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Forum topic by mart posted 10-30-2008 12:01 AM 1014 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 3650 days

10-30-2008 12:01 AM

I dropped a birch tree for a neighbor hoping it would provide some saw logs for me but alas it was rotten on the inside and only a shell of salvageable firewood remained. It did however have several burls and limbs that were good sized and sound. Some of the limbs were good sized and came out at 90 degrees so I sawed the burls and the limb intersections out with the intention of turning some bowls. How do I handle these chunks? Do I need to turn them green right away (not likely to happen as backed up as I am), or paint them to slow the drying? This is new territory for me so any suggestions would be appreciated.


6 replies so far

View CaptnA's profile


116 posts in 3839 days

#1 posted 10-30-2008 12:52 AM

I would seal them asap anchorseal works well for me waxing works and is what I’ve seen used on most of the stuff for sale (dip in carefully melted wax- parafin wax DOES burn and hot wax may cause serious burns)
if nothing else paint the ends and cuts with an exterior paint
if you can turn them green I would, but time and quantity can be problematic.
worst comes to worst, I’ll give you my shipping address, lol

-- CaptnA - "When someone hurts you, write it in the sand so the winds of forgiveness will scatter the memory... "

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190 posts in 3650 days

#2 posted 10-30-2008 01:07 AM

If you turn one green, what then? How do you treat it so it will dry without cracking? Pardon my ignorance, I can build furniture and even turn legs, but bowl turning is totally foreign to me.


View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3830 days

#3 posted 10-30-2008 01:28 AM

If you turn green you have to make certain that the wall thickness of the piece is the same as the thickness of the base. I normally go to 3/4” or 1” in thickness. At that point I make sure that I leave a tenon on the piece to rechuck at a later date. The piece also gets a coat of paint on the endgrain and goes into a paper sack wrapped in a cheap baby diaper (not kidding this does work). I write the date on the wood piece and the bag and check it once a week. As needed I replace the diaper (I buy the cheapest diapers I can). Depending on the wood and the mood I am in I will second turn the piece in 3-6 months. Some pieces wait a year for me to decide to “like” them again. You can go to and click on local clubs to find a turning club in or near your area. Contact them and they will be glad to help you.

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

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190 posts in 3650 days

#4 posted 11-06-2008 08:43 PM


Thanks for the info. I was on my work week so didn’t get much posting done here. I work a week on/week off schedule so have to do most of my posting on my week off.


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3611 days

#5 posted 11-06-2008 08:49 PM

Yes don’t turn them into a finished produce green or they will warp or crack or both.You must as said leave sufficient thickness to allow it to dry more naturally over time .Turning green helps save time in the drying progress but the item will warp,well always in my case, and it will be more difficult to re-chuck but it can be done . I would be tempted to air dry them if you are inexperienced ,however if they have signs of internal rot then turning them provisionally might remove that enough to salvage the wood for the future.Alistairgood luck.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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190 posts in 3650 days

#6 posted 11-06-2008 10:40 PM

It looks like with my current schedule I will not get time to turn them green so will need to treat them. I have plenty of wax so will wax the cut surfaces unless you guys recommend something else. I have quite a bit of exterior latex paint on hand as well.


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