Turning Archive

Re: pine
Response To:
pine ()

John K Jordan
>>>neighbor just cut down a large pine tree.... 2 - 2 1/2 feet across...
i've been wanting some for a while so i can do some sandblasting, but i figured id let it dry out a bit....
it's oozing so much sap that im still sticky after several hand washings and soap...
how should i seal it?

Do you plan on cutting it into big chunks to turn a bowl or something? While individual trees might vary a lot, comments on others who have tried that are disappointing, I've read things like "a huge sappy mess everywhere" and "never again." One experienced bowl turner just states don't turn green pine.

Note: I have no personal experience in turning pine that hasn't been kiln dried. However, I have sawn pine on my sawmill.

The wood industry "sets" sap/pitch by heating in a kiln. I believe the temperature needed is 160F but I think some recommend higher. I have no idea how long it would take to get a log section or large chainsawed bowl blank up to 160 and hold it there for long enough to turn the sap from sticky gooey to hard resin.

I've read where people have used a heat gun to set the sap on the outside surface of wood but it seems that would only heat a few millimeters into the wood before charring the outside.

When you mention sealing the wood, do you mean sealing the sap on unturned chunk or the turned piece, or sealing the ends of the log to prevent cracking? For the latter, wax such as AnchorSeal will work. For sealing the sap in I wonder if anything will work. Wood expert Gene Wengert states: The sap will eventually ooze through shellac and paint

I think the sap will eventually dry on the surface, don't know about deep in the wood. I cut some boards from white pine on my sawmill and stickered and air-dried. They were still a little sticky but I think those I put in my barn loft are ok now (maybe 8-10 years since I put them there). I have no idea if the sap inside is still sticky.

Googling "setting sap AND pitch in pine" will give lots of reading material.


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