Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Turning Odds and Ends-Pecan Salad Bowl and Pine Tea Box

Hi Everyone,

Today I decided to begin turning some larger bowls in both unseasoned green wood and in a few days, some laminated bowls. These two types of bowls are constructed differently and I'll be posting about this off and on over the next several weeks. I also decided to re-turn two items that I made in the past but didn't like: a pine wood tea box and a small bowl.

First, let's see the larger of the two bowls, the pecan bowl:

I've had this 10x4 pecan blank for a couple of years now and I planned to turn it last year but didn't get to it so it stayed in the shop. You can see that it's covered in wax to keep it from drying out.

Pecan is a member of the hickory family of woods and it grows primarily in the southern-central United States. They are the source of edible seeds and the trees can live as long as 300 years. I've turned only one pecan bowl and it had a lovely golden brown color to it after it was finished:

Since this blank is so heavy, I'm going to mount it on a 6" diameter faceplate. This will help to dampen vibration as it turns and it's also safer to do it this way:

And since it's so heavy, I've mounted it between centers to take the stress off the lathe bearings:

And here we go. My main goals today are: to remove all the wax on what will become the outside surface of the bowl, roughly shape the outside surface the bowl, and begin the drying out process for this bowl blank. Here you can see I've begun shaping the underside of the bowl:

This bowl blank weighs a ton and the shavings are damp-this blank has a lot of water inside it! If you look carefully at this photograph you can see the shavings are in the shape of long strips. If the wood were dryer, these shavings would look more like large wooden crumbs. My clothing and face shield are getting wet too:

Here is the blank about 20 minutes later. The wood is very hard:

And here is the wood after about 45 minutes total turning time. You can see the shape of the bowl and also some interesting color in the wood:

This is the underside of the bowl. I haven't turned the foot on the bowl yet. This blank will have to dry out considerably before I do that:

And here is the bowl coated with Pentacryl and about to go into a plastic bag for a few days to absorb the Pentacryl and to slow down the drying process. Since there is such a large, freshly turned surface here, leaving it out of the bag would allow the blank to rapidly dry out. This will result in a distorted, cracked blank very quickly:

This bowl is going to remain in the plastic bag for the next several days, followed by several weeks slowly drying in several layers of heavy paper so allow the bowl blank to dry slowly. In about 3 weeks time, I'll take it out and finish turning the outside of the bowl then flip it over and partially hollow it out and re-do the above process. We will have a finished bowl probably in August. We'll return to this project several more times to complete it.

The Pine Wood Tea Box

A couple of years ago I bought a large laminated block of pine that was destined to be carved into something but the folks who were going to carve it changed their minds and sold it to me. The block was cut up by me and turned into a lot of different things and amongst them was this tea box. I turned the box and then for some unknown reason I stained it a grey color and that instantly made it look pretty ugly. So I took the box and it's lid and stashed it away underneath a side table in my living room behind some books and forgot about it.

I found it the other day when the cats got to it and pushed it into view and I decided to re-turn it a little and remove that ugly grey stain. Here is a photo of the poor, ol', ugly box:

The cool thing about wood is that if you make something you don't like, you can always re-cut it and fashion it into something else and that's what I did here. I removed the grey stain and added two beads to the side of the bowl. I also re-turned the knob on the top of the lid. The color is greatly improved here:

And here it is with just a plain waxed finish on it along with a small pine bowl I made about a month ago. Both will go in my kitchen and be used for tea and sugar:

 Tomorrow, I'll turn a large, fruit platter out of ambrosia maple, a type of wood you don't often see so drop by the wood shop tomorrow and we'll see how this goes.


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