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Cottowood (Read 410 times)
 
Frank Padden
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Hudson, Massachusetts, USA
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Cottowood
May 29th, 2017 at 4:20pm
 
I just started to turn some cottonwood. This is the first time I've used this wood. The end grain on all other woods has been fairly easy to turn and sand. This stuff is a real pain! The tear out on this very rough even with sharp tools. Any advice? Or is this normal for cottonwood? Thanks.
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Don Stephan
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Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio, USA
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Re: Cottowood
Reply #1 - May 29th, 2017 at 6:22pm
 
The first bowl I turned posed no problems.  The second blank, from the other side of the pith, wouldn't cut cleanly no matter what I tried and became intimately involved with my neighbor's wood stove.  No more cottonwood for me I expect.
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Ken Vaughan
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Juneau, Alaska, USA
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Re: Cottowood
Reply #2 - May 30th, 2017 at 6:28am
 
It depends on the sub-species and growing conditions. Mahoney calls the Utah cottonwood "edited out".

Locally for me it is balsam popular, and turns gray quickly, and is soft. Some butts do have very nice curl.

Edited out was a conventional term used for LDS Church beginning with m and "maple".   

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« Last Edit: May 30th, 2017 at 1:03pm by Ken Vaughan »  
 
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robo_hippy
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Eugene, OR, USA
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Re: Cottowood
Reply #3 - May 30th, 2017 at 9:58am
 
"He who uses cottonwood for fire wood gets warmed twice from it. Once from cutting and splitting it, and twice for shoveling out the ashes."

Only commercial use for it I have seen is for boards around horse stalls. Apparently it tastes as bad as it smells and the horses won't chew in it. Always smells like some one threw up in it...

robo hippy
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Tom Coghill
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Anchorage, Alaska, USA
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Re: Cottowood
Reply #4 - May 30th, 2017 at 11:35am
 
I agree with Robo - I have made a few bows from it and I would have been better off just burning it.... or give it to a neighbor to burn..  Grin
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Arlin Eastman
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Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
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Re: Cottowood
Reply #5 - Jun 1st, 2017 at 12:29pm
 
You know I have tons of trees and have made a few cottonwood bowls and boxes. I never had a problem, however, I sharpened my bowl gouge several times just on the one bowl and just before the last cut.
I have turned it pretty fast (RPM) and made slow cuts with the bevel and during the rough out I sharpened it 4 times and then another 5 times just to get the cut right without ripping the fibers out. I never used a scrapper in it since I learned the first time it does not take a scrapper very well at all.

Matter if fact a cottonwood tree that was over 6' diameter just fell down in the ditch and I will be looking for some crotch wood.  I did see some good curly stuff in there also.
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« Last Edit: Jun 1st, 2017 at 12:31pm by Arlin Eastman »  

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Ralph Fahringer
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Ellsworth, Maine, USA
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Re: Cottowood
Reply #6 - Jun 1st, 2017 at 3:10pm
 
I have a couple of spalted black cottonwood from out in Oregon and the first bowl I turned  with it, turned very nicely and I had none of the problems mentioned here nor the smell.

I look forward to turning the other pieces soon.

Quite possibly a different wood that is called cottonwood than yours.
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Leo De Bruin
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Re: Cottowood
Reply #7 - Jun 3rd, 2017 at 10:40pm
 
I have turned some cottonwood burl and it was really nice, lots of character. I roughed it out' let it dry about 1 year and finish turned it.  As far as rest of tree I am not that desperate ......
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