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woodgrove

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my new Jet JML-1014 Mini Wood Lathe arrived this week along with grinder, tools and safety equipment.

Garden shed cleared out and all set up.

I'm up and running and having so much fun.
big step turning for the first time but i'm away and I'm really enjoying myself.
lots to learn.

questions
I'm not wanting to splash out on nice wood until I've master my tools, I raided my other halves garage and found some soft wood that he had left over from making a bench.
we were at a garage filling the car up today and outside the petrol station was bags of wood used for fire burners etc ;hard wood kilm dried, for only £5.95 can I use this? or if not what can I use?
also
as a beginner my new lathe came without a chuck but I want to purchase a chuck for turning bowls the choice is endless can someone suggest which one I go for as my first one, I'm not worried about which size bowls at this present time . :?
and another question
daft question this time, we have lots of woodland around us Tintern Chepstow wye valley forest of Dean etc can I pick up the odd bite of wood while out walking , chopped wood etc or am I not allowed to do this? :oops:


J
 

Tazmaniandevil

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Hi from another beginner.
Basically you can use any wood you can get your hands on. "Kiln dried" firewood is likely partly dried, and may still split or warp after turning. Not always a bad thing, sometimes it adds a new dimension to what you have turned.
Not sure of the law outside of Scotland, but up here, if it is on the ground and not in a pile ready to be sold etc. it is fair game.
It might be worth speaking to your local council to see whether they have any timber from wind damage etc.
One of the books I have says that if you can turn pine from the DIY stores to a reasonable finish, you can manage most woods.

As for chucks... don't ask me. I don't have one. I turn bowls and goblets etc. without one. I use a faceplate and glue block to hold the work piece. I probably spend waay too much time working out how to hold a piece of timber, but I'm a hobby guy - not doing it for profit.
 

deserter

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I started out with petrol station fire wood, works great to start out on. Then I moved onto windfall mainly branches and the difference was immense.
If you have any joinery shops close to where you live call in and ask if they have any scraps, where I work we always have bags destined for someone's fire, I often turn these as well most shops roll have scrap oak, sapele, walnut etc. I'm sure for a small donation they'd let you take some away.
When your up to it then you can buy the exotic woods, but I'll bet you'll prefer green windfall still, such s pleasant thing to turn.
As for a chuck I use a clubman chuck from Axminster, really good although I fear I don't do it justice.
 

Paul Hannaby

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I think the forestry commission have some rule about people not taking any bits of fallen wood but that will only apply to woods they own. There are a few local sawmills you could try for wood.

I would second the advice about the Axminster chuck, there are a few to choose from and a wide range of jaws.

Also, why not come to the Forest of Dean woodturners? the next meeting is next Wednesday 16th of May. More details on the website.
 

woodgrove

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Thank you all so much for you replies.

Another question or two.
Green wood and fallen branches; do I still have to wait for the wood to dry out or can i turn it straight away?

My other half he trimmed our apple tree and I've got loads of pieces of wood, do I have to store it away to dry in a dry place ie garden shed or can I put it in the green house which gets quite hot (when we have some sun like this weekend) or will it crack?

Thanks again
J.
 

Silverbirch

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Pieces of green or unseasoned wood are fine for practicing with. You will find it easier to cut than dry, seasoned wood, and as it hasn`t cost you anything, you won`t be too concerned about reducing it to piles of shavings, which is the best way to learn. My suggestion would be to store the best bits of timber somewhere cool, dry and shaded - (definitely not the greenhouse!) and paint the ends of your logs with paint or PVA to help prevent splitting. You are aiming to dry the timber slowly and evenly over a period of time, a year per inch of diameter being a rule of thumb. The less good pieces can be put to use immediately for practice, as already mentioned.
If you make a point of putting aside pieces of green wood you come across, it`s amazing how your stock will build up over time. Once you have a little practice under your belt, you can buy in some prepared blanks or perhaps find some joinery offcuts etc to keep you going while your green wood seasons.

Ian
 

boysie39

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If I were you I would also take up Pauls invitation to the woodturning club. Great place to start
 

CHJ

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woodgrove":2855t951 said:
......or can I put it in the green house which gets quite hot (when we have some sun like this weekend) or will it crack?

.....
You can try some in the greenhouse, a lot depends upon the humidity level you maintain in there. Yes it will readily split if left uncovered in a hot dry greenhouse as it will dry the outer surface and ends too quickly before the internal moisture can migrate out.

I have had success with wood in a greenhouse and still have some in mine. The secret is to cocoon the wood in it's own little climate by covering with loose plastic or fabric to keep the humidity up around the wood, I've had success with some close stacked under the benches where they are not subjected to direct sunlight and are in higher humidity.

As the 'local climate' varies so much between different locations and storage options available around anyones home I suggest that once you have managed to acquire enough wood to keep you occupied you try putting samples away in differing locations to see what results.

If nothing else you will find out for yourself what does not work within a few days, weeks or months at most.

Assuming you have kept it in lengths as long as possible and sealed the ends and any knot/branch cuts thoroughly.

Things you will see:-
It will split while you look at it.
It will split the day before you last checked it.
It will just sit there and lull you into a false sense of security.
It will start spalting, unseen and be a pleasant surprise when you start turning it.
It will grow internal fungus (advanced spalting) under the bark to the point it is not even good for firewood.
It will shed all its sapwood and loose most of its colour contrast attributes (laburnum subjected to wet in storage for instance)
It will suddenly show you just how many little natives of the UK live, move and enjoy life in, and appreciate the attributes of the same bit of wood you treasure.
......
....
...



But just now and again the pleasure of sorting through the stack and finding the perfect piece or if you are lucky a whole batch that made it through gives you a great sense of achievement.

Trying to remember what you did, where, when and how it was achieved is another matter.
 

Silverbirch

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. I have had success with wood in a greenhouse
I must admit I've never tried it myself. My tomatoes were a bit of a disaster last year, so maybe I should give it a whirl. At least I wouldn't have to worry about watering it when I'm away on holiday :lol:
More to the point, it just goes to show that you shouldn't always accept conventional wisdom in woodturning, as in most other aspects of life.

Ian
 

CHJ

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Silverbirch":2eavjn9e said:
.... My tomatoes were a bit of a disaster last year, ...
Looks like mine will be this year, going great putting on lots of new growth then along comes the cold snap and now they look as though they won't even make a noticeable contribution to the compost heap.
 

woodgrove

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thanks for all your advice.

I contacted a sawmill via email yesterday and asked what they did with their off cuts and would I be able to purchase some offcuts the reply email I got back was:
offcuts go to biomass
I only wanted a little bit!! never mind I'll just have to go walking in our local woods.

J,
 

Paul Hannaby

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I did see an ad from one of the local sawmills for offcuts a week or two back, it might be worth contacting them. I'll try to find the details.
 

woodgrove

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hello again.

I'm having the time of my life with my lathe. wow

The minute I walk into my little shed 3 hours later I force myself to finish and close the door on that session!!

I've spent all week in my little shed getting use to my tools.
The one tool I'm busy playing with is the skew, I'm determined to master it. finding that soft spot.

I've found some apple tree pieces of wood in my shed which had dried out from previous trimmings of the apple tree.
I've made my first project a honey dipper and the only two tools I've used was the roughing tool and the skew.
I'm really pleased with it, and impressed.
Isn't it lovely the pattern of the grain its so beautiful.

Today I've been playing with some green wood; trimming off with the roughing tool and then smoothing it off with the skew and then putting it aside to dry out.

Last week I was afraid to turn it on thinking what mess I was going to make!!

Now I'm hooked.

well off to work

J.
 
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