoodman's profile


137 posts in 3365 days

#5 posted 06-03-2010 06:10 PM


Thank you for your input. I guess I will put these logs on the lathe as soon as possible and see what I can do.

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 2969 days

#6 posted 06-04-2010 02:34 AM

Haven’t tried Eucalyptus, but I would add a suggestion to your experiments…Rough cut it and green turn it to about an inch thick…then set it aside in a paper bag (some people put the shavings in the bag). Let it dry for about a year and then finish turn. Rule of thumb is a year per inch of thickness plus a year, but here in Texas, it never seems to take that long. One other thing…I assume you will split the log in half first. This will relieve a fair amount of the internal stresses – You can watch the half log as it dries, and it will change from “Half of a pie” to “Half of a pie minus a slice” type of profile.

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

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