Quantcast

Seasoning for beginners

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Vann

Established Member
Joined
15 Oct 2008
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
4
Location
Petone, New Zealand
Hi all. I've been around the Hand Tools forum for a few years, but this is my first venture in this neck of the woods.

I need to turn some handles for chisels and two egg-beater type drills. Most of the European timbers mentioned just aren't available over here (New Zealand). I've heard that fruit trees are good for tool handles so I saved a few pieces when I cut down a peach tree a month ago. The only fruit tree references I've seen are of apple, pear or plum, so is peach any good?

I had heard to wax the cut ends, but yesterday I read here that PVA is suitable, so this morning I trimmed the ends (no splitting yet) and applied PVA glue to the fresh cuts (much less hassle than melting a bunch of candles - which I hadn't got around to doing anyway :oops: ).

So far, I've stored the pieces in the garage (it's still the end of winter here) but I guess I'm going to have to find somewhere cooler for the summer. Our basement stays fairly cool even in the height of summer (~<10 degrees C), would that be suitable?

Thanks in advance, Vann.
 

CHJ

Established Member
Joined
31 Dec 2004
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
34
Location
Cotswolds UK
Apart from the obvious of keeping out of direct sunlight and dry heat extremes the most important thing is to keep the humidity within reasonable levels around the wood.

What you are trying to do is let the outer wood dry at a slow enough rate to give enough time for the inner moisture to migrate outwards to replace it.

Most Fruit wood is rather dense in nature and does take a longer time for this to process to take place, hence it's propensity to split as the outer layers shrink due to moisture loss whilst the core is still swollen.

So although you want some air movement around the wood to move the moisture, if you can loosely cocoon the wood in a thick paper bag or loose fabric or plastic throw you will maintain a more even humidity around the whole of the wood piece and keep a better balance of moisture loss.

So if your suggested storage area remains at a higher humidity level than elsewhere you have available it may be an advantage.
Best bet is to put samples in different locations and see what results, everyones location and circumstances are different due to local humidity etc. that way you will build up experience as to what works best for you, hopefully any losses won't be too high but at least they will indicate what to avoid.
 

Vann

Established Member
Joined
15 Oct 2008
Messages
1,824
Reaction score
4
Location
Petone, New Zealand
Thanks Chas. I've got 6 pieces. I'll spread them around and see what they're like in 12 months.

Cheers, Vann.
 

one-dip

New member
Joined
5 May 2012
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
scotland
Hello All, Im a newbie and have joined this site to get some help with woodturning. I havnt done much since the compulsary Mug tree and wooden bowl during O grade woodwork at school many moons ago. I have unlimited access to green timber, some of which has been felled for a few years. I have been cutting blocks that are roughly 9 inches square for my Dad to use on the lathe. Ive heard that the wood needs to be sealed? Is this just the ends? Which is better glue or wax. Most white wood glues are really expensive, Ive heard talk of PVA is this the same as wood glue? Ive got a plasterer contact who treats the walls with PVA, is this the same stuff. I have access to covered open ended storage, such as a barn and indoor shed areas. Can you leave the wood in these areas untreated to season naturally? The wood is being turned for bowls and coasters depending on size.

Sorry for all the Qs. Ive had a look around the site and cant find a newbie thread or one dedicated to seasoning. Please point me in the right direction if Ive missed it. Great site well laid out and uncluttered.
 

CHJ

Established Member
Joined
31 Dec 2004
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
34
Location
Cotswolds UK
one-dip":1ddi3s8l said:
.....Sorry for all the Qs. Ive had a look around the site and cant find a newbie thread or one dedicated to seasoning. Please point me in the right direction if Ive missed it. Great site well laid out and uncluttered.
There are some pointers in the health,safety and info sticky at the top of this section.

Old paint, melted candle wax, PVA adhesive are all suitable, apply to all exposed end grain, you are trying to reduce moisture loss rate to that occurring through the bark or open split face if you have split the logs.
 

Chris1965

Established Member
Joined
25 Apr 2012
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
With bowls and hollow forms you can rough turn them to say a wall thickness of one inch, then coat the end grain or the whole thing with a 50% pva mix, then wrap in paper and dry store for 3 to 6 months before final turning. Wax is traditional but is a messy time consuming business.
You can also microwave wood to drive out the moisture, again, some experimenting would be required as there is no staed fast formula that I have found.
You could also, for bowls and hollow forms, soak the rough turned item for 24 hrs in de-natured alcohol, then air dry and wrap in paper, the item will be ready for final turning in 3 weeks.
 

one-dip

New member
Joined
5 May 2012
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
scotland
Thank you all for the advice and links. I have been cutting the logs with a chainsaw and getting rid of the bark leaving the "sides" exposed. Has anyone ever tried banding the ends to stop cracks appearing? What I mean is using metal banding normally used to secure loads onto pallets. I have access to plastic banding but I dont think that would be strong enough?
 

OldWood

Established Member
Joined
1 Mar 2005
Messages
901
Reaction score
2
Location
Edinburgh
one-dip":3sflufov said:
Thank you all for the advice and links. I have been cutting the logs with a chainsaw and getting rid of the bark leaving the "sides" exposed. Has anyone ever tried banding the ends to stop cracks appearing? What I mean is using metal banding normally used to secure loads onto pallets. I have access to plastic banding but I dont think that would be strong enough?
Unless you specifically want to create end grain turnings, most turnings are done from half logs. You need to rip the logs down the middle and as far as possible get rid of the centre - the pith - of the log. With really big wood, two cuts are made about 2 - 3 cm apart This helps very considerably with avoiding splitting. Arrange the log horizontally and use the chain saw along iits length.

Rob
 

CHJ

Established Member
Joined
31 Dec 2004
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
34
Location
Cotswolds UK
one-dip":zzbbg6yq said:
Thank you all for the advice and links. I have been cutting the logs with a chainsaw and getting rid of the bark leaving the "sides" exposed. .......

You need to keep any logs as long as possible to reduce the wastage from end splitting, unless you are going to green turn them straight away, even then cutting them 1/3rd longer than the diameter is a wise precaution to counteract any splitting that may occur between cutting and getting on the lathe. if this time period is to be longer than the current day then end grain sealing is needed.

The Bark should not be removed from logs, the surface moisture loss will be too rapid and they will probably split from the periphery towards the core.

You must not dry any exposed surface quicker than the internal moisture can migrate out, else the drying wood will split as it shrinks.
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
11,789
Reaction score
174
Location
Bristol
With little bits of branches from garden trimming and suchlike I have seasoned them by packing a cardboard box with woodchips (from turning sessions) and burying the logs in the woodchips, then just forgetting about them for a year or more. I guess it's the same general principle - the outer atmosphere will be slightly drier than the wood, but not dramatically so, and total moisture loss is slow and controlled.
 

CHJ

Established Member
Joined
31 Dec 2004
Messages
20,070
Reaction score
34
Location
Cotswolds UK
Yes, the slower they dry out, the less likelihood of splitting.

Even slabbed wood benefits from being cocooned in a micro climate that evens out moisture loss rate.
One small wood yard I visited that proved very helpful with wood choices even went so far as to have the prize slabs buried at the bottom and back of the stacks in the open fronted sheds so that they were in the highest humidity.

Putting logs in a paper potato sack seems to help reduce the uneven surface moisture loss, presumably because the whole log surface is at the same humidity level.
 

Latest posts

Top