Monday, May 15, 2017

Serving Bowls out of Blue Stain Pine

Hi Everyone,

A while back I came across a portion of a timber out of blue stain pine and immediately picked it up and bought it for a dollar. And was I ever happy about that.

Blue stain pine is pine wood that has developed a blue-gray color or stain in the wood fibers. I'm not sure if this is something the tree absorbs from the ground or if it has something to do with the DNA of the tree. But it is a beautiful feature and it's often found in #3 common pine. It was very popular for wood workers back in the 1970s in California and it was common to see it used for table tops. I have always enjoyed working with pine lumber.

This is the piece of wood that I bought and I could see that the blue stain was all through that wood:

But, there's always a but somewhere, there was a large defect in the underside and that's probably why it was rejected by the cabinet maker working with it:

But I decided to press on and make some small serving bowls out it. I cut out 3 turning blanks out of it and looked at the end grain-this is all through the wood top to bottom and so some of the stain will survive turning. You can also clearly see the defect. My plan is to turn a bowl with that defect on the underside of the bowl:

Here is the turning blank after it's been trued up:

And after about 3 minutes of turning. Scroll down to the next two photos and you can see the defect getting smaller as wood is being removed by the turning process:

Next I created a very small foot underneath the bowl and also drilled out a 2 1/4" diameter hole underneath the bowl for the chuck to fit into. The defect is much smaller but still there so I'm going to have to hollow out the bowl and leave the sides thicker than I normally would for a bowl this size so I don't inadvertently cut into that defect and destroy the bowl:

In this photo I've turned the bowl over and trued up the face and begun hollowing it out:

For the time being I decided to leave the walls about 1/2" thick as a safety measure:

And I started turning. I didn't use a high speed for this because that defect makes the bowl unbalanced as it's spinning, not enough to be dangerous but you never know. Best not to turn it too fast and risk having fly off the chuck suddenly:

The bowl took about 10 minutes to hollow out and this is what it looked like after I took it off the lathe:

Lastly I took it back in to the wood shop and coated it with salad bowl finish. Here is what it looks like-you can clearly see the stain in the wood:

And that is that.

I'm going to turn the other two blanks into similar serving bowls and I'll show you all three of them when I'm finished with them.

Stay tuned,

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