Monday, September 5, 2011

Yellow Poplar & Happy Labor Day

Hi Everyone,

Happy Labor Day! I hope you're all having a quiet and easy day today. And I'm grateful for spending this Labor Day as an employed person. Many thanks to Jennifer, Elaine, Stacy, Emily and Dr. B.

I went to Woodcraft over in Bloomington this past weekend and bought some sanding stars, which are strips of sandpaper that are stacked together in the shape of a star and used to sand irregular shapes, and something that I've needed for a while now. And while I was there I wandered into a big basket of small turning blocks of red maple and yellow poplar. I've used a lot of red maple and it's cuts beautifully and is one of my favorite woods. I've never used yellow poplar and didn't really know much about it so I took a chance and bought one block and took it home.

I am really glad that I did. It turned beautifully. It looks a lot like rock maple--same ivory color, same smooth, closed grain, but just not as hard. And sometimes that's a nice thing : ). Even on a lathe with high speed steel tools, hard woods can be tough to work and hard on the hands. A lovely piece of softer wood is always welcome.

The piece that I got has a small amount of wild grain but most of it was straight and very even and a pleasure to turn. Here are the pictures:

This particular bowl is about 5 inches in diameter and approximately 4.5 inches high with a small foot on the bottom. I'm finishing it with a special food safe finish and it will be done in a couple of days. All in all a lovely way to spend a day off.

I'll send more photos when I'm done.

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