LumberJocks

Just cut down a cedar tree and dont want to mess up the wood

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by CaptainColdBeer posted 03-17-2015 04:44 PM 1376 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CaptainColdBeer's profile

CaptainColdBeer

7 posts in 632 days


03-17-2015 04:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: logs turning cedar dry

Hey yall. I just joined this community and I have been wood turning for a few months now. So a newby still. My question is about a cedar tree I just cut down. I choped in up int lenghts I could manage…. about like fire wood. The logs are small all the way up to 18 or 19 inches. I want to dry the wood so I can turn bowls and other things with it. Can anybody give me some tips or direction on how I should handle these logs. Dont want to mess up because the tree was at my parents house and means a lot to the family.

How long should I wait until i cut them into blanks? Should I paint the ends with latex paint? How much of the center should I remove?

I just cut the tree 2 days ago so the sap wood is leaking fast. I live in central NC. I think it is an eastern red cedar but im no expert.


9 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1195 days


#1 posted 03-17-2015 04:50 PM

Cedar cracks pretty good out west, so, I would suggest if you have the time, turn the thickness to the 10% of diameter. Set aside using different methods found on this site, and wait until dry, then finish turn…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 952 days


#2 posted 03-17-2015 05:07 PM

I could be wrong but I think you need to paint the ends asap.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 767 days


#3 posted 03-17-2015 07:07 PM

For small (9” or smaller) I would cut down the pith to remove it or maybe 1/4” each side, just enough to make sure the pith is gone.
From there I would move up in increments to 1” each side for the largest. On the largest this would give you some 2” thick sections for smaller projects.
I seal with anchorseal but folks do use paint. I am not sure how well it works.
I usually cut about 4” longer than the diameter to allow 2” on each end for cracking. You will probably get some no matter what you do.
Try to rough turn as soon as possible, reseal the endgrain, and put back to dry.
If you know you will use some for pepper mills, etc you can go ahead and rive out some square in 3X3 or whatever size you want and let them dry as spindle orientation.
Store out of the sun (and wind) as soon as possible.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View CaptainColdBeer's profile

CaptainColdBeer

7 posts in 632 days


#4 posted 03-17-2015 09:02 PM



For small (9” or smaller) I would cut down the pith to remove it or maybe 1/4” each side, just enough to make sure the pith is gone.
From there I would move up in increments to 1” each side for the largest. On the largest this would give you some 2” thick sections for smaller projects.
I seal with anchorseal but folks do use paint. I am not sure how well it works.
I usually cut about 4” longer than the diameter to allow 2” on each end for cracking. You will probably get some no matter what you do.
Try to rough turn as soon as possible, reseal the endgrain, and put back to dry.
If you know you will use some for pepper mills, etc you can go ahead and rive out some square in 3X3 or whatever size you want and let them dry as spindle orientation.
Store out of the sun (and wind) as soon as possible.

- LeeMills

So I should process these logs as soon as possible, rough turn, seal and dry. Sound right? By process I mean cut them to what ever blank size the log will make.

View redryder's profile

redryder

2394 posts in 2567 days


#5 posted 03-18-2015 06:42 AM

If you can get your hands on this current issue of Woodcraft Magazine (page 52), you’ll be in knowledge heaven.
Good luck…......................

-- mike...............

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 767 days


#6 posted 03-18-2015 12:15 PM



So I should process these logs as soon as possible, rough turn, seal and dry. Sound right? By process I mean cut them to what ever blank size the log will make.

- CaptainColdBeer

Yes, if you can get them rough turned to the finished item great, but it sounds like a lot of turning. At the least get them cut with the pith out. Getting rid of the pith then storing out of direct sun will go a long way in preventing cracks until you can rough turn them.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View CaptainColdBeer's profile

CaptainColdBeer

7 posts in 632 days


#7 posted 03-19-2015 04:57 PM

So I got about half of the logs cut and I painted the ends with latex paint. I am going on vacation for a week and wanted to get the center out of the biggest logs. I got the logs in my barn now. Out of the sun. Its crazy how fast the wood cracked and turned color. I cut these on sunday. By Wensday night the heart wood had changed from red to tan and huge 1/16 to 1/8 ” cracks were in the ends. I cut the ends off about an inch and the cracks had not gone in. Then cut out the middle. Any more advice or ideas for the rest of the logs is welcomed.

View CaptainColdBeer's profile

CaptainColdBeer

7 posts in 632 days


#8 posted 03-19-2015 04:58 PM

Does anybody have any projects that they turned from Red Cedar? Please share some pics.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3599 posts in 1953 days


#9 posted 03-19-2015 06:21 PM

This may start an argument, and if it does, I apologize in advance….

If you cut an inch off the end every time it cracks, pretty soon you will have a lot of 1” slices. All with cracks.
If you leave it whole, you’ll probably have cracks go up a few inches from each end until you are ready to turn it.

Don’t attempt to stop the cracks, you don’t have the proper drying equipment or skills.

When it cracks, fill the crack with your favorite epoxy mixed with whatever you like. SOme use diamond dust, some use charcoal, some use black enamel paint, some use ground up turquoise and a lot of other stuff.

Instead of fighting the cracks, embrace them. I have a cedar log I have been aging for 4 years, cracks are only about 3” long. I also have a walnut log that has cracked about 3’ in two years. I will turn it into a Nakishima inspired table, with dutchmen and bowties.

Good luck I wish you the very best.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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

HomeRefurbers.com