Review: Turning Green Wood – Michael O’Donnell

Turning Green Wood by Michael O’Donnell

When I first saw Turning Green Wood advertised on Amazon and at retailers, I have to admit that I dismissed it as the cover seemed uninspiring. However, I eventually bought it when on an offer and it has become one of my favourite go-to books.

In ‘Part 1′ of Turning Green Wood, Michael O’Donnell discuss’ everything from the basic anatomy of trees to how features like burrs and burls grow.  Using fantastic graphics and images he explains how wood dries, shrinks and warps depending on where it is cut from particular trees.  Before buying the book I was aware that timber shrunk as it dries, but was less aware of how well it can be predicted and therefore used to our advantage.  O’Donnell explains how to work out the best way to cut raw timber in order to get the maximum return, but also to get the best results from shape, grain and features.  Particularly useful are sections on how to recognise hidden features within a tree, how to encourage spalting and drying methods including using the microwave.

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In ‘Part 2’ O’Donnell guides you, with clear methods,  through the creation of your first green wood projects with a number of ‘Natural-Edge’ and ‘Translucent’ bowl and goblet projects.  The projects cover everything you need from timber selection, chucking, tool choice, recommended cuts and cut direction, support of longer pieces and finishing.  There is a great section covering part turning of bowls, re-chucking and reverse chucking to finish the bottom of projects.

Turning Green Wood has 135 fully illustrated pages, split into 2 parts and 11 chapters:

Part 1: Planning and Preparation

  1. The tree
  2. Bowls in the tree
  3. Timber, tools and techniques
  4. Planning the work

Part 2: Turning Bowls and Goblets

  1. Making shavings
  2. Translucent cross-grained bowl
  3. Natural-edge cross-grained bowl
  4. Translucent end-grain bowl
  5. Natural-edge end-grain bowl
  6. Natural-edge end-grain goblet
  7. Part-turned functional bowl


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Turning Green Wood by Michael O'Donnell

Turning Green Wood by Michael O’Donnell


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