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Danllan

Box

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I have a couple of fair sized box trees that I need to lop a few branches off, the branches themselves are pretty big, being about 8" in diameter at their bases.

I like the idea of having some turned bowls and other things made from them, but have no experience of this wood. Can anyone advise the best size to cut to and the best way to season them, i.e. in cubes, in the round, bark on / off etc.?

Thanks in advance.

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Boxwood branches 8" diameter are more than fair sized, they're huge!

As Steve says, leave as logs with bark on, thickly seal the end grain and leave to dry in a cool dark place. You'll need to be patient though, box dries very, very slowly. It's normal for box to develop a single large split lengthways during the process but that still leaves you two very useable half-logs.

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Thanks for that, I've not been down there for a while - the weather has been awful and I'm not taking a vehicle to carry the stuff while the ground is so soft. When I'm next down there I'll take some pic's. The trees are either side of an old ruin, maybe they started as ends of a hedge, there are no smaller box in between them. By pure luck, a large oak that is near them and came down in the storms, missed them. ☺️

 

Seal the ends with what? Wax, a varnish, paint or something specific? How many years to season -  as a guess, of course.

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I use wax or 2/3coats gloss paint, many recommend pva glue and I store anything for turning a minimum 3 years in outbuildings with airflow

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I use pva to seal timber but remember to paint your seal a few inches up each end of the log, not just the exposed timber. Apply it with your hands and really slather the stuff on - no brush to clean up and it ensures you put the glue on thicker than if you spread it with a brush - its tempting to spread it a bit too thin with a brush.  I'd be glad to trade you something carved for some of the timber, I'm near Cardiff, PM me if your interested.

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I had my greatest success sealing the ends with bitumen - it's just what I had at the time. The logs were stored in the attic of an outbuilding that was dark but draughty. Left for 4 years and they were then nicely dry and virtually crack-free. Mind you, those were 4' diameter, not 8" ...

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my greatest result was to simply cut them straight down the middle of the log and let them dry naturally over a few years. they dried perfectly. only a 4" log though.

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