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Wongdai
8th Jun 2010, 11:46 PM
Ok, so I've got the lathe now, and have purchased and read (some of) the book you all recommended for turning. Great book. Very easy to follow.

Somewhere in the book it makes mention of some turners prefer turning green. Anyway, I want to turn up a lidded container for my daughter, but didn't have too many large chunks of timber floating around to practice on, or even to make the finished product with.

Dropping my daughter off to a friend's house the other day, I noticed on someone's front verge the trunk of a Pencil Pine tree. Not sure of the true name but that is what we call them as kids. These trunk bits were about 10-12 inches across and around two foot long. Ha! I thought, perfect.

So last night I tried one piece out. Well, I might as well have stood under a sprinkler when turning. I got covered in wet crap that I assume is sap. Worse, it was like trying to turn a piece of celery it was so soft.

So, I am assuming turning green doesn't mean what I think it means, or maybe I am doing something wrong.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
9th Jun 2010, 02:17 AM
Yeah, that's how it is. Green turning often involves a rain-coat and gum-boots. :D

Really, it all depends on the timber. And how green it is. Green turning is fun because so many woods are far easier to turn when green than when they're properly cured.

I'll occasionally "waste" a piece of green timber, just because it feels so good (and is so easy) to get one long continuous streamer fling over a shoulder instead of fine dust in the face. :;

Mind you, the results often don't survive for long... usually having a nasty tendency to split or warp outrageously as they start to dry. Still, with a lot of practice and careful selection of woods you can accomplish pieces that can't be done otherwise. eg. The wooden cowboy hats, etc.

John Lucas
9th Jun 2010, 07:10 AM
Although I'll admit that the actual turning of green wood is fun. You get long shavings and it turns easily. However most of what I make requires that the wood be dry. Lidded boxes or containers is definitely one of them. Since I can't usually buy timber of the sizes that I need to do these I have been harvesting my own.
Small blocks are no problem. Large blocks are a pain and of course take several years or more to dry. What I do when I can is to rough turn a piece. Seal the endgrain areas and then store it for 6 months to a year to dry it and then re-turn it.
My problem is that once I've roughed it out I don't seem to get back to it. I have lot of bowls sitting on the top shelf that are dry and should be turned but I would rather play with the most recent wood I get.
Consequently I'm turning more and more green bowls or hollow vessels. turn them thin so they are less likely to crack and they will dry and warp in a few days.

steck
9th Jun 2010, 10:44 AM
I like turning green wood because it gives me access to a wide variety of free timber.
If you green turn stuff to finished size you have to live with the fact that if they don't split they will warp and be an oval shape because the wood shrinks more in one direction.
Generally I green turn to a rough size leaving the walls about 10% thickness of the diameter. i.e. A 20cm bowl with 2 cm thick walls. Wrap it in thick paper and put it away for a couple of months to dry. This thickness generally leaves you enough leeway to turn the dry bowl back to round.
Some people oil or paint the bowl before putting it away to dry. Some only oil or wax the end grain. Some microwave their bowls to dry them - Beware! I burnt one of mine trying this method.
This link is to a pretty comprehensive article on Green Turning. Turning Green Wood (http://www.customwooddesign.com/turninggreenwood-1.html)
You can have a lot of fun finding and harvesting your wood.
Enjoy!

hughie
9th Jun 2010, 12:53 PM
My problem is that once I've roughed it out I don't seem to get back to it. I have lot of bowls sitting on the top shelf that are dry and should be turned but I would rather play with the most recent wood I get.


Don't feel too bad John, I think many of us have the same problem :U I know I have far too many in this category.

As for bowls or hollow vessels turned green I like to paint the outside with BLO and invert them on a shelf at the back of the shed away from all sun/breezes etc. I use card board boxes a lot but they take up a lot more room.

rsser
9th Jun 2010, 02:59 PM
Yeah, true confession time, I've got a bunch of rough-outs waiting for finishing too.

Wongdai
9th Jun 2010, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the tips

Keep at it I shall, but this time with a long sleeved shirt!

RETIRED
10th Jun 2010, 08:32 AM
Thanks for the tips

Keep at it I shall, but this time with a long sleeved shirt!and a plastic Mac.:D

steck
13th Jun 2010, 04:42 PM
As for bowls or hollow vessels turned green I like to paint the outside with BLO and invert them on a shelf at the back of the shed away from all sun/breezes etc.
Hughie,
I have 2 questions for you.
1. How much do you dilute the BLO with turps to brush it on?
2. Does using BLO interfere with repairing any cracks that might happen once the bowl is dry?