Garage-workshop conversion

Woodturning Topics
Laburnum bowl
Current Wood-Turning Project
Walnut Wood.
Making Belaying Pins.
Experimental Drying
Walnut Platter.

WT Project 4
Turning Green Cherry
(This page)

Woodturning Projects.

Turning Green Cherry, Prunus avium.

Photograph of cherry & Maple felled on the 2nd February 2011 at Mickley Square, Northumberland, UK.

Freshly felled Cherry (Prunus avium, with bright orange-coloured sapwood surrounding paler coloured heartwood), with some Maple (Acer sp.) felled on the 2nd February 2011 at Mickley Square, Northumberland, UK. The white arrow shows the bole of Cherry which was used in this project. (Photograph taken on the 8th February, 2011)

John, the owner of the garden centre in my village, contacted me to say that he was having a plantation of mature Cherry and Maple trees felled and I would be very welcome to select as much wood as I wanted before the rest was sold for firewood. So the photograph above shows what was available on the 8th of February 2011, after the tree surgeons had completed their work. The white arrow shows one of the felled boles of Cherry which formed the subject of the project described below.

A Note on Handling Freshly Felled Wood.

A freshly felled bole of timber from a healthy tree is saturated with water and as a result is extremely heavy. Great care must be taken to avoid injury when attempting to move/transport sections of trunk. If at all possible, ask for the wood to be sliced into manageable sections which can be lifted safely. Two people for lifting and handling is safer than a single person. Invest in some equipment to help with the handling. A heavy-duty sack truck is extremely useful as it will take up a minimum amount of room in the back/boot of a car and sections of trunk can be loaded and transported with a minimum of effort as shown in the photographs below.

Photographs of sack truck. Sack Truck Specification.

This is the specification of the heavy-duty truck I purchased in 2012 which continues to be extremely useful when harvesting turning wood.

The truck has both a fixed toe that is useful for moving large heavy sections of trunk; and a folding toe section which can either be folded up out of the way (See left photograph), or folded down (See right photograph), to offer a large surface area which is particularly useful when moving a number of roughly sawn pieces of timber. The fixed toe allows for quick use of the truck and is the default deployment in storage, while the folding toe is great for larger, bulkier items. The large diameter 255mm (10 inch) pneumatic wheels make the use of this truck easy and give the ability for deployment over moderately rough terrains (e.g. in a forest environment).

Detailed specification.
  • Weight 12kg
  • Width 614mm
  • Depth 510mm
  • Height 1,155mm
  • Max Load Capacity 200kg
  • Loading Plate Size (Fixed Toe): Width - 400mm, Depth - 150mm
  • Loading Plate Size (Folding Toe): Width - 330mm, Depth - 510mm
  • Pneumatic Wheels diameter: 255mm (10 inches)

(Click on image for larger view)

Photograph of sack truck in use. Sack Truck in Use.

This photograph shows how the truck was used for transporting a large bole from a Cherry tree. The bole was stood on end and then tilted slightly to allow the fixed toe of the truck to be manoeuvred beneath. The bole was then allowed to rest against the back frame of the truck whilst it was wheeled to the car.

(Click on image for larger view)

Preparation and Rough Turning the Wood.
Preparation with a Chainsaw.

If a large bandsaw is available then a lot of the initial preparation of the wood can be undertaken on that, using suitable jigs. My Record Power BS300X bandsaw has a depth of 305mm (12 inches) between the saw-blade and the supporting back pillar, and a maximum cutting depth of 190mm (7½ inches), so some rough preparation using a chainsaw is essential before the bandsaw can be used.

Initial preparation of a bole of Cherry with a chainsaw. Preparation of the Cherry with a Chainsaw.

The Cherry was cut into more manageable chunks using an electric chainsaw which is an ideal tool for this kind of preparation. The white arrow shows the wood used in this project. Two old railway sleepers were used to support the wood whilst cutting with the chainsaw. Photograph taken 22nd February 2011. For later projects a dedicated chainsaw sawhorse was used (See photograph below).

(Click on image for larger view)

Photograph of a workshop built chainsaw horse. Preparation using a Chainsaw Horse.

This saw horse makes chainsaw preparation much easier. Details of it's construction can be found on THIS PAGE.

(Click on image for larger view)

Result of the Chainsaw Preparation. Result of the Chainsaw Preparation.

The arrowed wood is a section cut from the trunk of the Cherry with the pith removed. It was then ready for final preparation to make a bowl blank on the bandsaw. 22nd February 2011.

(Click on image for larger view)

Attaching a circular template. Attaching a circular template.

An appropriate circular hardboard template was then attached to the top of the wood by using a hammer to tap in a short nail through the centre. The template here was 228mm (9 inches) in diameter. 22nd February 2011.

(Click on image for larger view)

Cutting out the bowl blank on the bandsaw. Cutting out the bowl blank on the bandsaw.

The bowl blank was cut by manoeuvring the wood by hand to cut round the template and NOT by using a circle cutting jig which, in my experience, does not work well with cutting a circle in an irregularly shaped thick timber slice. The bottom of the wood (resting on the bandsaw table), should be reasonably flat to ensure even support on the table and so avoid possible sudden snatches as the blade cuts into the wood.

Note that the blade specification for cutting bowl blanks (above 54mm [2⅛ inches] diameter), is a blade width of 10mm (⅜ inch), 3 TPI (teeth per inch), SKIP (Skip meaning that the teeth are set; one to the left, one to the right and one [the SKIP], without set. This SKIP tooth acts a raker, carrying the waste sawdust out of the cut). 22nd February 2011.

(Click on image for larger view)

Project started February 2011, completed May 2017

Click HERE to return to the Home Page.

© Tim & Trish Enterprises 2015-2017.