what is monkey puzzle tree like to turn, I have found a well seasoned log in a a barn been there about 12 years, no idea what he wants for it but he is a sawyer so it won't be a give away. Cannot see what the grain is like. Anyone help.
Haven't used it myself but believe it is a soft, resinous timber, coniferous of course, and not particularly enjoyable to turn (I recall being told by the well known turner over Guildford way who does a lot of it but whose name I forget !), but does give stunning results if done well and featuring the side branch growth rings which tend to be spaced evenly around the trunk.
It's a worldwide protected species , before anyone rushes out to cut one down. Chile pines are actually endangered in Chile. That's besides the point. All of the bowls I've ever seen have been end grain, turned to show the knots which radiate symetrically. They have all been very "chunky", so I suspect the stuff may be difficult to turn/ a bit unstable, or both.
As others have said, nice end product, horrible route to get there! (loads of Resin + knots are v.hard and rest is soft so bump bump bump is the order of the day). Of course, to get the knotty effect end grain turning is the way to use this timber so even less fun!
I've just rough turned 4 MP bowls and as mentioned above it's not much fun until the bark is off and out of the workshop - That is where all the resin is and the sweet sickly smell to go with it. The bark oozes resin everywhere and it dries hard enough to take garage floor paint off (DAMHIKT) and in a few weeks is as hard as amber. Incidentally the bark on my log was well over an inch thick.
It is best turned end-grain with the branches on a level but it's not too bad to turn wet with sharp tools but what it's like when it's dry I don't quite know - yet.
If the log is old and dry then it may be less messy but probably will be more difficult going if the knots are as hard as Simon says.
Some of the best logs have a blue spalting stain swirling through them so that may be something to look for - but that'll only be apparent once the bark's off.