#12
  
New member, new turner here.

I went to a lumber mill thinking i could find some wood for turning.  Bought some 4x4 douglas fir.  Its very hard.

What's the best wood for turning, and the what's the easiest wood to get?  Can I get anything thats not too hard at a lumber mill?  Do I need to order everything online?

Thanks for your advice.
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#13
  right wood for turning? Hercules56 New member, new turn...
Best practice wood is a green tree limb about 2 to 4 inches or so in diameter. Cuts like butter, and can be trown in the burn pile afterward. Free as well. Drive around your neighborhood or around town and find someone trimming or cutting down a tree. Also, firewood piles yield a treasure trove of practice wood, and quite often, super finds.
I've been turning for almost 40 years and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've bought wood for turning.

GM, expert peethtick maker.
The only tool I have is a lathe.  Everything else is an accessory.
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#14
  RE: right wood for turning? Grey Mountain Best practice wood i...
(06-10-2021, 06:47 AM)Grey Mountain Wrote: Best practice wood is a green tree limb about 2 to 4 inches or so in diameter.  Cuts like butter, and can be trown in the burn pile afterward.  Free as well.  Drive around your neighborhood or around town and find someone trimming or cutting down a tree.  Also, firewood piles yield a treasure trove of practice wood, and quite often, super finds.
I've been turning for almost 40 years and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've bought wood for turning.

GM, expert peethtick maker.

so i should use wood from firewood bundles?  i do have some of that.

i did try some wood from a branch that i chopped down, but the wood was VERY wet and kinda peeled apart.
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#15
  RE: right wood for turning? Hercules56 [quote='Grey Mountai...
(06-10-2021, 07:43 AM)Hercules56 Wrote: so i should use wood from firewood bundles?  i do have some of that.

i did try some wood from a branch that i chopped down, but the wood was VERY wet and kinda peeled apart.

Yep, the best overall turning stock is firewood.  You will, unfortunately, need to cure it for finishing, and with those pieces you want circular, finishing means re-turning, as the wood will follow the path outlined in Forest Products Laboratory -- Forest Service -- USDA (fs.fed.us), changing the dimension of it as it does.  

TDT is how it's referred to.  Turn, Dry, Turn.  Even pieces where you don't care about final dimensions will have to wait to be dry enough for your finish.  Can make some jazzy faceplate pieces by turning to 3/8" or less and letting them find their own form from there.  

For spindle turning, you've already found that the wood between dark visible annual rings is soft, the rings hard.  Makes most conifers picky about how much pressure you can exert and the angles the edges should be presented to the piece.  Else, sandpaper.

The 4X4 lightweight stock will come in handy as you advance to blind hollowing to make Christmas ornaments, so don't waste close-grain stuff on spindles.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#16
  RE: right wood for turning? Hercules56 [quote='Grey Mountai...
(06-10-2021, 07:43 AM)Hercules56 Wrote: so i should use wood from firewood bundles?  i do have some of that.

i did try some wood from a branch that i chopped down, but the wood was VERY wet and kinda peeled apart.

PM sent.

MMs comments are very good; however, I'm talking about a practice piece that you don't intend to keep.

GM
The only tool I have is a lathe.  Everything else is an accessory.
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#17
  right wood for turning? Hercules56 New member, new turn...
Wet wood?  I’ve got some 3”-4” diameter mulberry, cut in about 6’ long sections in early February—they are still sprouting leaves & small twigs!
Earl
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#18
  right wood for turning? Hercules56 New member, new turn...
Grab parts from fallen trees and/or firewood as has been pointed out already. 

The only wood I will NOT turn is pine or spruce and any of THOSE trees. Sap is horrible, and the wood isn't worth ithe mess. I've been collecting wood from storm felled trees in my area, and whoever around me decides to have a tree taken out .... I get the best, choice cuts.  Cool  I collect wood faster than I use it, and have a large inventory now.  Winkgrin

So, make it a way of life ... to grab tree trunks whenever and wherever you can. Having a chain-saw at the ready, is a good idea. Go around your neighborhood after a storm, with a chainsaw ... you'll be surprised. Ride a bicycle around your area often and get to know your neighbors and pass the word around.

I pass the word around to my friends (and often remind them), that I'm interested in trees trunks, in case they see any, to let me know. Right now, I have far more wood, than I can believe.

That's the best thing about Lathe workers, the materials are usually free.
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#19
  right wood for turning? Hercules56 New member, new turn...
Before (final) retirement, I covered the ten counties of SW Oklahoma so I was on the road a lot, mostly sticking to backroads. I was always on the lookout for wood in the bar ditches.

GM
The only tool I have is a lathe.  Everything else is an accessory.
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#20
  RE: right wood for turning? Grey Mountain Before (final) retir...
(06-14-2021, 06:28 AM)Grey Mountain Wrote: Before (final) retirement, I covered the ten counties of SW Oklahoma so I was on the road a lot, mostly sticking to backroads.  I was always on the lookout for wood in the bar ditches.

GM

Northern OK has five trees total, all cottonwoods.

Next-door neighbor in UPT had to punch out of a T38 and found one to hang in....

For the OP, try to get the bark off your experiments if you can, before committing a sharpened turning tool to the job.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#21
  right wood for turning? Hercules56 New member, new turn...
Northern OKlahoma is home to "Bodark; Bois D'Arc; Horseapple; Hedgeapple; Maclura Pomifera" (Same wood, diferent name) Hard as nail, but beautiful results. Cottonwood, on the otherhand, is pretty much useless for anything except to hang up parachutes.

GM
The only tool I have is a lathe.  Everything else is an accessory.
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right wood for turning?


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