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Mulberry and Japanese Elm (Read 416 times)
 
Bill Splaine
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Santa Rosa, CA, California, USA
Santa Rosa, CA
California
USA


Older Jet Mini 1014 (not vs)
Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Jun 4th, 2017 at 5:46pm
 
I'm a brand new turner with a Jet Mini 1014 belt driven lathe.

I just received a couple of pieces of Mulberry.. I'm assuming it is Fruitless Mulberry as that is what is somewhat common in the area.  The pieces are wet and have very minimal cracking at this point at the end grain.  The pieces are about 3' long and about 6" in diameter.  Heartwood is about 2"+ in diameter. One piece is about the same length and has a crotch.  If it is considered a decent wood to turn.. (is it?), I have a few questions...

First.. Should I leave it as longer pieces or cut them into pieces that are long enough to make goblets or small bowls and seal the ends and stack for a few months or so?

Second.. suggestions for sealing?  I have a lot of interior latex paint.. or would going to a craft store and purchasing blocks of wax for making candles be better?

The other wood I have been promised is from a newly downed tree is supposed to be Japanese Elm.  Do you know about this wood?  Good to turn?  If so, I'm guessing there is a lot available.  Also guessing I should treat it as above with some end grain sealant.

Thanks for any advice.

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Santa Rosa, CA (NorCal)
Interests: Woodturning, Wood Carving, Pyrography
 
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Don Stephan
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Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio, USA
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Re: Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Reply #1 - Jun 5th, 2017 at 7:53pm
 
Bill

Not directly answering your questions, but have you searched on the Internet to see if there is a woodturning group in your area?  These groups, because you can see demonstrations, get mentoring, feedback from people in your geographic area experiencing the same local conditions - all can be extremely valuable.  They won't duplicate the value of this forum, but the two together can be wonderful.  Of course, along with some books/videos.  Everyone has their favorites, I think the book/video combination by Richard Raffan is excellent.
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Chris Neilan
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OUCH!

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Waterford, Connecticut, USA
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Connecticut
USA

Gender: male

Powermatic 3520
Delta 46-460
Shopsmith 10 ER
Shopsmith Mark V
Shopsmith Mark 7 Powerpro
Re: Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Reply #2 - Jun 6th, 2017 at 6:06am
 
Mulberry turns well, very hard. If dry, extremely hard! Also turns a golden brown with exposure to light. I personally prefer to finish it with a walnut oil for a subdued sheen. Don't have any known experience with Japanese Elm.
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Delta 46-460: awesome
Powermatic 3520: more awesome!
Shopsmith Mark 7: Wonderful! (But I don't use it as a lathe yet)
Shopsmith Mark V
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Bill Splaine
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Posts: 12

Santa Rosa, CA, California, USA
Santa Rosa, CA
California
USA


Older Jet Mini 1014 (not vs)
Re: Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Reply #3 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 10:02am
 
Thanks,..
Oh, the Japanese Elm is Chinese Elm.
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Santa Rosa, CA (NorCal)
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John Cepko
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Pasadena, Maryland, USA
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Re: Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Reply #4 - Jun 11th, 2017 at 4:48pm
 
Is the Mulberry a Yellow/Golden color?
That's what we get here on the East Coast, and it is one of the hardest native woods when dry. When wet, it turns off well, but the chips are brittle and crumble to dust very quickly.
Doesn't move much, or crack much drying.

Things might be different out West, though.
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Bill Splaine
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Posts: 12

Santa Rosa, CA, California, USA
Santa Rosa, CA
California
USA


Older Jet Mini 1014 (not vs)
Re: Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Reply #5 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 4:45pm
 
Outside wood is cream but the heart wood is a darker brown.
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Santa Rosa, CA (NorCal)
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John Cepko
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Pasadena, Maryland, USA
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Re: Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Reply #6 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 6:01pm
 
Doesn't sound like the same stuff.
My Mulberry is a yellow, and turns brown with light exposure.
Our tree produces edible black berrys that resemble Blackberries, or black raspberrys.
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Don Stephan
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Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio, USA
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Re: Mulberry and Japanese Elm
Reply #7 - Jun 12th, 2017 at 7:10pm
 
Some people use left over latex paint for sealing.  Not sure how one would use solid wax.  Many use Anchorseal, an easy to paint liquid that dries pretty quickly.

If you are in fact new to turning, I would suggest first getting some experience with a soft, inexpensive wood.  You can purchase some 8/4 or e3ven 12/4 poplar from a local hardwood lumber supplier - poplar is inexpensive and turns easily.  Even more economical is a 2x6x8' which should be SPF (spruce-pine-fir).  Make blanks, mount using a screw chuck or small faceplate, and make 10 bowls completely for practice.  Get another 2x6x8 if needed, make another 10 blanks, select one from the first  batch and try to duplicate 3 times; repeat two more times.  This will give you some tool control and experience, and sharpening experience, before working on your mulberry and elm - you might want to keep one or more from those.
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