Tree to Bowl – Understanding and Handling Wood For Turning

In by Kent W10 Comments


  1. Kent, you many, many times speak about cracking and the negative effects from it. I’m new to turning so I’m wondering: Why are cracks “bad”? What happens if you turn a piece of wood that is cracked? I am really enjoying the course!

    1. Author

      Hm? Interesting point. Sorta like “weeds.” Weeds are only unwanted plants. If you are ok with cracks, then no problem. I suppose cracks are a concern mainly because they present structural issues with the wood and can lead to the destruction of a piece. If the crack is not structural and has stopped growing and you like them, more power to you! Of course, they can be filled and highlighted with color fills, etc. as well.
      All the best to you and Happy Turning!

      1. Can a cracked bowl blank “shatter” or come apart while spinning on the lathe? Is that what you mean by “they present structural issues with the wood and can lead to the destruction of a piece”? That sounds like a good thing to avoid, despite wearing a protective face shield and goggles?
        Or is the “destruction” usually occur after being turned?
        Thanks again so much and I’m loving your website and your course. There’s so much free information on your site but I don’t hesitate to support your site by enrolling in classes. I’ve taken one and I plan on taking the other two!
        Thanks again!

        1. Author

          Thank you kindly for your support!
          A bowl can come apart on the lathe. We obviously want to avoid that. Lathe speed and wood selection are the main ways to avoid these issues.

  2. I just completed this course. And I find it gives a lot of god advice on what to do when you are not turning. How to avoid craks in the fine wood you just got from a friend…. And a lot more 😃

    1. Author

      Thank you kindly! Yes, this course is designed to answer all those questions about the wood gathering and preparation process before turning. I’m glad you benefited and thank you for joining! Remember, you can come back whenever you’d like. Enjoy and Happy Turning!

      1. Kent,
        I completed my first trip thru the your greenwood program! Over the last couple of weeks I have been using the things I learned to cement them in my mind.
        I will be reviewing the info many times in the future.

        There is a tremendous amount of information in this course, and you’re other two courses. Allowing continued access to your courses is the reason I invested my time and money. Add to that your website and YouTube videos, and I have confidence I will have success.

        Thanks very much for helping me succeed.

        1. Author

          Thank you for writing and sharing your kind words!
          I’m so happy you are on your way to making the bowls you imagine.
          It’s an exciting path and I wish you all the best and Happy Turning!

  3. I plan on buying this course, but I’d like to know what tools are required. I looked at the “suggested tools” part of this website, but it isn’t designed to show what I’m interested in, instead it’s designed to mention all possible usable tools. If I must acquire all those tools before I start the course, it will be another year.
    Where is the list of tools required (or desired) to run this course? Is it in the lesson we don’t have access to?

    1. Author

      Good question. The basic tools for gathering wood for turning will depend on the size and amount of wood you are considering. A medium-sized chainsaw is about the minimum requirement. Small to medium logs can be processed and roughed out with just a chainsaw. A band-saw makes nicer round bowl blanks, but is not necessary. Other than that, some end-grain sealer is about the only other thing you’ll need.
      All the best to you and Happy Turning!

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