Loads of green wood to prepare...

23 March 2015, Woodturning in practice, Would you like to leave a comment?

I’ve collected quite a lot of timber over the past few weeks and this all needs to be processed, ready for drying. It’s taken me a good couple of days to cut it into blanks, but I’m now ready to start rough turning – the fun part!

Below, are some photo’s showing a few of these blanks being turned. The large sections of burr sycamore are left over from the tree I collected last year and the walnut was featured my previous blog post.

At 19” diameter, this natural edge burr sycamore blank should make a fairly impressive bowl, when finished. I’ll pressure wash the bark edge after roughing out, so that the natural colours are highlighted. Sycamore is one of the easiest timbers to dry, as it very rarely cracks…



Two large burr sycamore bowls amongst an even larger pile of shavings!...


Below, is one of the pieces of walnut from my last post – all these shavings are from just a couple of smallish bowls…


The top photo shows my first natural edge piece in ash. I certainly like the overall effect, as the rippled grain adds to its character. I sourced the whole tree from a local woodland, shortly before it would have become firewood.

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

Your comments

  1. Gravatar of Ralph Hodgson
    Ralph Hodgson12 April 2015 21:34

    Hi again Jonathan read your green wood article with interest. After speaking to you to last year after installing my new Jet 3520b I bravely embarked on a project to turn wet cherry. With trepidation I split the huge trunk, with lump hammer and a series of cold chisels as wedges (no chainsaw). After successful completion I got them into some sort of octagonal shape and mounted them on the lathe using a large face plate for security reason. Ran the lathe at a very slow speed and tentatively dipped the roughing gouge into the 'blur'. clip, clip, clip it was cutting. Wet through.... I soon I had a rounded form and turned it around and repositioned it. Finished up turning three bowls that are now 1'1.5 in thick immersed in their own shaving left in the dark to season a little longer. I will take them out again this summer and turn them down further - no cracks or splits have appeared thus far so I must have done something right. The Jet 3520 coped brilliantly with it. So much so that last week I was fortunate to acquire an even bigger log section of cherry and have the confidence to tackle the same process again. This time a chainsaw did the dressing and the lumps appear to be more symmetrical and balanced. Can wait to get into the work shop and get covered in sap again and would recommend wet turning big chunks of timber. Keep up with the turning and best wishes.

  2. Gravatar of Jonathan Leech
    Jonathan Leech16 April 2015 08:01

    Hi Ralph,
    I'm really pleased you are happy with the new lathe - I've still not tried anything large on my Jet so far, so will have to give it a go soon. I'll be posting an article soon on some burr cherry, which I have been roughing out. Cherry is a timber which loves to crack, so I'll be sure to keep my blanks buried in shavings as well!

    All the best

  3. Gravatar of Norman Ridenour
    Norman Ridenour18 April 2015 11:30

    Turn that cherry thin at once. Store it in the shavings in 3-4 layers of paper bags. I use a four ply paper trash bag. You will get sculpture out in 6-8 weeks. Apple also works, pear is super, forget plum.

  4. Gravatar of Jonathan Leech
    Jonathan Leech21 April 2015 21:09

    Hi Norman,

    Many thanks for your advice. We're into a spell of warm weather at the moment, so I'll make sure the cherry is in a cool place and well protected.

    All the best

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