Cherry plum - advice on drying/preparing?

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IanB

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Hi, I was lucky enough to get the trunk of a cherry plum (prunus cerasifera) which came down in February's storm. Unfortunately though it had a lot of rot, and after cutting it up I've only managed to salvage some small pieces of sound wood, some of which have some holes where I've gouged out remaining rotten bits.

It has some gorgeous colouring though, and a little spalting, so I'm keen to make the most of it if I can, even if I only get some small pieces at the end of the day:
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So my question is, what should I best do to maximise my chances of getting something usable? Should I paint the end grain and stack it somewhere (outside? in an unheated garage or greenhouse?). Or is it better to rough out some bowls and spindles first? Or anything else?

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks,
Ian
 

alex robinson

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Hi, I was lucky enough to get the trunk of a cherry plum (prunus cerasifera) which came down in February's storm. Unfortunately though it had a lot of rot, and after cutting it up I've only managed to salvage some small pieces of sound wood, some of which have some holes where I've gouged out remaining rotten bits.

It has some gorgeous colouring though, and a little spalting, so I'm keen to make the most of it if I can, even if I only get some small pieces at the end of the day:
View attachment 132566 View attachment 132567

So my question is, what should I best do to maximise my chances of getting something usable? Should I paint the end grain and stack it somewhere (outside? in an unheated garage or greenhouse?). Or is it better to rough out some bowls and spindles first? Or anything else?

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks,
Ian
Hi Ian,

I have always had most success roughing out bowls and then painting them with pva. They can be left for a few months and re-turned. Not 100% survival, but pretty good. I know other have plenty of tricks such as bags of shavings etc. Prunus is gorgeous, but notorious for splitting.
I also find that many that start to split can be saved with a dab of super glue when you first see the crack forming. I use cheap 50g bottles from Screwfix.
Good luck! Alex
 

IanB

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Thank you both. It's good to know that splitting is an issue with plum so I will take extra care! I've also found a few other helpful threads on here, so thanks also to those who gave the benefit of their experience there.

@Lakeburch they are beautiful! If I manage to produce anything half as nice I will be very happy!
 

Stigmorgan

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Thank you both. It's good to know that splitting is an issue with plum so I will take extra care! I've also found a few other helpful threads on here, so thanks also to those who gave the benefit of their experience there.

@Lakeburch they are beautiful! If I manage to produce anything half as nice I will be very happy!
I believe (could be wrong) most fruit woods suffer with splitting
 

Linus

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I helped a friend fell his cherry tree last year as it was rotting. I sealed the ends with wax and then rough turned some a couple of months later. The rough bowls were stored in paper bags with shavings for about 3 months and then I finished them once they reached 12%. The wood was quite soft in places with tearout so before final cut I painted the surface liberally with sanding sealer (shellac/spirit). This seemed to work and the final product sealed, sanded, and waxed as per the pictures. Lovely wood to use.
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