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limb wood vs trunk wood (Read 241 times)
 
parrish hurley
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limb wood vs trunk wood
Jun 14th, 2020 at 10:45am
 
I recently cut down an 8 inch wild cherry and was wondering if the limb wood which is about 2 inch in dia. as stable as the trunk.  I was wanting the limb wood  to turn handles and wine stoppers. Should I let both sizes dry first. any advice would be helpful
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Don Stephan
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Re: limb wood vs trunk wood
Reply #1 - Jun 14th, 2020 at 11:04am
 
Limbs, and leaning trunks, have uneven pull of gravity to which the wood must adjust.  Not remembering which is which, but between hardwoods and softwoods one places more wood above the pith or growth center (so gravity is trying to stretch the wood) and the other places more wood below the pith (so gravity is trying to compress the wood).  A number of references have been encountered that label wood where the pith is not in the geometric center "reaction wood" and it is considered less stable than wood with the pith at or close to the geometric center.  Several references said reputable saw mills will not make lumber from wood with the pith off the geometric center.
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Ed Weber
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Re: limb wood vs trunk wood
Reply #2 - Jun 14th, 2020 at 11:14am
 
Okay, I'm no expert on wild cherry but i'll give you a little info, hopefully others can help out as well.
When dealing with small limbs as you said, 2" dia. range there a few issues that can be associated with them.
Internal stress.
The wood on the top side of the branch is in expansion and the wood on the underside is in compression. When you cut the wood, the tension from the stress can be released and the wool can bend warp or twist.
How are you going to use it?
You mentioned handles. Typically you don't want to use the center or pith because  cracks can emanate from the weaker pith when wood begins to dry. You might be better off ripping through the center, releasing the stress and dealing with two smaller pieces.

This is just a guess, every piece of wood acts differently. Fruit and nut trees can be prone to cracking if not dried properly. If you have enough to experiment with, i would try a one of each approach and see what happens.
Small items like wine stoppers shouldn't be much of an issue but I might turning one or two and let it dry to see if it cracks.If the wood does remain stable or crack free, many times the pith and grain close to it can have lots of visual interest.
It may sound a bit snooty buy many turners don't use wood that small. Hopefully those who do can give you some pointers, I'm sure there are some here.
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parrish hurley
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Re: limb wood vs trunk wood
Reply #3 - Jun 14th, 2020 at 11:28am
 
thanks for the advice.  I think I might take the limb wood and try to cut in into 1 1/2 square by 1 ft.  and then let it dry and just see how it reacts.  thank ya
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: limb wood vs trunk wood
Reply #4 - Jun 14th, 2020 at 11:35am
 
Limb wood is good for starting wood stoves and fire places. Smiley
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Mike Nathal
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Re: limb wood vs trunk wood
Reply #5 - Jun 19th, 2020 at 11:32am
 
Not that relevant to the original request for tool handles, but here is another use for branches. 

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Robert Hayward
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Re: limb wood vs trunk wood
Reply #6 - Jun 19th, 2020 at 4:36pm
 
Mike Nathal wrote on Jun 19th, 2020 at 11:32am:
Not that relevant to the original request for tool handles, but here is another use for branches.

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Thanks for that video link. I enjoyed watching and am now on the lookout for some oval branches.

Bob
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