Harvesting Green Wood
Patience and perseverance pay off
Synopsis: Dale Nish says finding green wood is almost as fulfilling as actually working it. The best wood cannot be purchased from a lumberyard or hardwood dealer; you must cut your own. He talks about where to find it and which species are best for working, what equipment you need to cut your own wood, and how to sharpen your tools effectively for such work. He explains how to cut green wood and how to cut it for figure, as well as how to use stumpwood and burls. He also describes how to handle green flitches and how to season it after you turn it.
From Fine Woodworking #16
I have been working with green wood for several years. I have found the satisfaction of finding the wood almost as fulfilling as actually working it. In some cases, as with life, the expectations and anticipation are the most rewarding part. Once while deer hunting, I found a large, soft maple burl growing at the base of a small tree. The burl encircled the tree, rising to a height of perhaps 30 in. with a diameter of over 48 in. Over several years I envisioned the turnings which could be obtained from a burl of such beauty and size. At last I received permission to cut it off, and gathered together the necessary tools and equipment, a major undertaking, as the burl was far off the main road. After arriving at the tree and inspecting it carefully, an enthusiastic friend and I began to saw—the chain was sharp and the chips flew. Suddenly the bar fell into the burl. It was completely hollow. The only sound wood was a 2-in. to 3-in. shell. The burl was of no value at all for turning. Maybe next time.
The sources of wood for turning or…