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Woodturning #1: David Marks Turns a 400 Pound Hollow Vessel!

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Blog entry by CharlieK posted 08-04-2016 08:42 PM 1532 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I met with David Marks while he was still in the early stages of his greatest woodturning project (yet!). He showed my the specialized lathe tools he uses for very large hollow vessel turnings and some of his woodturning tricks! He also explained his amazing methods for storing, drying and stabilizing wood for his wood turning projects.

The scale of this woodturning project is amazing! The blank for this turning project weighed 400 pounds! Even the tools he used to turn it were oversize, the boring bar all by itself weighs 125 pounds!

David was one of only twenty people who were invited to present at the 30th annual American Association of Woodturner’s Symposium. This was quite an honor and he wanted to make a special piece for that. Well, he sure did!

His deadline for this piece was to have it completed in time for The symposium was in June of 2016 so he only had a few months to get 400 pounds of wet wood turned, dried, finished, and rubbed out and shipped from California to Boston.

David’s incredible method for drying wood includes boiling it in a pot of water and soaking it in alcohol. This surprising method is very effective in preventing warping, checking, and cracking. Not only does this produce a great result, but it does it very quickly!

The magnitude of this project is much bigger than it appears and it took David over 1000 hours to complete it. That by itself amazes me. My thinking goes something like this: If it takes a guy like David Marks a thousand hours then I can’t even imagine how long it would have taken someone like me!

The end result was a true masterpiece. David named the piece Sensei. Sensei means “Teacher” in Japanese and he chose that name because he learned so much from this project.

The completed vessel on stand with the lid is 57 inches tall. The footprint is 22 inches in diameter.

Materials starting from the top down :
Betel nut
African Blackwood
Quilted Mahogany from “The Tree”
African Blackwood, textured on the outside and hand chased threads on the inside
Snakewood, one of the rarest woods in the world. The snakewood is segmented with veneers of Holly.
Ebony, segmented with veneers of Holly
Spalted,figured,Big leaf Maple for the hollow vessel (32inches deep)
Snakewood for the caps on top of the legs
Wenge and Maple bandsawn and planed and drum sanded down to 1/32 inch thick at the feet. There are 11 layers of wenge and maple all tapered.
Wenge segmented with Holly veneers

If you are looking for a showpiece for your living room or your corporate headquarters then you are in luck because, remarkably, this piece is still available.

Inquiries can be made by emailing him at: david@djmarks.com

David wrote an extensive and very interesting article about this piece and I strongly encourage you to check it out!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com



7 comments so far

View WhoMe's profile

WhoMe

1464 posts in 2703 days


#1 posted 08-04-2016 11:09 PM

Wow, would love to see and appreciate this in person.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View CharlieK's profile

CharlieK

467 posts in 3253 days


#2 posted 08-04-2016 11:27 PM



Wow, would love to see and appreciate this in person.

- WhoMe

I haven’t seen the finished piece (just photos) but it was great to be there while he was working on it!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com

View Vince's profile

Vince

1111 posts in 2889 days


#3 posted 08-05-2016 05:31 AM

That guy is a awesome woodworker

-- Vince

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

4881 posts in 2127 days


#4 posted 08-05-2016 01:58 PM

Extra ordinary
Thanks for posting this very informative video !

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

16951 posts in 2649 days


#5 posted 08-05-2016 02:45 PM

Are you kidding me? He is amazing and loved watching his show. Truly a gifted woodworker who thinks outside the box. One day I look fwd to taking one of his classes. Great post.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View CharlieK's profile

CharlieK

467 posts in 3253 days


#6 posted 08-05-2016 04:59 PM



Are you kidding me? He is amazing and loved watching his show. Truly a gifted woodworker who thinks outside the box. One day I look fwd to taking one of his classes. Great post.

- Ken90712

David is genuinely a nice guy and an excellent teacher. Yes, a class with him would be great!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#7 posted 08-05-2016 06:54 PM

Charlie,

You get better and better at this video stuff.

Your shop update shows that you are getting more comfortable with this.

Keep it up!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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