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How green for turning?

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disco_monkey79

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I have recently been given a 4' ash stump, that was felled approximately 2 weeks ago.

I know what I'd do if I were using it for sawn timber, but what about for turning? I've only ever turned fully (kiln) dried timber, but I understand it being a little green can be advantageous?

I appreciate that home drying without a moisture metre is going to be a lot of guesswork, but some sort of vague ballpark timescales/greenness would be appreciated.

I'll be slicing it in to blanks shortly.

Thanks!
 

CHJ

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As this is your first venture into drying your own wood I would suggest that yo take two approaches.

Slab a percentage and store it away for two to three years, if you get through the drying phase without splitting then all well and good.
Cut a percentage in blank sizes that you can turn green within as short a timescale as possible. (try wrapping in cling film to reduce splitting while you work through it)

Turn to rough shape, leaving a wall thickness ten times that of the intended finished item. (25mm for a 250mm Bowl) Make sure this is an even thickness including the base area.
They will distort to oval including the holding spigot/socket.
This is then another challenge after they have dried out (6-12 months) as a means of holding such as a Donut Chuck may be needed to true up the holding point to allow finishing.
 

disco_monkey79

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Thanks all - slabbing it is going to be "interesting" , but I like a challenge!

Thanks again
 

CHJ

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d-m, you may be interested in these old Posts refering to handling rough turned items to try and control drying without splitting.

Wraping with Paper

And some earlier links from the above link from the days when I used to try and speed up the drying times.
It did work but time is far better spent turning once you have enough stock by you to allow nature to do all the time consuming work.
 

AndyT

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At risk of stating the obvious... Although most woodworking, including turning, uses dry, seasoned timber, there's a whole world of tradition which uses wood as soon as it is felled. These days it's generally called 'green woodworking' which was also the title of an influential book by Mike Abbot. You'll find some projects on here, eg those by Sheffield Tony, but there are lots of YouTube videos, other forums, clubs and courses.

With your ash, you would need to split it into billets, then shape them with axe/drawknife/lathe to make chair legs and similar.
Turning fresh green wood is a bit like peeling a big carrot - you can get long damp streamers, not dry shavings. With the right construction methods, distortion on final drying is not a problem. Indeed, traditional chair joints exploit it to make strong joints.
 
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