Wood advice – making planks and wood turning

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  • Wood advice – making planks and wood turning
  • teacake


    Two weeks ago I had an oak and a wych elm felled in the garden. I’m keeping pieces of each and have half an idea of turning the big trunks into planks for making into shelves and tables in the future and using the smaller pieces of wych elm for wood turning.

    I’m looking for advice on how to store the wood? Should I get it planked as soon as or should I let the trunks dry out a bit and then get them cut up?

    Do wood turners want wet or dry wood?

    For the McMoonters out there I’m building a 4m diameter Holz Hausen! Ever tried to split wych elm?! It’s like the worlds toughest rubber.



    It’ll all dry more evenly if it’s converted to boards, then left to dry further in stacks/boules before being kiln dried. An uncut trunk is not going to dry much beyond the first few cm from the end cuts. You can get a device to use a chainsaw to convert to planks, though it may be more sensible to get somebody in to do it unless you intend to use the gear more in future. Stacks need to be kept in a covered shed with plenty of air flow. You’ll also need stickers/strips to put on top of one board to elevate the one above it so that air moves freely around all faces of all boards.

    What size/thickness are the trunks? Most turners prefer wet wood to turn with – less chance of splitting, easier to cut, faster to cut. Some really fine and delicate bowls can be produced from fresh/green wood. If you cut the trunk into bowl-size chunks, then apply a PVA or similar to the cut faces to preserve the moisture content.

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