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What to do with a Cherry Tree

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cd

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I have been offered a small (about 10" dia trunk I've been told) cherry tree. I have not seen it yet but if I help to fell it I'm welcome to any wood I want. I want to use it for turning and so I'm looking for advice on how to cut it up store it ect until I can use it. Some I would like to turn green but I would also like to leave some to dry for a bit. I'm aware that I need to seal the ends of the logs but any other advice/comments to help me make the most of this would be grateful.


cd
 

Taffy Turner

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CD,

Welcome to thw forum. Cherry can be a tricky wood to season - I have tried air drying some branches and some trunk wood on two seperate occasions, and both times they split badly. Next time I am going to plank them before putting them to dry - might be worth your while planking yours too if you have the facilities / time / inclination.

If you are going to dry some, I would suggest that you need to find somewhere cool to stack it, and make sure that it is out of any direct sunlight. Seal the ends either with a specialist endgrain sealer, or with any old PVA glue that you have that needs using up (thanks to Alf for that tip!).

Good luck!

Gary
 

cd

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Thanks Alf for the links lots of helpful stuff there,
Gary spoke to a fellow turner at work said the same thing, Cherry tends to split very badly when drying.
I am now wondering since I want to turn it would it be better to rough turn it quite soon then let it dry out a for a while. Or should I just try to finish items quite thin and hope they don't split as they dry

cd
 

Taffy Turner

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CD,

I don't really know the answer to your question. Alan Holtham wrote an article in one of the turning mags about rough turning a load of cherry blanks and they all split and had to be thrown away. I think it depends on how much residual stress is in the wood to start with. I read an article somewhere that said cherry is very susceptible to residual stress, so for example if it has been growing somewhere very windy, it will have a lot of stresses in it, which cause splitting as it dries. Also, branch wood has more stress in due to having to resist the force of gravity while growing - I don't know whether this is true or not, but it seemed a reasonable theory.

You may have more success wet turning them nice and thin, but I suspect that you may have a few "splitters" even then.

Good luck!

Gary
 

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