Step 3: Dipped and done.

....and so chocolate will be the colour for my 2009 stock of sticks.
Wood will breathe moisture in and out until it has reached equilibrium with the ambient moisture level of the area it's kept in, this can take years after the wood has become seasoned enough to work with. I plan to make tool handles with this stuff, so I'll season the wood at the draughty end of the room where I keep my tools.

Other cool timber to look out for includes...

" Sumac which glows green under a blacklight!
" Ivy, which if it's from an ancient specimen is extremely hard and turns like plastic - very smooth to
work with
" Rose, a shame to see any ancient roses getting dug up, but if you can get hold of the bole and
base stem of an old rose bush, depending on the condition, you'll have some interesting grain.

Again with the grain, fruit trees are usually one variety grafted onto the rootstock of another, if you can get hold of the root ball of a mature tree you'll have some burrs and grain effects.

And of course by treating the choice bits as timber and not firewood you're taking a bit out of the carbon cycle.

Shameless plug - I'm entering this 'ibble for the Gardening contest, please give it your vote :)

<p>Hi there. I am wood enthusiast who is learning more than he's making - saw some felled logs... or more like thick slices of pine tree at a dump - couldn't resist loading them onto my trailer and van and hauling them home (to my wife who clearly doesn't share my vision!lol) .. The slabs are fairly big / thick - roughly 600-800mm in diameter and about 200-300mm thick (cut with a chainsaw). My question is: do I need to go through the same seasoning process as mentioned above in order to get them to a stage at which the will be workable - and if so: how long do you estimate this to be? I don't mind them splitting to be honest as I think there is natural beauty in that (as well as some cool idea's as to how to fill the cracks)... what I don't want is to have them split so badly that I can't end up using them. All feedback welcome. Thanks. Jason - RE-seat Eco-Friendly Furniture &amp; Decor, South Africa</p>
Ok, maybe this is a dumb question, but how do you know when the timber is ready to be used?
Straight up? There's no guarantee that the timber ( or you ) will not suffer some form of major cleavage!<br><br>In ancient Europe you could always spot the woodturners, they had a gouge sticking out of them*<br><br>So I give it a minimum of two years seasoning, in a relatively dry cellar, for timber that's not more than 5&quot; diameter - taking it from there - if it doesn't feel right while you're using it, stop and get another piece - or stop altogether, it's your call.<br><br>Professionally kiln dried timber is expensive by comparison, yet I've never seen a guarantee from the wood yards that the wood won't split.<br><br>Hope this gives you some clarification, please take care - it's your body.<br><br>* Ok I made this bit up
For sealing the ends of logs there are a lot of options - used motor oil (don't worry that it's black - it doesn't penetrate more than a few millimetres), acrylic pain (cheaper than enamel or high gloss paints), plastic bags fitted over the ends and stapled.The most important things about the storage place for freshly-cut logs are dark, cool and dry.
I am new to this site So here goes I personally use Anchor Seal can get pricey but it works very well I am a wood turner and I have seal blocks form very large trees being careful not to get the pith of the tree (very center) and got 12x12x12 block drying right now It does not save every one but i have done a little test of cutting a log in two and doing one piece and not the other and hands down It can pay for itself by selling one good spalted maple block.I also make 1\4in and 1\2in stock for making small boxes. I have what I call my drying shed faces south and has a pallet floor with door that I can open for even more air circulation It works very nicely . My newest adventure is drying my 1/4in stock witch starts out 1\2 inche-ish in a dodge station wagon in our field I have dry sycamore from cutting the tree down to selling the boxes from it in less than three weeks It has worked great so far and now i have some sycamore bowl blanks 10in x 5 in. seal with the anchor seal and they have not yet split the unseal one turned to fire wood already So Anchor seal works for me.
I read your instructable and it is good. Persimmon wood would be a good one also. It is very light colored and after it is seasoned it is very hard to split. We used it for wedges when cutting timber. In toys a friend used a flat piece that had about 3/4 inch holes drilled through it. He had round dowels the exact size of the holes to drive through them. The dowels and a mallet for driving them were of persimmon also. This i a very tough wood. Thought you might like this wood also.
hey question i do a little bit of lathe work and i have people telling me different things some people insist that all natural beeswax will only work the best. others say normal wax will do i see that you did normal wax and it seemed to work i am glad of this because beeswax is expensive it can be $5/lb and up. also in the one pic the red wax was that from little cheeses&gt;? lol thx nice ible
Weeel, I always tend use #1 what I have to hand or failing that #2 what's cheapest I'd like to use beeswax throughout, but I can't afford that. You guessed right - it's the mineral wax from cheese - gives my timber store a unique parfum too!
Privet is very nice too, but hard to find in useable pieces. <br />
