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My lathe journeys. #7: ... 'nother bowl... natural edge...green...wet... heavy

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Blog entry by JoeinGa posted 12-17-2014 05:00 PM 1310 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: ...Bowl #5 ... bark on, and a big BONK ! Part 7 of My lathe journeys. series Part 8: ... next one.. Other half of that heavy, wet log. »

I have several logs of black gum and oak that were given to me. They were only cut 2 or 3 weeks ago, so I put some old paint on the ends and stacked them outside the shop to dry. Sunday in church the guy that gave it to me suggested that I might like to try and turn a piece of that gum while it was still wet. He said ” it’ll turn WAY EASIER than that dry oak and maple boards you’ve been gluing together.” So I figured why not?
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I cut off a piece of the gum about 12”long and then sawed it in half with the chainsaw. Big dummy me didn’t take pictures of the project while I was working so here is the other half of the piece I cut. I propped it up with a piece of 2X4 so you can see how big it was when mounted on my lathe. It’s just over 9” across the flat side and almost 12” long.
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I had to trim the corners with the bandsaw just so it would clear the slide bars on the lathe. And it took me 3 or 4 times of repositioning the faceplate to get it anywhere NEAR to even being balanced. That sucker shook the whole building the first time I turned it on! Every time I turned the lathe either on or off I had to grab hold of the stand to keep it from shaking loose from the bolts holding it to the floor.

I gotta admit, it was pretty cool watching the shavings fly from the tools. And it was ( is ) SO WET that my shirt sleeve was wet from the shavings that accumulated on my arm as I turned. When I was done I had enough shavings to fill four 5-gallon buckets. There was no way to even try to use sandpaper, it’s THAT wet.

Here’s some shots of it before I put any oil on it. I even tried to get “Artsy” and took a few of it sitting in the pile of shavings that came off it.
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And here it is after it sucked up about a half-pint of mineral oil. Plus I’ve put 3 or 4 coats of Howard’s Butcher Block Treatment on it and after sitting all night it STILL looks “dry” ( but it FEELS WET to touch it. )
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I know that as wood dries the likelihood of it cracking is pretty good. So I guess I’ll just put it on a shelf and see what happens in the next 10 or 12 months. MAYBE it’ll be dry by then.

Thanks for looking, and as always, comments and critiques are welcomed.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward



5 comments so far

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2547 days


#1 posted 12-17-2014 05:31 PM

Those wet/green logs give off those nice long shavings real easy, I like to leave mine extra thick so I
can round them off after they warp while drying. If you put the bowls in a paper back after you turn
them wet, they tend to dry out without too many cracks. Thank you for sharing. That is a real good
looking bowl you have there.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

5221 posts in 1505 days


#2 posted 12-17-2014 09:05 PM

Now your cookin Joe. I bet you felt a big difference with this log compared to the dry wood. Nice work. Hope it doesn’t crack or warp on you. Those logs you have outside storing, cover them up or get them out of the sun. They may crack anyway but for sure they will crack when the sun beats on them.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7480 posts in 1469 days


#3 posted 12-18-2014 12:55 AM

Thanks Gus. Someone else also told me to use a paper bag and also fill the bowl with lathe shavings to absorb the moisture as it dries out.

DD , yes, I have a piece of tin that I put on top, I just took it off for the photo.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1751 posts in 525 days


#4 posted 07-27-2015 05:07 AM

No! Don’t put it on a shelf if you intend to re-mount it for finishing. Put it in a box or brown paper bag surrounded by those beautiful shavings. Let it sit in it’s filth for a couple months. This slows the drying process and may prevent cracking. When you finish-turn it, oil it up like you do (Mineral Oil, Danish, what have you – I use Boiled Linseed Oil because it pops the figure without much change in the tone. I like to friction polish my turnings with spray on shellac (several coats – 6-10. You can always knock back the shine if you prefer – and top it with paste wax, which makes it so soft and pleasurable to the touch. Tung is a great thing that seals, somewhat, is flexible. And, it dries out and goes away. For the same reason, cracking can happen long after you finish a piece, if all you do is put Tung, or, really , any kind of oil on it. Shellac is our friend. For Tung to last, multiple coats are required over an extended period.
About those wet shavings from the wet wood : Like a hot butter through knife, am I right?
Wet Wood turning is a whole study of turning is itself. It’s risky due to the warp-crack issue (I’m trying to find just the right method – what I said about the box/bag/shavings technique isn’t fool-proof.) There’s a guy (can’t recall who) actually keeps his preliminary turning in water and keeps them wet. I know. I don’t get it either. Again, I’m way early on here. Forgive if I tell you things you already know. If you mount a half-buck like this with a screw chuck in the round side, turn the outside from the flat side, majing either a permanent foot or a tenon/plinth to be cut off when done, you’ll get a live-edge bowl with bark around the rim. (I’m gonna be embarrassed if i get to #13 or #19, or some such and see that you figured that out on your own. Again, forgive me. I just like talking about it.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1751 posts in 525 days


#5 posted 07-27-2015 05:10 AM

Nyssa sylvatica, commonly known as black tupelo, tupelo, or blackgum, is a medium-sized deciduous tree native to eastern North America from New England and southern Ontario south to central Florida and eastern Texas, as well as Mexico. There. I know what Black Gum is. Thanks to Wikipedia.

-- Mark

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