Hawthorn

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Lakeburch

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I've just acquired some decent pieces of hawthorn typically 8" or so in diameter. My plan is to make pens from this sometime in the future. Does anyone have any advice how best to cut and store the wood ? Should I rough cut it or leave in it standing in lengths? Should I seal the end grain or not bother?
 

Ttrees

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I have some bits of wind fallen hawthorn I sawed for the fun of it.
The tree was very thin and squiggly so the pith was impossible to cut away.
Unsurprisingly it has splits and shakes.
Not sure if I will get anything at all out of it.
Handles if nothing else, its quite dense when dried.
I suggest sealing the ends as quickly as possible.

Have no experience seasoning timber, nevermind hawthorn.
All I can say its prone to a bit of mould in a very damp enviroment, haven't checked the timber since if it has stained it or spalted it, but I've never noticed any degradation from this on the few occasions I've handled the timber.
 

Richard_C

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I had a few bits of hawthorn from a hedge sort out last spring, nothing as big as 8". When finished its rather nice, creamy white colour. I did a couple of small peanut serving bowls straight away and 'got away with it' without splitting.

Turned it green, only a couple of days after cutting, to a bit above finished size and wall thickness. Microwave seasoned then finished. During microwaving it distorted like crazy but didn't split.

My microwave method goes like this:

Weigh it.
Put in MW with a piece of kitchen roll loosely wrapped
c.90 seconds on medium or low power
Take it out, unwrap and give it a few minutes for the water vapour to go
Weigh, repeat .... etc.
After about 4 goes it stops losing significant weight, you're done ) I doubt it ever stops losing weight altogether but you sort of know when its right.
Back on lathe and finish. Expect the tennon or recess to be oval by now - you might need imaginative mounting solutions :)

Not sure if you could do similar for pens, maybe cut something over length and see waht happens of you hurry it up in the MW.
 

Doug B

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Personally if it’s for pen blanks I’d cut the log up to give me oversized pen blanks as they will dry more quickly though I’d still seal the ends. I’d also try spalting a few of the blanks as it spalts well, just dip the ends in fertiliser of your choice & keep moist for a while.
 

Lakeburch

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Thanks all, some great advice there. I've plenty of wood so I'll probably try a few methods, microwave seasoning has got to be worth a go. I'll also try spalting a few, that's something I've never thought of doing before so thanks for the idea.
 

Tanglefoot20

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Hi there lakeburch... I’ve turned hawthorn some success some tragic failure. It really is 50/50....but have a look at this I’ve done....
 

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KimG

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I made half a chess set from Hawthorn, nice stuff to work and pretty stable in decent sizes.
 

dannyr

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hawthornmallet.JPG


maul/mallet

if you need a hefty 'persuader' or are into green woodworking - here's a very different use for the knotty section of a haw tree -- looks unused, but actually made 2 years ago and often been called to action, with hardly a mark on it (I know if I were splitting wood with a froe all day long., it'd show, but it's tough) -- I chose the knotty part on purpose for it's hardness
 

Lakeburch

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View attachment 107017

maul/mallet

if you need a hefty 'persuader' or are into green woodworking - here's a very different use for the knotty section of a haw tree -- looks unused, but actually made 2 years ago and often been called to action, with hardly a mark on it (I know if I were splitting wood with a froe all day long., it'd show, but it's tough) -- I chose the knotty part on purpose for it's hardness
Great idea and probably the coolest mallet I've ever seen...
 

Garden Shed Projects

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View attachment 107017

maul/mallet

if you need a hefty 'persuader' or are into green woodworking - here's a very different use for the knotty section of a haw tree -- looks unused, but actually made 2 years ago and often been called to action, with hardly a mark on it (I know if I were splitting wood with a froe all day long., it'd show, but it's tough) -- I chose the knotty part on purpose for it's hardness
Looks very cool. Is it formed from 1 piece or have you stuck the handle in separately?
 

dannyr

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One piece - partially dry so I could see the shakes (cracks) would only be very small, then deep saw cut around at end of the clear part of trunk/stem that was to be handle, easy to chisel off most then finish with coarse and fine rasp. Treated with used engine oil soak as a preservative, then linseed oil when dried. Was going to rasp off bark and side branch stumps but all is pretty hard, so left it
 
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