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By woodbloke66
An old uni tutor who lives fairly nearby let me have some largish chunks of cherry from her tree that had a severe haircut the other day. Apart from a little hand axe and large sledge to belt it with, I've nowt else to make it into usable bowl blanks.

Having smashed the handle on the very old axe after about an hour...


...of a serious work out, I managed to roughly 'square' four of the best bits and have started to coat the ends with some D4 Everbuild (cheap as chips where I get it :D )

I've left them this size 'cos I want to try out my Woodcut Bowlsaver that I got a while ago from the old firm when said bit of kit was fairly heavily discounted.

The question is, what's the preferred way to convert green timber into manageable chunks fit for seasoning and the lathe, bearing in mind that I have a pathological fear of chain saws? - Rob
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By Harbo
Not something I’ve done but cut it green then store in shavings etc to dry out.
The finish.

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Cherry is notoriously difficult to dry without splitting.
I've had best results salvaging it by slabbing and planking, (bandsaw)

Try to dry it in its own micro climate to avoid rapid surface moisture loss, old PAPER potato sacks for instance.
Old school timber yard practice was to put 'at risk' timber at the back of the open wood store buried by less risky wood so that it was not exposed to rapid humidity changes.
Think in terms of several years as oposed to months in the 'solid'

Leaving it in large enough blocks for coring later is risky in my experience.

Core it Green perhaps but remember to leave a wall thickness in the region of 10% of intended finished diameter to allow for drying ovality, may mean your yield is less than you anticipated.
By Maurizio
I'm with you on the fear of the chainsaw!

The most commonly recommended way is a bandsaw if you have the space?

I've also found a froe to be much less work than an aze.
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By Robbo3
You could try the old plastic/carrier bag method whereby you replace the wood after turning the bag inside out every day for the first week, then every two days for two or three weeks, then every week until no more moisure appears on the inside of the bag. Very labour intensive.

I've now reverted to wrapping either the whole of smaller pieces, or the ends of larger pieces in cling film, sold as mini pallet wrap. This can also promote spalting especially in timbers such as silver birch.
These little rolls are extremely economical in use - they seem to be never ending.
E.g. - 10 rolls (100mm x150m) + dispenser £12.85
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By woodbloke66
peter-harrison wrote:Can I ask why you want to dry it? It's so much nicer to turn when it's green!

I've actually taken them all down to the dump as the chunks are too big to process without a chainsaw, although I have done something with the smallest lump nearest the door in the pic, but that took me over an hour in the lathe to get it to a manageable piece that looked like a rough turned bowl.
If this sort of thing happens again (ie; somebody throws wood at me) I'll have to invest in a chainsaw fairly rapidly - Rob
By TFrench
I use an electric oregon one from screwfix. I have a piece of sleeper with two 3x3s screwed to one side with 45 degree chamfers to create an oversized "vee block". Works great for holding rounds, then you can flip it over to use the flat side once the blanks have a flat cut on them and are nice and stable. Cutting along the grain is very easy and gives nice long noodles - very satisfying!
By Tris
If you do go down the chainsaw route it would be worth contacting a few training providers (Sparsholt college is fairly close to you I think) and take a basic crosscutting and maintenance course.
It will cover enough to help you feel confident using a saw safely.
Oh, and the safety gear tends to cost more than the saw (but less than the loss of a leg :shock:)
By lurker
If they had turned up at my place, I would have split the log down the centre.
Just this action reduces drying splits by about 50%

This is easy with a few wedges and a lump hammer.
You can even make the wedges out of wood.
I find this activity satisfies my inner caveman too :)
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By woodbloke66
lurker wrote:If they had turned up at my place, I would have split the log down the centre.
Just this action reduces drying splits by about 50%

This is easy with a few wedges and a lump hammer.
You can even make the wedges out of wood.
I find this activity satisfies my inner caveman too :)

Tried that with a very small hatchet and a sledge to belt it with; I ended up breaking the handle on the axe :( I had a little more success in roughly 'squaring' the blocks but they were still far too big to get anywhere near the lathe - Rob
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By finneyb
4 tpi bow saw or 7 tpi hand saw Screwfix/ Toolstation for under a £5

By lurker

An axe (IMHO) does not have a wide enough taper.
And anyway one wedge is no where near enough, as you just end up with the equivalent of the sword in the stone, which I guess is how you broke the shaft.
Unless the lump was full of knots I would expect those logs to cleave through the middle easily.

FYI, I have recently split a load of cherry logs that look similar....... Maybe I was lucky?
other than one steel wedge as a starter, the rest were wedge shaped wood off cuts.
You do need three or four.
I have sledges and a splitting maul but find a lump hammer gives me more control of where the split is going.