Where to buy spindle turning blanks

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Bearcat1522

New User
Jake
Hello,

I wanted to get some opinions on places (local or online) to buy domestic/exotic kiln-dried spindle blanks. I have bought quite a few from the Raleigh Woodcraft, almost all fully encased in wax and most with MC above 20%. I am wanting to find a place that sells blanks that are already dry and ready to turn as I don't want to wait months/years for them to dry.

Also, for the blanks I currently have, any advice for drying them quicker? Should I remove the wax from all sides but leave some on the end grain?

I've already turned quite a few bottle stopper/openers that had MC around 20% (I didn't have a meter at the time so wasn't able to check the MC), should I fear these will crack/check in the future? I gave them away as gifts so I'm really hoping they don't end up cracking.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Jake
 

Brantnative

Jeff
Corporate Member
If you can make it west to Conover (Hickory area) then West Penn Hardwoods has the best selection. They're a sponsor, too.
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
Yes, West Penn Hardwoods is a good place for blanks and the majority of the turning blanks I saw there were coated in wax as well but they are 160 miles west of you.

Having said all of that, I have rarely had a turning blank crack on me after I removed the wax. Most of the time, I remove the wax as I turn if it is small like pens, stoppers and yoyos.
 

Bearcat1522

New User
Jake
I don't mind driving out there or buying online. I just want a place that has a good selection that's also kiln dried.
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
Send a PM to member "WestPenn" and ask if they have kiln-dried turning stock.
 

Danagawa

New User
D
I have bought some kiln dried turning blanks at west pen. Most are not. I have bought some incredible curly maple and cherry. I have bought a few kiln dried Cocobolo blanks that were larger but I remember them being very expensive. I would talk to Rocky at west penn and talk about what exactly u are looking for. He may not have it but I feel like he might be able to get it.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
If you are happy with domestic wood you should try Scott Smith. He normally sells larger pieces of wood but for a fellow woodworker he may cut some turning blanks.

His wood is locally harvested and kiln dried.

I'm sure you will save a bundle over Woodcraft.

www.quartersawnoak.com
 

Sam Knight

Sam Knight
Sam
Corporate Member
The Hardwood Store in Gibsonville by Elon College carries tons of kiln dried lumber in various thicknesses. Lots of species to choose from. One of the workers told me he would cut off what I wanted from a board if I didn't want to purchase the entire board as well. Not sure, but prices are probably about the same as Woodcraft. Click on the sponsored link to check out the prices.
As far as the wood you have in your shop that is still wet, if turning a bowl, rough turn it and then bag it with it's shavings. Store it in the bag for about 4 months then finish turning it. I have done this with most of the bowls I've turned so far with no cracking. I've used the bag method for lidded boxes as well. Seems to work great and is better than waiting years. Others online claim to dry their turned pieces in a microwave, but I've yet to try this. If you are ambitious, you could build your own mini kiln. Many youtube videos online on that build. Good luck.
 

Bearcat1522

New User
Jake
Awesome, thanks guys. I'm definitely going to make a trip to West Penn and maybe even The Hardwood Store in the near future. Was looking at the prices for blanks at WP, 1.5x1.5x6 bocote for under $2 is in heard of. Woodcraft would be triple that or more.
 
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Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Jake, for smaller sizes you probably won't have checking or cracking but you may get some shrinkage so your round turnings become oval.

Roy G
 

WestPenn

WestPenn
User
Hi All! I just wanted to clarify what we have to offer. We do have lots of kiln-dried domestic (and some kiln-dried exotics) spindle and turning stock. As a rule of thumb, if our wood is waxed you should assume it is green. Much of what we import comes from tropical climates and in our much drier climate the wood would crack if it dries out too quickly. We also recommend that you rough turn any wood that has been waxed and let it sit a little longer to make sure it is not going to move when you finish your project. We have found because of our large quantity of inventory most of the waxed wood has been in inventory for quite some time and has had time to dry slowly. If you are concerned about a particular species we can let you know about how long since that wood has been cut. The best thing to do is come and pick out your own wood and ask any questions you may have...hope to see you soon!
 

JGregJ

Greg
User
Educational thread here -- I'd always assumed those expensive waxed blanks were already dried, didn't realize they were green.
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
Educational thread here -- I'd always assumed those expensive waxed blanks were already dried, didn't realize they were green.
As stated by WestPenn, depending on the amount of time the blanks have been sitting they can still lose moisture. It may not be down to kiln-dried levels but it may not be as high as freshly cut.
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
It's well worth the drive to visit West Penn. Your jaw will drop just walking in the door and the place is huge.

Red
 

danmart77

Dan
Corporate Member
If you are happy with domestic wood you should try Scott Smith. He normally sells larger pieces of wood but for a fellow woodworker he may cut some turning blanks.

His wood is locally harvested and kiln dried.

I'm sure you will save a bundle over Woodcraft.

www.quartersawnoak.com
I'm with you Mike. If a man needs small pieces it might not make much difference and maybe you save on travel time. Looking at WestPenn, I found them to be more expensive than Irion. Irion does not keep any wood around that isn't prime stuff so the ask a fair but high price. Gotta make a livin'

If you want oak in the state of NC, I don't think you can beat Scott Smiths inventory. All things considered, he provides a unique service that is a gold mine in my view. I looked at some of his matched boards from a log that were quarter sawn and they were fantastic. I sound like a salesman here but his stuff is nice.

Dan
 
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