Re: [MedievalSawdust] Cherry wood issue
- On Thu, November 5, 2009 1:43 pm, Stu wrote:
> The last couple instruments I was making I started having an issue withI've run into the same problems with sweet cherry myself. I tried making
> the wood. It was now hard and flinty, easy to chip and prone to cracks
> invisible till I was just about done. Today I wanted to turn a wheel for
> an organistrum, the huge great grandaddy of the hurdy-gurdy. The wheel
> has a 4 inch diametre. No matter how sharp the tool, I could only just
> get the finest, almost dust shavings off of it and it was nasty slow
> slogging with frequent stops for tool touch ups. Finally 3 hours later(!)
> I had the wheel at a point I wanted to take some sandpaper to it. Stopped
> the lathe and the wheel was cracked radially in a dozen places.
a big dough trough, and hewing and carving involved vast effort to remove
a tiny pile of chips.
I just cut down a good sized cherry tree from a friend's yard, and unlike
other cherry logs I've dealt with this one has several sections that split
reasonably straight. It's no help to you with your own batch, but I'm
going to follow the advice of several traditional woodworkers and do all
the roughing out green, and as much as possible of that with froe and
wedge instead of saws. Biggest problem with this one has been to actually
decide in advance what I'll want to be finishing over the next few years!
This will be my first time working cherry this way--but it works so well
with oak and ash that I'm inclined to try. Getting it down into smaller
pieces early will eliminate a lot of the strain that causes checking, and
leaving the rough blanks somewhat oversize gives you some margin for
correcting warpage--though this is far less on split wood than on sawn!
I also always grease the endgrain heavily, including any knots that are
exposed. I've even managed to dry madrone (Arbutus to you) this way with
no checks, over about five years time.
Please let us know how the various rehydration tricks that have been
suggested work out for you. Don't see how they can heal cracks that have
already happened, but perhaps you can improve the workability enough to
make projects where cracks don't matter so much. At least it might save
some pretty wood from the firewood pile.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, conradh@... wrote:
> I also always grease the endgrain heavily, including any knots that are
> exposed. I've even managed to dry madrone (Arbutus to you) this way with
> no checks, over about five years time.
Ya know, I have to say this is the first time I've ever heard of anyone using grease. Wax, yes, heavy latex paint yes, wood-sealer yes. Grease, nope.
Considering all the other options, I don't think I would try it myself.
Have you ever tried to boil Madrone, no I'm not kidding. We boil it all the time here, usually never thicker then 2 inches. But boil it we do. Slabs, roughed blanks, chunks.
Have a nearly zero failure rate.
I usually boil for a couple hours, then let it cool. Remove and wood and that's it. I seldom wax or seal the wood. The current batch went straight to waiting for finish turning