Turning Blanks...

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Forum topic by ScrubPlane posted 01-27-2013 01:36 AM 5064 views 2 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2218 days

01-27-2013 01:36 AM

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 2169 days

#1 posted 01-27-2013 03:34 AM

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


2899 posts in 2271 days

#2 posted 01-27-2013 04:02 AM

+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


2099 posts in 2211 days

#3 posted 01-27-2013 05:33 AM

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


2155 posts in 3793 days

#4 posted 01-27-2013 05:38 AM

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


2322 posts in 2157 days

#5 posted 01-27-2013 11:42 AM

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


190 posts in 2218 days

#6 posted 01-27-2013 04:34 PM

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


2717 posts in 3555 days

#7 posted 01-27-2013 05:44 PM

I like to turn firewood into turning blanks.

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

-- My reality check bounced...

View Cindy Drozda's profile

Cindy Drozda

8 posts in 3058 days

#8 posted 02-24-2013 08:17 PM

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 2456 days

#9 posted 02-25-2013 03:48 AM

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


5441 posts in 3686 days

#10 posted 02-26-2013 01:24 AM

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


215 posts in 2331 days

#11 posted 02-26-2013 11:01 AM

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


190 posts in 2937 days

#12 posted 03-01-2013 03:21 PM

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


1768 posts in 2201 days

#13 posted 09-14-2013 12:29 AM

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


1179 posts in 2799 days

#14 posted 09-16-2013 05:15 PM

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…

-- Mike

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4230 posts in 2584 days

#15 posted 09-17-2013 10:33 PM


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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