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Forum topic by Woodwrecker posted 10-23-2011 11:03 PM 1972 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Woodwrecker's profile


4153 posts in 3599 days

10-23-2011 11:03 PM

To all my turning buddies, a quick question.
I just scored some fresh oak that was being cut down in my neighborhood.

I want to try and turn it.
It’s green (cut yesterday).
I’d like to make some bowls and platters.
Should I wait for it to dry, or turn it now?

And, If I save some to turn later, how should I store it to dry out slowly?

They cut down 25 big oaks that were too close to a big brick wall and the roots were starting to cause problems. It broke my heart because they were beautiful trees.
So, I want to do tribute to these trees as best I can and make something out of some of the wood.

Thanks a bunch.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

9 replies so far

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4050 days

#1 posted 10-23-2011 11:07 PM

I’ve heard guys turn green wood with good results. Drying big pieces like that without cracking might be tough. All my oak logs have spit.

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

View sticks4walking's profile


125 posts in 3075 days

#2 posted 10-23-2011 11:24 PM

Eric: Let me start by saying, I know nothing! BUT, I heard an old timer once say that he would rough cut something with green wood and put it in his oven and put it on the lowest setting (electric) for a few hours shut it off and let cool and do some more cutting and repeat. Now, will that work, your guess is as good as mine. But maybe something worth searching on the net or something??? Anyway, Good luck Eric and I will stay tuned.

-- Mike, Somewhere in Indiana with a splinter or two!

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3874 days

#3 posted 10-23-2011 11:33 PM

Many turners like to turn green wood. I prefer to let it season. You could rough out your bowls & platters & store them away till seasoned then finish turning after. I really depends on what you want to end up with.
There is a method of using a microwave to season the wood quickly. That depends on the size of the microwave & whether the lady of the house catches you doing it. LOL.
If you are interested I can email the instructions. I have never tried it though & would like to hear how good it is claimed to be.
Looks like you have some nice pieces there.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 3111 days

#4 posted 10-24-2011 12:11 AM

Unfortunately, Eric, that would be almost impossible. I heard about wrapping them with thick news paper for 6 months, burying them with dry shaving and waxing and I tryed all of these methods with disappointed results.
The best is to slice them in half and then cutting into cross squares and turn them, ASAP, roghly and thick bowls and store in dry and shady but not darck place and back to them after a year or two to turn them to the final shapes. See my Projects, page #2 , 17 Years After and Befor & After projects. OR:
Slice them into slabs and use them for boxes or segmented turning. Good luck.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#5 posted 10-24-2011 01:01 AM

Pretty much what Sam said-

Rough turn it now but leave the walls/bottom extra thick. Somewhere I read that the wall/bottom thickness should be about 10% of the diameter during the first turning. A 10” bowl would have about a 1” thick wall/bottom. After roughing out the bowl pack it in the shavings, wrap in ti newspaper and put it in a paper bag. Set it aside for about a year. When you get it out, turn it to the final dimensions.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3827 days

#6 posted 10-24-2011 01:10 AM

You can turn bowls right now, but should leave them thicker than what you want the final dimensions to be. Overall thickness should be the same throughout the bowl, leave the tenon on and wrap the entire bowl in newspaper, place it in a paper sack and put it in a corner. I date all my first turned bowls and check them after about three months. When dry you can turn the bowl into the final thickness. I would not recommend attempting to turn a platter from a wet piece of wood. Cut the wood up into slabs and coat the end grain with anchorseal or paraffin. You can also cut the oversize blanks for bowls and coat the ends with anchorseal. If you leave the log as it is it will start to check and crack. I have been very successful in turning freshly cut green wood into hollow forms – they will turn oval in shape as they dry.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3041 days

#7 posted 10-24-2011 01:42 AM

I have turned green oak and some of it cracked on me and some of it didn’t. The ones that didn’t were turned thin all the way to the bottom. The side wall was under 1/4” and I didn’t say they didn’t warp a little. I would suggest trying to turn one immediately and turn more later so you can judge best what works for you. Try turning some end grain. I have almost stopped turning green oak because it is too much of a hit or miss proposition. I love turning kiln dried oak and doing segments with them then all the wood is long grain and a breeze to turn with very little catches.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3010 days

#8 posted 10-24-2011 01:43 AM

Check out these 2 blogs if you want to try green-wood turning:

Here is a green turned oak bowl:

Good luck

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2795 days

#9 posted 10-24-2011 02:12 AM

It is all trash you should throw it all away. And by away I mean into the back of my mini :)

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

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