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Most cost effective blanks?

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nev

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Is there a more cost effective way of buying larger diameter blanks than the usual turners supplies/ ebay/ etc.
I was looking for a suitable (uninteresting ) timber blank for this months challenge and find that anything over 9in is generally 3in or more thick and therefore a little on the pricey side.
anyone know of any outlets that sells maybe 1.5in thick boards of a plain looking timber (beech? sycamore? poplar?) in not huge quantities? or a good cheap supplier of large chopping boards or something that can be recycled into platter blanks?
 

=Adam=

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Nev, I have some iroko or sapele which would suit what your looking for! Between 8 and 10" wide and about 2" thick.
 

Tazmaniandevil

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I'm lucky on that front, getting all of my timber free. I work at my local university, which is set in acres of private land and surrounded by trees. I get first pick of any tree surgery or felling. Anything I don't take is chopped up for firewood or put through a chipper for use as mulch.

It may be worth approaching your local council land services department. When they cut any trees, they probably do something similar with the timber.
You have to dry it of course.
My approach to this is to cut it into blanks, paint the end grain, and wrap it in several layers of newspaper before stacking in the airing cupboard. I've also had mixed results using the oven. Any blanks freshly cut seem to want to crack, but if it has been cut a few weeks previously it seems to fare better.
 

nev

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Cheers guys,

gregmcateer":2cb5zrc8 said:
local tree surgeons / landscapers?

Or poss a sawmill, (as opposed to timber yard, where they usually just sell on prepared timber)?
I was thinking more along the lines of seasoned, ready to use, off the shelf (or even of the shelf ) ready for the impatient amongst us :roll:

=Adam=":2cb5zrc8 said:
Nev, I have some iroko or sapele which would suit what your looking for! Between 8 and 10" wide and about 2" thick.
PM sent (in a minute or two)

Thinking about it I suppose it would be suppliers to cabinet makers or joinery that I need to look for?
 

woodyturner

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Most joinery company's will let you take there of-cuts away or let you have them very cheep and you can sometimes get some descent sized bits for platters the most common woods are Oak,Mahogany, sapelie
 

CHJ

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Does not help in this particular situation, but early on in my blank buying days I cottoned on to the fact that buying planks or thicker slabs and cutting my own round blanks was more cost effective.
To this end I now keep a few 25-30-40-50 mm thick short planks/slabs by me for 'emergency' use.
I don't travel specifically to purchase these days but take the opportunity when passing near such places as Yandles, (Somerset) Ockenden timber (Powys) or ISCA Woodcrafts at Tredegar House (Close to M4 if your are traveling that way) to pick up a replacement or see if there is a second quality plank at the right price that might come in handy for the odd turning blank between the knots etc.
I half heartedly keep a list of likely places that might be worth dropping into if I am in the area and have a few minutes to spare. Don't know if any are near your flight path in the next couple of weeks.

Late Edit:--Forgot to add, Westonbirt being very close to me is an ideal spot to pick up goodies for special projects when the likes of MAC timbers visit on Treefest days.
 

tekno.mage

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I very rarely buy blanks at all now, although I did when I first started turning - I live on a farm and my partner processes most of our own turning wood and firewood. I do on occasion buy sycamore and birch planks from a local timber yard/firewood supplier - but mainly because he is so cheap that for some jobs it works out cheaper buying planked wood from him than processing it ourselves (in terms of time, bandsaw blades and chainsaw fuel).
 

Elapid

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I looked on ebay for local log suppliers. I bought a couple sacks of logs to practice with which turned out to be oak but it turned nicely or seemed to to a beginner like me. I spoke to the guy when he delivered the logs and now have a great supply of cheap dried seasoned logs whenever I want them and pay £3 for every 30kg.
 

Richard Findley

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Hi Nev

I've often thought about selling blanks as part of my range as I can buy timber at a good trade price but the cost of postage/carriage which, because of the weight, it becomes prohibitive. The other option would be to sell boards from which you could cut a number of bowl blanks or whatever you fancy. I would need to check the carriage charge on a board but it is possible that one carriage charge added to a board that you could cut around 5 bowls from might be viable.

