What to do with green wood

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Forum topic by dgrant posted 03-14-2014 07:24 PM 1213 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dgrant's profile


47 posts in 1957 days

03-14-2014 07:24 PM

I had a pine tree of some sort in my yard that fell over in a storm. I cut it up today and saved quite a bit of round material that I was thinking I might be able to use. Maybe some simple turnings like candle holders, or even milling a few boards to make some boxes. My question is how to properly dry it or whether it is even worth the effort. The bark has sap oozing all over the place so I assume the first step would be to remove the bark. Should I mill a few boards out of it with a bandsaw, or just leave the rounds in one piece. This is mostly an experiment, not really expecting great wood out of it. The tree appeared to be about 50 years old so I would like to do a little something I could keep. Thanks for any help.

6 replies so far

View Minorhero's profile


373 posts in 2846 days

#1 posted 03-14-2014 07:47 PM

You could turn it if you really wanted, but pine is softwood and really not worth the effort you are about to put into it. For turnings just cut the size piece you can use then seal the cut ends. This can be done with simple shellac. Your wood will air dry at a rate of about 1 inch per year from the outside in. So a 6” diameter log will take 3 years.

View Wildwood's profile


2532 posts in 2376 days

#2 posted 03-14-2014 09:02 PM

What diameter & length of those rounds?

My rule of thumb is over 5” or 6” in diameter will split and end seal with latex paint or canning wax. Stack & store out of the weather and direct sunlight. Problem with that running sap my well seal the ends. May or may not need to end seal. But would definitely slit large diameter logs.

I leave the bark on, more worried about moisture escaping out the ends. Wood dries from outside in, leaving the bark will help slow down drying a little, with unsealed ends will lose moisture faster thus create uneven drying conditions.

Would wait a couple months before trying mill a few boards on the bandsaw. Even if use PAM (cooking spray) on your blade, might have a gummy mess on your hands right now.

Conifers (pine or softwoods) do not have as well defined cell structure so technically will dry faster than hardwoods that have more defined cell structure.

Only secret to turning pine is keep your tools sharp!

-- Bill

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2190 days

#3 posted 03-14-2014 09:30 PM

If you are going to saw it do it now. The longer you wait the harder it will be on blades, machines, and you. after you saw it, stack and sticker it. usuall a year an inch is what it takes depending on where you live.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4235 posts in 2475 days

#4 posted 03-15-2014 06:08 PM

I cut some long needle pine logs into lumber almost 2 years ago now, and the sap is still soft and oozing from knots. It will do that forever, well until the sap crystallizes into resin, a very long time. It was planked from the log at 3/4” and stickered carefully for over a year before I machined tongue and groove into it for paneling. It was sawed on a band mill so the saw marks will be left, rough dust collector I know, but with a bit of oil finish it will be somewhat cleanable.
+1 on Bill’s comments.
If the logs are hardwood, then sawing them green does save on equipment some if you can deal with the gummy sap. I recently harvested some hedge (osage orange) and was going to turn some things green, but that proved to be tougher than I imagined. I bent a sharp, specially ground parting tool just parting off a turning I’m going to post about. I can’t imagine what this is going to be like when it dries. It’s not a fair comparison because pine and hedge are at opposite ends of the density spectrum, but still a useful illustration.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL Now there's a face that would stop a clock! And seriously mess with small watches.

View dgrant's profile


47 posts in 1957 days

#5 posted 03-15-2014 08:04 PM

Thanks for all the info. I cut one of the rounds in half with a handsaw. I got it pretty straight, I don’t mind saying. This wood doesn’t have much grain character and its all oozing with sap. I think I will put my efforts into other things. I can see putting in a lot of effort and time into it and not getting much out. Thanks again.

View Split's profile


33 posts in 1981 days

#6 posted 03-16-2014 04:11 PM

If you find an area where there was a large limb off the main tree it might be worth looking at. The areas above and below the limb are good places to look for figured wood. I have never tried pine but I leave most wood blocks of mine to sit and dry for about 6 months before cutting to continue drying.

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