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How to deal with logs

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cisamcgu

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Dear all,

I picked up a piece of beech, ash, sycamore and a couple of pieces of oak. (Pictures attached).

These will need to dry out before I can use them for turning etc. How do I go about this - do I paint them with emulsion, cut them first, leave them inside... I have little grasp of what I need to do, any advice is gratefully received.

Thanks
Andrew
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Robbo3

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Paint the ends with whatever you have, any sort of paint or pva for example. You are blocking the ends of the tubes to slow down the egress of moisture.
Alternatively the bag method. Place each piece in it's own plastic bag. The wood is removed, the bag turned inside out & the wood replaced every day for the first two weeks, then every 2 days for the next 2 weeks & once a week for the next month.
The idea is that the plastic bag provides a micro climate whereby once the air inside is saturated the moisture loss is slowed.
If you keep a record of each log's weight it will show you the moisture loss & when to stop.
 

aesmith

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If left in one piece they will split whatever you do. This because it will shrink different amounts in the three dimensions. For example Beech will shrink about twice as much around the circumference as it does along the radius. Painting the end grain won't prevent this, all that will do is slow down the drying process and help ensure that the ends don't dry quicker than the main body.

Ideally cut them to the rough shape you are looking for, but allow for this shrinkage, then paint the end grain with whatever you have to hand.
 

RichardG

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You'll need a minimum of a chainsaw or a bandsaw or an axe. I only started doing this 2 years ago so very inexperienced but this is my learning so far....

As others have said there are a lot of good videos out there, one simple one which I found useful was.


I've always had the best results by cutting the log up and then rough turning whilst still wet and then leave the rough bowl to dry. When I've had the time to do this I've had 90% success rate.

From my experience with logs, I agree with @aesmith, if you leave it as a log it will split whether you paint the ends or not, if you don't have a chainsaw or bandsaw then wait until the first radial split develops and then drive an axe into the crack to split the log at that point. Wooden wedges will also work. If you don't then you may get several radial splits making the wood less usable. Once split then end sealing is a must.

You end up with a lot of failures no matter how hard you try, some wood is very free spirited. I was given some lovely Prunus which I "processed" into sections and end sealed before stacking and covering with a tarp. Had a look a week later and every single piece was twisted and split, I moved it all to the firewood stack.

I always find wood arrives at the most inconvenient time...In that case I just leave it and accept that much of it will end up as firewood. Here's a load in my waiting pile...plus some that have been processed...

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cisamcgu

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Thanks for the replies and advice. I have cut them up as best I can, and painted the end-grain - I'll see how it goes.

Thanks
Andrew
 
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