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Advice on seasoning wood

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Croyboy

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I am a novice Turner.
I saw some trees being taken down today and asked for some of the wood.
It's oak (see photos).
I know it has to be left for some time before turning and I know that I should seal the ends with wax or pva.
However should i remove the moss, cut the logs shorter, store them inside/outside (I have a wood store for log burner).Any other do's and dont's?
Any advice would be greatfully received.
Thanks
Patrick
 

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Stigmorgan

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I'm no expert and have yet to actually turn anything but from the hundreds of YT videos I've watched it depends on what you want to produce, if you like natural edge with bark on show then check out Al Furtado he turns all his stuff still green and has amazing results, if you want clean pristine finishes without any cracks or inclusions then from what I've seen as long as you seal the ends you just need to store them somewhere dry.

This is just from what I've seen on YT videos though, I'm sure someone else with real experience will confirm/correct me.
 

Lazurus

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Depends on what you want to turn, you could part turn and leave to dry in shavings and a paper bag. If you leave them as they are they just will not dry, boards take around 1 year per inch of thickness to dry. I would cut into bowl blanks, seal with wax or similar and leave a year or two, they will still not dry completely but it may help and relieve some of the stresses which will cause checks and shakes.
 

Spence

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Seal what you can after processing it into rough blanks. Have each log split or cut down the center of the pith.

Then seal it with sealer, latex paint, pvs glue or dip in wax. Then either wet turn it or season it.

The reason I say to seal it first regardless of whether you plan to rough turn it green is mostly because its Christmas and people have an awful habit of bothering you so may have something that you don't seal and intend to turn but never get round to it. Next thing you know it's February and the wood is checked or mouldy.

I've had good results with wax and latex paint I bought to paint my shed walls, I had spare so dipped the blanks into the giant bucket. Wax is good for spindle sized bits.

You can leave the bark on but it will have to come off eventually. Even if you do natural edged bowls it will still mostly need to come off. Clear off the moss with a good wire brush outside, and any bits of dirt.

If you are processing blanks further with a bandsaw and a circle jig it is recommended to clean off dirt as best you can to prolong the light of the blade. It will also give you the opportunity to look for nails in the wood.

If you plan on using a bandsaw I'd recommend a green wood cutting blade from tuffsaws, they have a very aggressive set to the teeth and will make short work of them. Just email and ask Ian and he'll tell you exactly what you need.

If you plan to use a chainsaw solely you might want to lop off the corners to save a huge amount of time while turning, not as much as a bandsaw blank would but enough to make taking the time beforehand worthwhile. If you don't feel safe or don't have a bandsaw you can split the logs down the middle with a large chisel or sever wedges and a hammer but this is physically harder to do.
 

CHJ

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Croyboy":1f57cem2 said:
….
I know it has to be left for some time before turning and I know that I should seal the ends with wax or pva.
However should i remove the moss, cut the logs shorter, store them inside/outside ...
Have you had a look at the Help Sticky at the top of the section? there are some notes on the subject there.
 

Croyboy

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Thanks for all the advice - i think I will cut them down to 'blank' size.
As for sealing them at the blank stage - do i just seal the 'raw' edge - where the grain is cut or all over.
May be a daft question but I want to get it right.
Also, once cut and sealed are they ok in a woodstore (exposed to the air but not the elements) or indoors?
Patrick
 

Roland

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Out doors is better. If you bring them inside, where it’s warmer and drier, then they will dry out more quickly and are more likely to crack.
 

CHJ

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Croyboy":w1if35vo said:
…...
As for sealing them at the blank stage - do i just seal the 'raw' edge - where the grain is cut or all over.
...
It's covered in the link given above
If you cut the logs with a bandsaw to to form a Blank in a rough approximation of a bought item then you need to seal the whole of the periphery, to make sure you have got all the endgrain but not the faces. Don't leave the sealing until another day or even until after lunch if the wood is not partially seasoned.
 

KT -andy

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I'm new to this wood turning habit .
Last year I got a few logs and put them away to season , I didn't bother to seal any of it and now have a load of fire wood ! The 2 '-3' long bits have split badly and the shorter bits have split and gone mouldy .
I tried turning some of them - it didn't end well ! My full face shield has undoubtedly saved me several trips to A&E and a new set of teeth .
Lesson learnt .
 

Robbo3

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You only need to seal the ends of the logs, the sooner the better.
There's a saying in woodturning that you keep your wood as long as you can for as long as you can. If you cut it into the lengths that you need & it cracks it either becomes waste or you have smaller bits than you need.
By leaving it over length, if it cracks, there should be enough good wood to work with.
Leave them outdoors, preferably out of the sun.
Don't worry too much about mould, brush it off & reseal. Fungi cause spalting which can be very attractive. It's trial & error stopping it before the wood becomes too rotten.
 

Robbo3

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Sycamore tree cut down by a neighbour. He asked me how I wanted it cut & the next day this is how I found.

Sycamore 1.jpg


Sycamore 2.jpg


End grain sealed with diluted PVA glue that got frost damaged.
 

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