Turning dogwood?

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Trent Mason

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Trent Mason
After driving all over town in "the land of pine", with my eyes peeled for the last month or so, I finally saw someone cutting down a tree with gray bark the other day. :eek: So I pulled over and grabbed about a 2' section of trunk with about an 8" diameter. It is dogwood and I was wondering if it was worth turning. :eusa_thin I don't recall seeing any posts of people making anything out of dogwood, so that's why I wondered if it was worth anything. :dontknow:

Thanks,

Trent
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
Just about any wood is good turning wood. You don't see a lot of Dogwood turnings as it is a small growing tree that doen't get a lot of trunk dia. on it. Dogwood is a very hard wood, and kinda plain grained. The name dogwood comes from dagwood, from the use of the slender stems of very hard wood for making 'dags' (daggers, skewers).

Dave:)
 

woodArtz

New User
Bob
Never turned it myself, but I believe I've heard it turns good. I think it will move a lot, so be careful.
 

Trent Mason

New User
Trent Mason
Cool. :cool: Thanks Dave. :icon_thum When I was reading you post the first thing that came to mind was that movie "Snatch" where theyr'e out buying a camper from the gypsies and they pronounce dog "dag". :rotflm:
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
Dogwood is one of my favorite woods to turn. I guess the wood is 'uninteresting' because its a homogenous creamy white (sapwood) and brown (heart), but it turns like butter when green.

The trees never get very big, so can't do much more than spindles, tool handles and the like.

-Mark
 

TracyP

Administrator , Forum Moderator
Tracy
I have some in my stash that PChristy brought me. I am anxious to turn it.
 

Robert Arrowood

New User
Robert Arrowood
Got a friend of mine that turns it for "scratchers" for his turkey call:dontknow:.Said it's the best thing he's found.Said it sounds just like an old tom.
 

JRD

New User
Jim
I've made a few pens out of it, but just as everyone else is telling you, it's less than impressive.

When dry it's very hard, and a very uniform light redish brown.

Jim
 

Trent Mason

New User
Trent Mason
Thanks for the suggestions. :icon_thum So far, I've turned only bowls and a wine bottle stopper. My original plan was to try and make a bowl or two out of it, but now I'm not sure. Hmmm........ :eusa_thin
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
My avatar is a dogwood mallet (not turned, just hewed out with hand saw, draw knife and spokeshave), but is excellent for its use.

It has a bad tendency to split as it dries, so end seal it until you can get to work with it. If any damage to the bark or bugs working on it while still growing, you may find some great difference in hues to the wood, form ivory to deep purple.

Go
 

CaptnA

Andy
Corporate Member
usually dogwood is pretty plain and doesn't have a lot of interest to look at but when you find a piece with character its very nice

dogwood is a good wood for making tools out of lots of mallets, plane bodies, and marking gauges have been made from dogwood
I've made several dogwood mauls for some 'old time' wood workers and like olivewood, dogwood pens can hold special meaning for many religious people
 

PChristy

New User
Phillip
My avatar is a dogwood mallet (not turned, just hewed out with hand saw, draw knife and spokeshave), but is excellent for its use.

It has a bad tendency to split as it dries, so end seal it until you can get to work with it. If any damage to the bark or bugs working on it while still growing, you may find some great difference in hues to the wood, form ivory to deep purple.

Go


Go - when you turned that mallot did you rough turn it green and let it dry out and then turn it again - and did you turn it from a split piece or turned it from the whole piece with the core
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
The dogwood tree this came from was diseased and dying, and I cut it down when we felled its companion red oak that was killed by lightning in June 2006. I kept a 5"d x 5' log, bark on, on my deck for about a year. I then debarked it, and it split from the butt up about 2 feet within a few days. I don't know if the splitting was strictly moisture loss, or the fact that it was growing on a hill right next to a 24" diameter, 100' tall oak caused a lot of internal stress.

I cut the mallet blank from above the split, roughed out the handle with a hand saw, and used drawknife, spokeshave, and sanding block to shape it. It developed a small shallow split by a twig knot during this process. That was about 1 1/2+ years ago IIRC, and it has not developed any more defects. It has no finish on it.

The sister pieces are still in my garage. This is what they look like today:



The left piece is 16" long x 4 1/4" diameter, and weighs 6 lbs 6 oz.
The butt (split) piece goes from 5" to 4 1/4 " and is 23" long- weighs over 10 lb
The mallet weighs 35 oz (I plan to trim it down more some day!! It works okay but isn't balanced well, so I need to make handle longer and head shorter)

I gave the weights, because it figures to about 4 lbs per 144 cubic inches and I figure this is dry.

Hope this helps. I guess the bottom line is that you probably will have splitting unless you dry it very slowly. I don't know if the heat of turning will increase the problem, or if hollowed would equalize the moisture loss and reduce the problem. I knows nothin' 'bout that spinny stuff :confused_:confused_

Hope this helps

Go

PS: I counted 45 growth rings in the butt piece.
 

PChristy

New User
Phillip
Thanks Go = I have the butt - end of a dogwood and it is about 3' long -goes I am guessing from 7-8" up to 5-6" It has been down for a couple of months - I think that I will put it under the building and let it dry out - the ends have been sealed and the bark is still on
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
Ok I see everyone is all excited over this dogwood twig and there is even a link to a thread with a 1/2 rotten bowl someone made out of another dogwood twig.

I thought I was a little strange but you turners are freaking crazy...
 

Rod

New User
Rod
Trent

Have turned some spalted dogwood into bowls before. I thought it turned out pretty nice. Other than that, I use it mostly for mallets. My experience with it is to try and turn it before it dries, as it dries hard as ****. Definitely seal it after turning to let it dry some before finishing. I think whatever you turn should be very nice, though.

As far as timing is concerned, I am somewhat in the same boat...trying to figure out what to do with some large persimmon timbers that I have. As you know, persimmon is a very dense and hard wood. As it dries it just gets harder and can be very hard to work with. So what to do?

So to answer your question...absolutely...dogwood is fine for turning. Though more of a utilitarian medium of construct, it can still turn out quite artistic as well. As they say, art is in the eye of the beholder.

Good Luck,
Rod
 
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