For me it has to be Cherry. It’s fine grained and has a beautiful colour. Perfect for bowls etc.
My favourite wood for turning bowls, goblet, platters, is Western Canada’s Big Leaf Maple. It grows quite fast which makes it a little softer than in Eastern Canadian Silver Maple which makes it turn beautifully. AAA figure is often prevalent which leads to some fantastic grain patterns in my salad bowls and wedding goblets.
A close second is Red Alder which has some interesting ray patterns across its grain lines. This wood is considered by some to be junk since it tends to spalt and rot very quickly; but it turns into some beautiful vases.
My Favourite wood is Yew but had to stop using it as I always seem to come out in a rash. My next choice is Tiger Maple, Cherry, cocobolo and Beech.
I have just found olive tree I saw a bag of logs in my local garden center big bag for £7 when I got it home I had 3 4inch by 7 inch and the rest were just split they make great looking pens and tea light holders
I do like the grain in Yew, but some of the oils i have used to finish turns the wood darker so losing the white colour contrast. I was given some laburnam which has been drying for a couple of years. It has a creamy white sap wood and a very large chocolate heartwood. Cutting the wood across both gives a beautiful variation of pattern. Just used it for a pen and it finishes like glass… Have some larger pieces so will try a larger bowl
My favourite wood is Cedar. Red Cedar in my experience is a great wood for green turning. It is also good for tools as I saw at http://toolsbros.com.
I too love the feel of cherry being moulded on the lathe, the crispness of the wood against the sharp edge of the gouge…Ooooo!
Ok enough of that, I’m also a fan of Yew although I always come out in a rash on my hands so have had to resort to using gloves when working with it.
I also like African Padauk…and any wood I can get my hands on to be honest.
I agree on all you mentioned, Yew being my fave, cherry very nice to turn and I like walnut for darker wood. Padauk!!! I have turned a bowl and am very pleased with it and the black grain is just superb…But finishing cuts and sanding produced tons of fine dust. Luckily I had a positive pressure mask but my entire workshop was covered in a fine red film of dust… ye gods… it took ages to clean it all LOL… I will turn som more as it is a nice wood to turn BUT… I will drag the lathe into the garden
Yeah, my bad @Welling_Turner Should have given you a heads up on that one, Sorry. Its a fantastic wood but I once made the mistake of wet sanding and came out of the workshop looking like I had been the victim of a serious accident. It was shortly after this episode that I invested in an air filter and better extraction unit.
LOL I did try a wet sponge to clean the lathe and that was a big mistake… just smeared it around… still ,live and learn and it is a fantastic looking wood but we will both be more cautious next time… Good Luck buddy and happy turning
Not had the pleasure of turning cedar yet appaently give a nice smell too, will have to give it a go thank you
The best timber for turning is stuff called Freen’gratiswood! - Rob