I can imagine it is, unless making v.small stuff. How does it turn?<br /> I'm definateley on the lookout for more ancient ivy it's sooo smooth.<br />
Like a nut. very smooth.<br />
Some good info there. I've a fair bit of raw wood a buddy gave me. Just finished turning an end grain goblet from a bit of black walnut. Beyootiful grain pattern. Bit of a caveat though, sometimes branches have internal stresses which can lead to cracking/checking when working the wood. I didn't notice it once last year, glad I was wearing the face shield.
&nbsp;Man, I wish I could do this. &nbsp;There were so many old-growth trees in NYC that fell from the recent snowstorms. &nbsp;They just chip them up to get rid of them.<br /> <br /> Do you just pile up the wood in a shed or leave them outside to season? &nbsp;The bark is still on so do you have to worry about that getting rot or attracting bugs?<br />
Stack your limbs up, each layer perpendicular to the previous layer.&nbsp; Cover them up to keep them dry.&nbsp; I keep my favorite ones in the garage.&nbsp; The others are outside under a tarp.&nbsp; A shed would work fine.&nbsp; <br />
I wonder if they feed the chips into a biomass plant?<br /> <br /> I&nbsp;keep mine in the workshop it's pretty bug free and dry enough to halt decay. No mould or woodworm so far :)<br />
Thanks for sharing.&nbsp; We lost a number of limbs from our cedar and magnolia trees this past winter and I was wondering how to store the larger pieces for woodworking.&nbsp; Is there any reason to remove the bark before it is seasoned?
I have a friend who swears by removing all the bark, dipping the entire limb in 50% shellac/50% alcohol, then sealing the ends with wax.&nbsp; It seems like a lot of work to me, but he has good success with it.&nbsp; The bonus is that the bark is a lot easier to remove when the limb is green. <br />
Big stuff is outside the scope of this 'ibble really. You may need to hire/buy a chainsaw mill for larger limbs or the services of a professional tree surgeon to dimension up big timber. You will have to store it right to ensure correct airflow, thepelton mentioned Taunton Press there's also a publisher called Stobart Davis that has books on the subject.<br /> You shouldn't need to remove the bark for seasoning, but why did the tree shed a limb? If it was diseased you might want to reconsider using that timber. <br /> Cedarwood is beautiful , I'm envious. Always good practise to use a quality dust mask when machining any wood.<br />
If you have cut off branches from the side of the limb, it is a good idea to seal up those, too.&nbsp; Often cracks will start there for the same reason (exposed surface area) and work right into the middle of the limb.<br />
have you ever used curb-shopped paint?&nbsp;Does it work better or worse?<br /> <br /> I&nbsp;know lumber yards use paint, so it must work also. <br />
If the wood is very green, latex paint will often peel or pop right off the end as the latex dries and the wood pushes water out the ends.&nbsp; Lumber yards use a specific type of paint (not standard latex), although I do not know exactly what it is.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> I do this a lot.&nbsp; I probably have 300 limbs stacked up waiting for use in various states of dryness. I just started carving a flute from a crab apple limb pruned about 1.5 years ago.&nbsp; For sealing the ends, I use beeswax and olive oil mixed together.&nbsp; When melted and blended, it is thin enough to soak in well, but still hardens up nicely.&nbsp; Paraffin and mineral oil makes a decent blend as well.<br /> <br /> No matter what you do, some limbs will split.&nbsp; My redbud limbs tore themselves apart for some reason. It was crazy.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
No I&nbsp;haven't, but that's a good way of using it up, and would it make much difference if it was solvent or water based? My guess is no, they will both&nbsp; slow moisture loss and effect stable shrinking.&nbsp; ( Curb Shop - I must admit I&nbsp;had to google that one, I like the term v.much )&nbsp;<br />
some people say they got their stuff at &quot;curbside supply&quot;<br /> <br /> Synonyms: dumpster diving, curb shopping, Skip shopping (UK i think)<br /> <br /> We had all you could take wood for free on the curb last time a tropical storm came through.<br />
Careful about microwaving a glass jar with wax. It may have wokred whenever you've done it, and I've done it succesfulle before to. But once I was melting wax in a glass jar and it broke, Mom was not happy, and I had a big cleanup job. <br /> <br /> Just my 2 cents. Oldanvil
Duly noted, I'm going to hunt down a pyrex container in our local charity ( goodwill ) shops.<br />
Taunton Press has a good book on gathering and drying your own logs.&nbsp;&nbsp; I reccommend looking that up.&nbsp;Two species that are a cinch are Elm and Paulownia.&nbsp; A good rule of thumb to remember is set the wood aside for 1 year for every inch (25mm) of diameter.
&nbsp;Wow, that's some huge honeysuckle! &nbsp;I root it out before it gets anywhere near that diameter, but then, if I didn't I'd have no yard at all. &nbsp;It never occurred to me that it could be used for woodworking. &nbsp;It's just an invasive weed to me. &nbsp;Nice reuse.
&nbsp;Nice. Thanks for sharing. Happy seasoning.&nbsp;

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More by bosherston: Lawn treatment container re-purposed. Create a mini beast refuge in your garden. Logpile Habitat for International Day for Biological Diversity. Seasoning small section timber.
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