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Selling green wood for turning?

Discussion in 'Wood Carving & Turning' started by Sourwould, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. Sourwould

    Sourwould ArboristSite Operative

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    I've got a bunch of big blocks of elm (24-32" x 2' lengths). A guy I know, who wants to get into bowl turning, suggested I sell some for blanks. I know you can try to sell anything, but...

    Do people do this?
    How would one value this?
    Does elm carry any kind of premium because of Dutch elm disease?
    Sell green in log form or cut blanks and dry?

    Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

    Here's a picture, just because all threads should have pictures.

    IMG_20180619_072707.jpg
     
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  2. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    @Sourwould many turners rough out green blanks & then dry for a speedyer result. Others go nearly to the completed shape to allow the warp from drying to add to the"artistry".
    Personally I am on the lookout for catalpa trees to drop or logs to mill. It is similar to basswood in eveness of grain even color. Catalpa is half again as heavy and holds details of the cut much better. The meeting of the carving club wood see me hanging out as soon as the blanks were dried. Check out the cost of basswood blanks for carving. Volume to volume it wood be easier to get that money from catalpa IMHO.
    I've had two separate peeps stop and pay money for irregularly sliced slabs that I had not cut into firewood lengths yet. I had no use, they did!
    Good fortune to you
     
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  3. Sourwould

    Sourwould ArboristSite Operative

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    I've never heard of catalpa, it may not grow where I am from. Sycamore and elm (to a lesser extent) seem to be the most common carving type woods available here. I have a book on the English Windsor chair industry that mentions both of these species. I'm not sure if this is because they're that good for carving or because there's a limited variety of species available in England.

    Large diameter wood is not as available here in the flat lands like it was in the mountains.
     
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  4. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Catalpa has long seed pods that resemble string beans. Nick named "Indian cigar" from the look of the pods when the large spade ( card deck) shape leaves have fallen. Just another marketable product we may have an opportunity to harvest.
    As far as large diameter turnings, please consider what size lathe wood be needed to support the weight. The hp/torque to spin that block. The person who will want a green block this size will prolly be willing to pay IMHO IMG_20171126_142621.jpg In this part of the Ozarks 40" diameter is not uncommon, but this maple stood out at the yard waste dump
    Good luck
     
  5. Sourwould

    Sourwould ArboristSite Operative

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    Weird, that sounds like redbud. I think there may be catalpa growing in my neighborhood. There's a good few trees here that look like redbud with the seed pods and such, but are too big (in my mind) to be redbud.
     
  6. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    One I see regularly is about 18" diameter trunk with first branches about 6 1/2 feet up. An acquaintance has one that I wanna see because it is 50 or more feet tall from his girlfriend's statement. She has a desire to have it removed because of the worms that grow on these. Excellent fish bait from all I've heard. I'm going to have to remember to check the one I see so often. Hope this doesn't bother the home owners!
    Good evening
     
  7. Sourwould

    Sourwould ArboristSite Operative

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    I'll have to snap some pictures. There's one downtown here that has to be 2' or more in diameter.
     
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  8. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    IMG_20180704_151349.jpg
    Here is the foliage & fruit/beans. Creamy color of the wood with pale straight grain if I remember correctly
     
  9. Sourwould

    Sourwould ArboristSite Operative

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    Not a great picture, but I think this may be catalpa.

    IMG_20180704_165416.jpg
     
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  10. BigOakAdot

    BigOakAdot ArboristSite newb

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    We have some very large catalpas in the suburbs of philly. I'll try and get some pictures but I know my friend has some 40" diameter ones right near his house. He's a tree care foreman so I'm gonna have him keep his eyes open for me.
     
  11. Henry3120xp

    Henry3120xp ArboristSite Member

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    If I’m selling bowl blanks I cut them into blocks and coat them with wax to reduce checking. I buy it locally from a woodworking supply store. Anchorseal is one name brand but there are generic versions that work just as well for less money. You can order it from Baileys if you can’t find it locally.
    If I’m going to turn the bowls I prefer to rough turn them green then air dry them for a year before finish turning them. When rough turning you want to leave a wall thickness of at least 10% of the diameter of the bowl. A 10 inch diameter bowl would be 1 inch wall thickness. If the wood is highly figured leave 15%. This allows enough wood to true the bowl back up after warping during drying. The drying time can vary significantly with different species and grain densities. A highly figured blank of crotch wood may need three or four years to fully cure and stabilize, but a clear straight grain soft maple may be dry in as little as three months.
     

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