Harvesting wood - pith questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by hairy posted 06-04-2009 06:13 PM 1536 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View hairy's profile


2701 posts in 3526 days

06-04-2009 06:13 PM

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.

-- My reality check bounced...

2 replies so far

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3519 days

#1 posted 06-04-2009 06:16 PM

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

View hairy's profile


2701 posts in 3526 days

#2 posted 06-06-2009 12:59 AM

Thanks, Julian.

-- My reality check bounced...

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics