Friday, January 18, 2013

Welcome back and new project

Hello All,

Well, Happy New Year to you all and it's time to get back to work. If there is wood in the shop, I need to be out working. As simple as that. I had one project that I began last November that I wanted to finish and another that I've been thinking of so here goes!

Black Walnut chunks

Several years ago I acquired a large black walnut tree trunk from a friend who lives in Afton, Minnesota. The tree came down in a heavy rainstorm and as a consequence was absolutely full of water. It was far too wet to work on
 so I decided to stash it away and let it season for a while. Earlier this year I took part of the trunk and cut it into chunks and put Anchorseal on the cut edges and further let it season. I was looking at the chunks earlier this week and decided to work on one of them to see how well it had seasoned.

I picked up one of the chunks and immediately it was apparent that the wood was seasoned because it was much, much lighter in weight that it had been previously. So I took the chunk and began to work on it so here we go:

This is one of the chunks. It is about 12 inches long at the diameter and about 6 inches think at it's widest point:

I took the chunk and split it into two pieces: 

Here you can see I've split off the corners to make it easier to turn. This will be mounted on the lathe shortly and turned into a cylinder:

Here is the chunk with a hole drilled into one end so it can be mounted on my wood chuck and then on the lathe. I'm going to mount it between centers and turn it very slowly as it's unbalanced:

This is the chunk after about 10 minutes of turning. It's smooth and a very lovely piece of wood but there's a problem-it has a crack on one end. I'll have to turn down this section of the blank to see how deep the crack goes. This could doom this piece of wood:

Well, you can see the crack is deep and it runs almost across to the other side. I could discard the block or I can salvage it by sawing off this end. I don't want to throw it away so off to the bandsaw we go:

I want to note here that it's often tempting to turn cracked or damaged wood but you run the risk of the piece suddenly flying apart while you're doing it. It's dangerous to do this even if it's taped and especially if you try gluing it. It's not worth getting hit by flying wood and possibly getting badly injured so don't turn cracked wood. Saw off the cracked areas or if that isn't feasible, dump it. 

 And here it is now. This section appears to be solid enough for turning so I'll proceed.

I had thought to make a weed vase out of it but I'm not sure what I'll do with it now. I'll get back to you about that.

Red Maple Bowl

I have a good friend who is retiring this year along with her husband and I wanted to make them both a present to mark the occasion. I had just happened along a large pile of red maple turning blanks at a wood store and I bought two of them and began turning one last November. I got the outside shaped, sanded and finished but the holidays, etc, prevented my finishing it so I set it aside until this past week when I finished hollowing it out and finished it. Here it is:

I'm going to try to do some turning later tomorrow and if I do I'll post more photos.


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