Dried pine log

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Forum topic by D_Allen posted 05-27-2012 09:24 PM 1141 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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495 posts in 2750 days

05-27-2012 09:24 PM

For those who turn bowls…is this worth the effort?
I picked up a pine log about 10” in diameter and 2 feet long. It was apparently left when some tree trimmers were in the area. The first thing I noticed was how light it was. Apparently it was a dead and dried out tree.
I’ve seen posts here about using pine for turnings when it is still green.
This one has turned out OK but I was concerned that it may fly apart on the lathe.
Even with my tools as sharp as possible, it still left a lot of rough spots due to being so dry. The finished bowl weighs next to nothing.
Am I wasting my time on these? Will it dry out further and fall apart?
It has some interesting grain patterns and a few worm holes that add character.
Thanks for looking and your comments.

-- Website is finally up and

6 replies so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2952 days

#1 posted 05-27-2012 10:21 PM

I have a very similar hunk of pine tree that I tried turning last week. It was very chipped and ripped. I decided to rough cut it and then maybe soak it in some epoxy or thick poly and then finish it. Still debating about it to be honest.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

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495 posts in 2750 days

#2 posted 05-27-2012 11:08 PM

Lis, that is the way this one reacted when turned.
I used a new 80 grit sanding disk and a foam pad to take out the roughness.
Then successive sanding with 320 and 600 grit.
I know most turners would say sandpaper is not a turning tool, but sometimes it is necessary.

-- Website is finally up and

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1310 posts in 2952 days

#3 posted 05-27-2012 11:44 PM

I tried that and what I ended up with was very, very smooth tearout—haha.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View lew's profile


12018 posts in 3721 days

#4 posted 05-28-2012 03:08 AM

Anytime you can produce a useful and beautiful object from a piece of wood is time well spent.

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

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3074 days

#5 posted 05-28-2012 03:55 AM

I don’t see it as a waste of time, you are challenging yourself and the lumber is freely available. I had some pieces of birch that were rotten and punky. I used some wood hardener on the top and bottom fo the piece to solidify it enough for the center and chuck. It was so punky that I had to use sandpaper to give it any kind of smooth surface. Sandpaper is just a tool, like any other. If that is what you need to shape and smooth, don’t be afraid to use it. Nice turning you came up with. If you experience much tearout, try your hand at a natural edge. It helps keep the piece consistent and the tearout, when smoothed, fits in with the overall design.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2626 days

#6 posted 05-28-2012 10:36 AM

I have a little different philosophy about projects and materials. I have always trie to use nice wood or materials. The following is my opinion only. I always try to use a noble wood for whatever I am doing. Pine while nice for many projects is at the bottom of my turning wood list.
Why hassle with a wood that has started to degrade when your efforts can be more rewarding with sound wood?
Of course if that is all you have, then that is what you need to use.

-- Barbara

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