Talented people around the globe have practiced woodworking for centuries. One of the oldest and most exacting types of wood skills is ‘turning’ with its use of gouges, skews and lathes. If you love working with lumber and want to try your hand at turning wood, you may be surprised that the most talented turners suggest using specialty lumber while it is green. Here are three of the many explanations they give about finding and using green wood.
If you are used to wandering around the local lumber yard and finding everything you require for your woodworking project, you may be surprised to learn that doesn’t often happen for experienced wood turners. Instead, they look for advertisements of people removing ornamental trees from their yard. The big log of maple that is 24 inches long can weight almost 200 pounds, so take help when retrieving your newest wood acquisition. Most people will offer the wood for free, and that saves you money!
Turning wood is all about removing large shavings as you create your project. When you use green wood, your tools will slip through the log with a simple pressure that may surprise you. There is also the smell of sap from the specialty lumber that many turners revel in while working with the wood. It has been compared to the smell of nature on a spring morning.
If you learned to turn with dry wood, you wouldn’t believe the difference green wood offers. The wood fibers contain water, and that makes it softer than dry wood. That means your tools will stay sharper, and your lathe will stay cooler longer. Best of all, there is almost no dust when you turn green wood.
Whether you have been turning for years or it is a new hobby, give green wood a try. There are probably specialty lumber types to choose from in your area. Just ask someone you know that turns green lumber. Image the joy of finding a treasured piece of wood in your fireplace pile!