How best to prepare these Maple pieces for turning blanks?

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Forum topic by Eddie posted 05-01-2014 06:21 PM 1962 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Eddie's profile


212 posts in 1980 days

05-01-2014 06:21 PM

So yesterday on my way home from the office I passed by the guy shown below throwing these Maple pieces into a large chipper after he had fell the tree.

I only had my small daily driver but filled the trunk with as much as would fit. Here is what made it home.

Not thinking the wood would be used for anything inparticular the worker cut the pieces a little odd. Some of them showing a lot more end grain than side. I added letters to the photos so that you could comment on a specific piece

I need some advice on how you guys would prep these for turning blanks (im thinking mostly bowls)
Being new to prepping my own blanks, im unsure of the quality of pieces I got. What do you guys think? Did I save myself some money or will most of these be practice blanks?

Please take a look at the pieces and if you have an idea of how to prepare one, let me know

I pretty much understand how to prepare a regular round for a standard bowl blank or natural edge bowl.

But how realistic is it to turn a bowl with end grain running parallel with the lathe bed?

More pics below

8 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5140 posts in 1750 days

#1 posted 05-02-2014 02:58 AM

Seal the endgrain and give them a while to dry. After a year air drying the larger pieces still won’t even be close. I’ve never turned anything but completely dry wood before, to accomplish that could take a very long time just air drying.

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 1624 days

#2 posted 05-02-2014 03:24 AM

I agree. This green wood will crack and split if it dries to quickly. Suggest you seal end grains with wax or heavy paint. It will also help to seat the whole piece in saran wrap. Pieces this big won’t be good for at least a year. Don’t store on the ground and not in any sunlight., The slower it dries, the better. You have some excellent looking wood, good score. Best I ever did was salvage some Honey Locust and some Bay Laurel after a hurricane blew down a bunch of big trees. They took forever to dry. Now I have 2 big blocks of the prettiest Flame Box Elder drying, I intend to unwrap and check next fall when they are a year old. Here’s a picture of them…...

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


11830 posts in 2409 days

#3 posted 05-02-2014 04:30 AM

Split it before drying and preferably remove any pith or you’ll have so many cracks they will be unsafe for turning.

-- Rick M,

View tomd's profile


2155 posts in 3799 days

#4 posted 05-02-2014 05:06 AM

I am assuming you have a band saw to cut out round bowl blanks. If so F, E and the piece under E could produce normal blanks, A, I would lay on it’s side to get a round blank capturing the crotch grain. This is my method, go ahead and rough turn your bowls leaving them one inch thick then put them in a brown paper bag and set them aside for 3 to 6 months then finish turning them.

-- Tom D

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1977 days

#5 posted 05-02-2014 04:12 PM

Somebody else shared this link on bowl blanks a while ago and I found it very helpful.

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


11830 posts in 2409 days

#6 posted 05-02-2014 05:53 PM

Nice link Shawn.

-- Rick M,

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2164 days

#7 posted 05-02-2014 06:57 PM

I would split that crotch with my electric chain saw, end seal until ready to rough turn. Normally would use my gas chain saw, but due to going crazy splitting logs last time my saw buck little damaged.

I would end seal those half logs until ready to rough turn some bowls Same for those spindle blanks you have there.

Looking at pieces C & D think could get more than a couple small end grain bowls and other spindle projects out of them.

Have fun and good luck with your find.

Shawn, I posted that link, been using that info years.

-- Bill

View ChefHDAN's profile


1067 posts in 2879 days

#8 posted 05-02-2014 08:43 PM

Damn wrangler, I’d almost be afraid to try and cut woo that beautiful

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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