Scrap wood for turning

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Forum topic by Kristopher posted 01-07-2014 01:22 AM 1566 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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78 posts in 2312 days

01-07-2014 01:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak purpleheart bubinga cedar ash padauk basswood cherry maple pine lathe turning arts and crafts

I recently purchased a new lathe. My question is, I have all sorts of scrap wood lying around. If I were to stack glue these pieces together to say 8” high by 6”x6” square, is it possible to turn these new blocks into something? Or am I wasting my time for a possible accident? It’s just that solid pieces are rare to find around here unless I spend another arm and leg of turning blanks from specialty woods stores.

-- Kristopher, Westminster, SC - May you always believe in the magic!

9 replies so far

View JollyGreen67's profile


1669 posts in 2761 days

#1 posted 01-07-2014 01:28 AM

No problem. I do it a lot. Have to use up them scraps somehow. Just make sure their straight and flat, and use titebond II.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View MrFid's profile


874 posts in 1903 days

#2 posted 01-07-2014 01:32 AM

As long as the glueup is tight and you wait for the glue to fully cure, you’re good to go I say. You do not want to have gaps as they’ll show in your turnings, so make sure the wood you glue is flat and square. There are many beautiful examples of segmented turnings on here, which is effectively what you are doing. Should work great and welcome to turning (if this is your first lathe)!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Kristopher's profile


78 posts in 2312 days

#3 posted 01-07-2014 01:37 AM

Thanks for the prompt replies. I wasn’t expecting any till tomorrow. :). And yes, this is the first lathe I’ve had the luxury of owning. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it. Have to do a bunch of training, thanks to YouTube, or I’d be broke. Hahaha. But, thanks for the posts. You’ve definitely helped and answered my questions. :)

-- Kristopher, Westminster, SC - May you always believe in the magic!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3055 days

#4 posted 01-07-2014 02:45 AM

I strongly recommend not spending money on turning wood. Lots of wood is available for free. Listen for chain saws , look for downed trees, or check Craig’s List free strut section. I much prefer turning green wood than dried. Enjoy your lathe.

-- Glen

View doubleDD's profile


7383 posts in 2042 days

#5 posted 01-07-2014 05:42 AM

I agree with Glen peterson. Trees are the way to go to save money. Once you get the learning curve you will be happy with it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3084 days

#6 posted 01-07-2014 05:00 PM

As a beginning turner, scrap wood is a great wood, practice is what makes a good turner, and pine makes
a great practice wood. Glen states that he prefers turning green wood, it does turn a lot easier than dry
wood, and is easy to learn on. Have fun and enjoy.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View TerryDowning's profile


1077 posts in 2116 days

#7 posted 01-07-2014 05:09 PM

I don’t have scraps.

I have shorts and trash. If I can’t include a piece in a small turning (finial or pen) then it winds up in the trash. All others wind up in the shorts or micro shorts box.

Make sure you have a good glue joint!

Downed trees, cast-offs, left-overs. The best wood is free wood IMHO.

-- - Terry

View JoeMontana's profile


5 posts in 1599 days

#8 posted 01-07-2014 06:18 PM

I pretty much make everything from different wood scraps. The challenge is make it look like something worth looking at. Get a book on Segmented Turning for lots of good ideas. Then use your imagination to try to visualize the finished product while gluing up the scraps.
Good luck. You will no doubt end up with a house full of “conversation pieces”.

-- Joe, Montana

View mpax356's profile


72 posts in 2491 days

#9 posted 01-07-2014 07:15 PM

Speaking as a non segmented turner, I prefer green wood. Rip a 2×4 into 1.5×1.5×12” blanks and practice your roughing and doing beads and coves. Then turn some green firewood and see which you like better. If you don’t have any fire wood, you probably know someone who does.

-- MPax, Atlanta

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