Turning dry wood

John K Jordan
Almost everything I turn is from dry wood, small, large, between. Some is kiln dried, most is air dried. Some I've been drying for over 10 years in conditioned spaces and it is pretty dry according to my meter.

I prefer dry wood. Sharp tools, good tool control, no problem.

Once a guy gave me a bowl blank of the lyptus he was trying to turn, cursing at it, saying it was like turning concrete, swearing he saw sparks. He was a local turning instructor. I turned a bowl from it and thought it was fine. I don't understand the fuss about not turning dry wood. Of course I turn aluminum, brass, and steel on the wood lathe too. I prefer hard woods too - they are often finer grain, cut beautifully, take fine detail, and take a great finish.

Sure, green wood is easier, fun to make big shavings. I do that on occasion and have no problems. But it's almost too easy.


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