Whether to Kiln-Dry Wood Before Turning

A woodworker is advised to kiln-dry Osage Orange wood (also referred to as "Hedge") before gluing up blanks for turning bowls. October 19, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
I make segmented wooden bowls, vases and so on and I want to use hedge. I was told to use hedge green however I am gluing small pieces together and don't think this would work. I can kiln dry the hedge, however Iím not sure if it can be turned after drying. Any help is appreciated on this.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor J:
If by hedge, you're talking about osage orange, then yes. It turns nicely when dry.



From contributor X:
You may encounter some tear out with it depending on the grain but nothing major. It turns nicely. I think a good rule of thumb is to never build segmented blanks with green wood. The varying shrinkage between different species can be problematic as the blank dries. Dry the pieces first and then glue the blank together.


From the original questioner:
So I would say kiln dry is the best? I have many trees on my property and also know someone who has a kiln.


From contributor R:
Absolutely kiln dried. Why can't you turn it when dry? You can turn steel with the right tools. Even with kiln dried wood you will see glue lines and very slight mismatches with the wood over the years. Different wood species move at different rates so it won't be smooth to the touch in a few years. You are aware that osage will be brown in a couple of years, unless of course you store it in a closet. Sun light will oxidize the color of almost all the woods, so contrasts of maple to walnut will be good for a long time, but osage to walnut will be a shade of brown against a shade of brown in the future.