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  1. #1
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    Default Problems with Liquid Amber (Sweet Gum)

    I scored some Liquid Amber (Sweet Gum for those north of the equator ) back in February and decided to turn a piece last week. It split so bad while turning it, it flew apart in the chuck . Not to be deterred I tried another piece today. Damn stuff splits like crazy. Is this a wood that has to be turned green/bone dry, or is it totally useless for turning, or maybe it's me . Any advice from anyone who has managed to turn LA without it splitting would be greatly appreciated.
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    To grow old is inevitable.... To grow up is optional

    Confidence, the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

    What could possibly go wrong.

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  3. #2
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    Get rid of the heart John.

  4. #3
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    But you already knew that, didn't you?
    I may be weird, but I'm saving up to become eccentric.

    - Andy Mc (AKA "Ghost who posts." )

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo View Post
    Get rid of the heart John.
    Fair call on that one Robbo, but the one that blew apart had no heart or no hint of any branch. Still split like crazy. I was going at it pretty hard though .
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    To grow old is inevitable.... To grow up is optional

    Confidence, the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

    What could possibly go wrong.

  6. #5
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    Default

    Grotty stuff mate, had similar issues myself.
    No good for turning, and they leave sharp seed pods all over the yard that hurt like a bast%$#rd when you're barefoot!

  7. #6
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    Thumbs down

    Looks like you have just found yourself a new source of firewood GJ!!

  8. #7
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    Default Liquid amber.

    Hi All,
    You maybe using the wrong piece,Knots & all. I've found it to be the quickest drying timber of them all. The difference being that I use limb timber. The L/Amber was cut down in Oct. & was dead dry in Feb. the following year. 5 months.

    Like I said, Limb Timber. This lot would have been up to 4in. - 100mm, placed upside down & up against a North East wall/fence, outside of course, to keep the UV Rays from it.
    I probably Turn Smaller articles than most of you.

    It is one of the best Turning Timbers you will find ???.
    Has great colour, finishes well, with great grain.

    Said my bit.

    Regards,
    issatree.

  9. #8
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    John....ya' gotta' talk nice to them, otherwise they want to "split"
    Cheers,
    Ed

    Do something that is stupid and fun today, then run like hell !!!

  10. #9
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    Default Liquid Amber

    Hi Grumpy John

    One thing I found with liquid amber stay away from the heart we cut some 300x75s anything with heart split from end to end and the next slab opened up on the heart side . sawn green and well seasoned its a lovely crisp timber to turn and takes a good finish.

    Cheers Tony
    Tony

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by artme View Post
    Looks like you have just found yourself a new source of firewood GJ!!
    No it's the worst firewood you could find.

  12. #11
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    Maybe trees vary . I have turned liquidamber from at least three sources with no problems including bowls to nearly 400mm diameter ,this was from the main trunk . If you get good stuff it's great to turn .

    Ted

  13. #12
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    Default

    Turned one bowl out of dry LA once .... colour was kack, no figure and it drank oil like a clapped out Ford Anglia.
    Cheers, Ern

  14. #13
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    have just got hold of a log of liquid Amber about 400 mm across. The plan is to carve a statue straight into the log.
    Reading the comments here in this thread, do you good people think that this would be feasible.

    Thanks
    Terry

  15. #14
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    Terry, I can only comment on my experience with LA, and it has been all bad. Over 90% of the pieces I cut into turning blanks, sealed and stored in racking have developed fine splits that open up the minute you start working the timber. IMHO LA is not worth the trouble, so much so that I've loaded it all into the trailer and it's off to the tip today, you can see the fine cracks in one of the pieces poking out from under some old carpet.

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    To grow old is inevitable.... To grow up is optional

    Confidence, the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

    What could possibly go wrong.

  16. #15
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    I had half a tree of LA in my shed after it was cut down in my MIL place. Thought I would leave it for a couple of years to dry out but the borers got into it before I could do anything with it.

    Dumped the lot....guess I saved myself some trouble going by Grumpy's experience

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