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Harvesting wood - pith questions

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Forum topic by hairy posted 1875 days ago 842 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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hairy

1988 posts in 2128 days


1875 days ago

For about 6 months now I have been getting free wood, in the form of storm damaged and unwanted trees and firewood. I have been processing some of it into bowl and spindle blanks, and would like to get some boards out of it as well. Here’s what I’ve been doing. When cutting logs into blanks, the first cuts remove the pith or place the pith on the outside of the blank, to be turned away. My question is – What about the pith when cutting boards? If the pith is so unstable that it must be removed from a bowl blank, why is it ok to leave in a board? I’ve seen the chainsaw attachments to cut boards, and might be headed that way. I’ve seen the videos and they slab a board without removing the pith.

I have been reading some articles about this on the web, and the more I read the more confused I get. Some people center the pith in a bowl blank, so all wood movement is universal from the center out. Maybe it depends on the type of wood?

I realize that if I’m cutting firewood into boards that I will only get short boards, that’s cool. I’m hoping to make boxes and small projects.

I have been using Anchorseal as necessary on blanks, and unprocessed logs. Should I use it on the ends of boards? I’ve never seen it used that way.

This has provided me with a nice supply of ash, hackberry, mulberry, locust, oak, and walnut. There is so much available, so little time.

I hope this makes sense to someone besides me. All help is greatly appreciated.

-- what a long, strange trip it's been...


2 replies so far

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Julian

880 posts in 2122 days


#1 posted 1875 days ago

When cutting boards, you don’t want the pith. It will distort and crack in hardwoods. Anchorseal is used on the ends of boards just as it is used on logs. It will slow the ends from drying too fast, and help to prevent end checking. I don’t know about centering the pith on blanks for turning though, as I don’t yet have a lathe. Now if the tool gods would hear my prayers, I’ld wake up to a nice oneway lathe in my shop…A man can dream, can’t he?

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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hairy

1988 posts in 2128 days


#2 posted 1873 days ago

Thanks, Julian.

-- what a long, strange trip it's been...

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