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Old 04-25-2018, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oregon
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Default Processing Green Cherry Blossom, Tips Please

Hey all,

One of my neighbors had this cool cherry blossom tree that they cut down yesterday and graciously allowed me to take the wood.

I'm looking for tips on the best way to process this for pen, bowl, and bottle stopper blanks so that I don't lose 90 percent to checking...
I don't have a chainsaw, but do have a 14" bandsaw.
Is it best to cut into smaller blocks, seal the ends, and let it dry for a long while, then process down into blank size? It also has a lot of fist size burls.


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Old 04-25-2018, 09:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Seal the surface, original titebond works well if you cant find anything else. Wax was the traditional way for a long time. You just need to slow the drying down so the moisture is even inside to out. Bowls can be roughed and bagged in brown paper bags and set aside to finish drying. Pen blanks are often thin enough to just air dry without cracking. Just have to dry one in a toaster oven and see what it does.

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Old 04-25-2018, 10:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When I bring logs home for bowls I either cut them immediately and seal them or I seal them first so I can cut them later. I do it as soon as I get them home. One problem with leaving them until later is the pith is still there. That is often where the checking starts.

Some woods start to check/crack almost immediately after cutting. If you wait days to do anything the checking may have already started, you just may not be able to see it yet.
West Henrietta, NY
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great score Eric. While I generally agree with Gary, personally, I would advise you to invest in a gallon of Anchorseal I've used this product for years and have never lost a bowl blank or log in all that time.
As to pen blanks, quick drying the burl may cause checking a warping of the blanks, especially in the burl. Best bet is to cut them slightly over-sized and coat in Anchorseal and set aside for 6 months and then check MC. then you can dry in an oven or microwave, if needed.
Most of all, don't get in a hurry to use this wood. Have patience and allow the wood to dry. A score like you got should last you a long time and allow you to create some amazing bowls, pens, furniture, and anything you want to make.
Just my $.02

Sinistre Pens

L'aissez les bontemps tourner

"Every shop needs a flat & level bench, if for no other reason than a spot to put down your coffee cup while you think about your next project" Anonymous
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks all. It was cut yesterday and some pieces are already checking pretty badly. I'll trim those and seal it.
Good note about cutting pen blanks to dry. 6 months is much better than 2 or 3 years to dry...

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Old 04-26-2018, 12:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with the advice given so far, however, if you would like to start turning a few bowls sooner rather than later, you could slice the bowl logs in half and seal the ends only, this way, the pith problem is minimized after bein cut through its centre, you would have to cut the logs this way to make bowls anyway but the half logs will be ready for turning within 6 months or so.

That wood cracks a lot so, you will have a percentage with lots of cracks, those pieces/logs are better suited to cut pen blanks from.

Good luck and great score.

"Don't give others what you don't like for yourself"


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Old 04-26-2018, 12:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Oregon
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Thanks, George. I've been eyeing this tree since I started turning so I'm excited that I got the wood from it!
On another note, I made a pen from one of your brown mallee root burl blanks last weekend and just noticed that it had catastrophically cracked around the whole thing... I guess it was too tight of a fit...

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