Turning Blanks...

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Forum topic by ScrubPlane posted 550 days ago 2342 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ScrubPlane's profile


187 posts in 799 days

550 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning question

In order to avoid endless hours searching I am turning to you fellow turners in hopes of identifying the best web sites for turning blanks.

Your suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


15 replies so far

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 750 days

#1 posted 550 days ago

Here are some of my favs:

I also really like this ebay seller:

In general though, your best source for turning wood is going to be FOG wood and your local firewood dealers.

View lumberjoe's profile


2829 posts in 852 days

#2 posted 550 days ago

+10 for Oregon Burls. I tool Rich’s advice on another thread and ended up with this:

That blank cost me about 5$ and I got 2 of these bolt action pens out of it. (English Walnut)


View MonteCristo's profile


2094 posts in 792 days

#3 posted 549 days ago

One of the nice things about turning blanks is that you can often get them for “free”. Free usually means doing a bit of grunt work, like when someone has a tree taken down or one blows over in a wind. Any turning blanks I have seen for sale at a big box store or lumberyard are usually ridiculously overpriced. Also, a lot of pieces of wood that would not be well suited for making a cabinet or similar are just fine for turning. Cabinet makers hate knots (usually); turners (often) invite them.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View tomd's profile


1727 posts in 2374 days

#4 posted 549 days ago

If you own a chainsaw and keep your eyes open you should never have to buy a turning blank, unless you want an exotic wood.

-- Tom D

View Wildwood's profile


959 posts in 738 days

#5 posted 549 days ago

Like this vendor, Kreegan linked because sells both kiln dry and wet wood. They are up front as to why their kiln dried or green/wet blanks sealed in wax.

Still buyer beware, just because wood been through kiln drying process does not mean will not pick up moisture later. MC will change with environment due too or lack of relative humidity.

Do check out back issues of their newsletter:

Scroll down to Understanding MC part 1

Not a customer but have been to site before stopped going after lost url. Harvest my own turning wood for turning but like site for information.

If do not harvest your own wood because lack chain saw & pick-up, check out those bundles of firewood sitting outside a lot of stores this time of year.

-- Bill

View ScrubPlane's profile


187 posts in 799 days

#6 posted 549 days ago

Thank you to all who responded…it’s comforting to know that several of the recommended sites I already had bookmarked and the new ones have also been added.

Thank you one and all.

View hairy's profile


1988 posts in 2136 days

#7 posted 549 days ago

I like to turn firewood into turning blanks.

If I’m buying, I look here first. He’s been good to me.

-- the last of Barret's Privateers...

View Cindy Drozda's profile

Cindy Drozda

4 posts in 1639 days

#8 posted 521 days ago

The best place to get wood for turning is through your local AAW chapter. The members share sources and trade wood, mostly “free” local wood. To find a chapter, go to

-- Cindy, Boulder CO,

View wooddaddy's profile


13 posts in 1037 days

#9 posted 521 days ago

Ditto what Cindy said. I have been turning bowls and vessels approx. 2 years and have not purchased a single piece of wood. I guess I’m one of the fortunate ones who live in the woods, literally, and weep to see all the wood I won’t be able to touch. I liken it to our sphere of influence and the people we touch. Enough waxing poetic. Local turning clubs, saw mills, carpenters,even big box stores can be sources of info and contacts for finding wood. Check this article out,, from AAW newsletter Vol.3 no.7. See what the benefits of joining a club are? If any of you are close to central PA, send me a message and I’ll hook you up.

-- Floyd, PA

View TheDane's profile


3659 posts in 2267 days

#10 posted 520 days ago

Our local club has a ‘raffle’ at each meeting … members (with wood resources) bring in bowl blanks, logs, etc. which they donate to the raffle.

Tickets go for a buck or two apiece, and the winners get to pick the wood they want.

Works great! At our February meeting, everybody there won two items … we actually had some wood left over.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View lunn's profile


206 posts in 912 days

#11 posted 519 days ago

I’m presently working in walnut and mullberry. I give a freind my scraps for pen turning. I’ve stocked him up so much he doesn’t take it any more, so i burn it. Anyone want it? How big of a flat rate box you need?

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View dpoisson's profile


171 posts in 1518 days

#12 posted 516 days ago

Far from me the idea of high-jacking this thread, maybe just to complement the list already put forth, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a Canadian Wood source for turning blanks? Preferably in Quebec if possible (to save on shipping).

I’ve been checkering these sites and unfortunately, most of the ones I’ve checked don’t seem to ship to Canada.



View john2005's profile


870 posts in 782 days

#13 posted 320 days ago

Forgive me as a novice turner, but I did order a few blanks from Davids Hobby Lumber as listed above. It wasn’t listed as green wood, but it is very wet. 20-30%. Little bit of mold on surface. Is any of this anything I should worry about? If I don’t do anything with it for a few months, will that hurt it? Like I said, just new and looking for info. Thanks

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View moke's profile


465 posts in 1380 days

#14 posted 317 days ago

I was at a Wood Festival last weekend. There were several vendors there with pens. There were two vendors there with slimlines right around 10.00. I looked them over carefully, and it was obvious that the maker just cut up whatever wood he/she had and used that for blanks. IMHO this made for very ho-hum pens. If you are going to raid the woodpile at least look for highly figured wood to make interesting pens. If you look around you can assortments that are 2-$4 a blank that are exptic woods and make for more intesting looking pens.

When you have just plain oak or walnut, maybe consider cutting in a simple segment. It is very easy to add a segment at 45 degrees, that way if you don’t get the blank square, it doesn’t show. Segmenting is difficult at best when you turn a slimline because there is so little material left around the tube, but most vendors offer an slightly upsized kit, like trimline, hart double twist, etc…for maybe a dollar a kit more.

The best site IMHO for cool blanks is Exoctic Blanks…

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1884 posts in 1165 days

#15 posted 316 days ago


It is nice to have a true pro here. I have watched 2 of your DVDs the club has.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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