Mulberry: To turn or not to turn

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Forum topic by Chris posted 04-08-2008 11:02 PM 9338 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4166 days

04-08-2008 11:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood mulberry turning bowl blank lumber

My Dad needs to take down a Mulberry tree in his back yard and has asked if I wanted some of it. The sap wood is very light with purple heart wood.

Have any of you ever turned any? Or, has anyone ever used it period? I’m very interested in any examples you folks may have.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

9 replies so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3942 days

#1 posted 04-08-2008 11:27 PM

I have turned Hackberry but not Mulberry. The Hackberry turned fine. My limited experience tells me that if it is wood, it can be turned. I will be interested in what other jocks have to say.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4049 days

#2 posted 04-08-2008 11:29 PM

I’ve seen a few small pieces made out of Mulberry. Very pretty.

And besides, how can you turn down free wood? Every so often someone around here cuts down a Walnut tree – you limb it, cut it, load it, haul it, mill it, dry it, and rake the twigs out of their yard and they’ll let you have it for the low, low price of $400.

-- -- --

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4166 days

#3 posted 04-08-2008 11:45 PM

Well, we don’t see very many Walnut trees in Florida, I WISH.

I had no intention of turning it down, I’m not that senile! :)

Does it hold it’s color or does it fade with exposure to UV like many species? Just questions that rattle around my brain.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View wheresmytools's profile


11 posts in 3867 days

#4 posted 04-22-2008 04:58 PM

I’ve turned red mulberry and it was very nice to turn. I guess that it is more yellow than regular mulberry. I don’t have any finished pictures handy (if I find them, I’ll post them). But this is of a block that I have waiting to turn.

I turned the block square into a square edged bowl and added 4 small legs turned from red heart. I forgot to photograph it before I gave it away. But they sent me a couple prints. I’ll look for them and scan/post them.

-- Charlie in TN, looking for his tools...

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4166 days

#5 posted 04-25-2008 08:33 PM

Thanks Charlie….

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View hunter19's profile


17 posts in 3331 days

#6 posted 05-09-2010 03:23 AM

i have turned mulberry. soak in alcohol for 24 hours . rap in brown paper sealing rim with masking tape leaving hollowed portion open. place on open rack (anything with holes in it )so it will air for 2 weeks .out of all the mulberry ive turned none cracked or changed much in shape has a pretty gold color with purple in the rings nice soft wood to turn

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3249 days

#7 posted 05-09-2010 04:24 AM

I’ve turned mulberry. In my case it was also free wood. I started to turn it when it was very green (freshly cut). That was a bad idea. It was literally throwing water all over my shop. I let it dry for about 6 months and I tried it again. It was still green but it was manageable. After turning a bowl, I still got some movement but that is okay. I kind of like my bowls a little warped.

It is a soft wood and you have to be pretty careful with it. Keep the speed high and your touch light. If you try to rush it you will take a big gouge out that you didn’t want to take out.

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

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4060 days

#8 posted 05-09-2010 05:06 AM

I have been given some Mulberry but have not used any yet. From what I’ve been told it turns Brown with age, how much age they did not say.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 3177 days

#9 posted 05-16-2010 04:54 AM

I like mulberry. It’s not very tight grained, but can take on a really nice finish if you are patient. Here is a 4” sphere out of a large Mulberry tree. One note is that I did have a lot of radial splits in the blanks that I cut out of this tree.

Mulberry sphere

-- "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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