Cheers

Richard
 

nev

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Richard Findley":1j31b511 said:
Hi Nev

I've often thought about selling blanks as part of my range as I can buy timber at a good trade price but the cost of postage/carriage which, because of the weight, it becomes prohibitive. The other option would be to sell boards from which you could cut a number of bowl blanks or whatever you fancy. I would need to check the carriage charge on a board but it is possible that one carriage charge added to a board that you could cut around 5 bowls from might be viable.

Cheers

Richard
Hi Richard,
it would be interesting to know if it is viable. I think if one has an account with the likes of Fedex, which from memory charges about a tenner for a parcel up to 30kg?, it might be cost effective but becomes rather pricey if one uses the post office.

cheers
 

Richard Findley

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Hi Nev

Finally had a chance to look into this. Here is an example of one board I have in stock. You tell me if it is good value:

American Ash- 6ft long, 11" wide and 2" thick -£45
Carriage - £15

Total £60

So if you just wanted bowl blanks they'd work out at £10 each and it looks like really nice timber.

Let me know your thoughts

Cheers

Richard
 

Davidf

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Elapid":1wbx1mvo said:
I looked on ebay for local log suppliers. I bought a couple sacks of logs to practice with which turned out to be oak but it turned nicely or seemed to to a beginner like me. I spoke to the guy when he delivered the logs and now have a great supply of cheap dried seasoned logs whenever I want them and pay £3 for every 30kg.
Can I jump in here?

I ve got a some oak here but as I speed up I'm going to get through it all quickly.

If I order a load of seasoned logs (which are advertised atm) is this likly to be a good source of material?

I ve got a copy of "The Introduction to Wood Turning" here, which warns of using the pith of the trunk....... is this a real issue? In my ignorance I ve used the pith before to reasonable effect or was I just lucky?

I picked up three birch trunks off freecycle last week. Again, have I got to be careful to cut out a section avoiding the very centre?



TIA

Good post Nev,




David
 

tekno.mage

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The pith in a log is usually avoided for two reasons - in most woods it is soft and spongey and would result in a soft spot or hole in the finished work which is normally undesirable. Also, leaving wood in log form to dry will result in splitting, usually centred on the pith. It is therefore normal to splt logs through the pith into half or quarter sections before drying.

There are of course, a few exceptions to this - some woods don't split as much when drying (ash being an example of this) so it is perfectly possible to end up with a nice dry small ash log suitable to make a vase, for instance. The pith in ash is actually very soft, but in a vase, the centre of the work will be removed so the only place the pith will be visable would be the base, where it may not cause a problem, or could be concealed with a decorative insert. I use interesting branchwoods to make light pulls, and here the pith igets drilled out as the light pull has a hole drilled through the centre to take the cord.

People turning green wood will often use a whole log or large branch, and turn items such as hollow forms, vases and goblets with thin walls - these often distort, rather than split as they dry (which can be the point of using the green wood) - and the pith is not seen as a problem.

It is possible to "harden up" areas of pith using superglue, as you may find pith from side branches or forks appearing in your work - this is often the case when using small branch wood of hedgerow trees such as blackthorn & hawthorn or even boxwood.
 

Davidf

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tekno.mage":zx8d1n7t said:
The pith in a log is usually avoided for two reasons - in most woods it is soft and spongey and would result in a soft spot or hole in the finished work which is normally undesirable. Also, leaving wood in log form to dry will result in splitting, usually centred on the pith. It is therefore normal to splt logs through the pith into half or quarter sections before drying.

There are of course, a few exceptions to this - some woods don't split as much when drying (ash being an example of this) so it is perfectly possible to end up with a nice dry small ash log suitable to make a vase, for instance. The pith in ash is actually very soft, but in a vase, the centre of the work will be removed so the only place the pith will be visable would be the base, where it may not cause a problem, or could be concealed with a decorative insert. I use interesting branchwoods to make light pulls, and here the pith igets drilled out as the light pull has a hole drilled through the centre to take the cord.

People turning green wood will often use a whole log or large branch, and turn items such as hollow forms, vases and goblets with thin walls - these often distort, rather than split as they dry (which can be the point of using the green wood) - and the pith is not seen as a problem.

It is possible to "harden up" areas of pith using superglue, as you may find pith from side branches or forks appearing in your work - this is often the case when using small branch wood of hedgerow trees such as blackthorn & hawthorn or even boxwood.

cheers 8)
 
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