All Knotted Up #3: Phase Last

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Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 11-21-2015 08:29 AM 612 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: or, How Design Changes Take Place Part 3 of All Knotted Up series no next part

I know. I know. I said the next time I posted anything about this Thing would be as a finished project. This is, indeed, the last you’ll hear of it. For I am done with it.

I made myself a hollowing tool some time ago. It’s been working pretty well. It’s a little touchy about how it’s presented to the wood. But I’ve done okay with it. It didn’t like my little Celtic Knot Lidded Jar.

It just went BANG. And pieces, too many to fix, fell to the floor.

It was fun, while it lasted. But, it was just one of those things. A rare thing that I have nothing funny to say about.

I will say that I don’t blame the tool, entirely. Nor will I cop to it being anything I did wrong (you can clearly see how far along the hollowing had progressed without a problem – I was just lightly cleaning up the inside). Remember that this piece of Pine was soft on one side. It was as soft on one side on the inside as it was on the outside. The nice, hardwood that made up the Knot, in collaboration with the punkish Pine, did this Thing in.

Mark this one a failure.


-- Mark

11 comments so far

View branch's profile


1107 posts in 2574 days

#1 posted 11-21-2015 10:25 AM

hi mark that was a shame it blow up with all that work you put in to it
but as my old dad use to say its a bad day when you don’t learn something new
so just put it down to a learning process and move on to the next one
never give up because you will never know how close you were to wining the battle
have fun


View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2259 posts in 3103 days

#2 posted 11-21-2015 12:55 PM

Bad luck Mark but you sure have learnt a lot from this exercise, you have mastered the video scene and I reckon you have another piece of stump on the lathe ready to go. All is not lost mate, you have some fire wood to burn.
Cheers Bob.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16796 posts in 2525 days

#3 posted 11-21-2015 01:00 PM

Hey Mark, I can relate to that. I just blew up a hollow sphere that seemed to be running real good until the pith let go!
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3175 days

#4 posted 11-21-2015 02:36 PM

Sorry about the “knot”. You put in a lot of time/effort on this one.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Darrell Feltmate's profile

Darrell Feltmate

9 posts in 338 days

#5 posted 11-21-2015 03:35 PM

Just a thought, but part of the problem is the 90 degree bend in the hollowing tool. According to David Ellsworth, guru of hollow form turning, a 45 degree is what you need. I made a few sets of hollowing tools, including a couple with arm braces, and the ones I use most are the straight tool and the 45. They can be found on my web page but I could post a picture here if that would help.

-- Darrell, Nova Scotia, Canada,

View Darrell Feltmate's profile

Darrell Feltmate

9 posts in 338 days

#6 posted 11-21-2015 03:42 PM

Ooops, sorry about that. I just went back and looked at the previous post in the blog. Nice knot by the way. I did not realize how punky the wood was. Good try all around. Have you tried wrapping a piece like that with some of the stick to itself wrapping tape? Sort of like Saran wrap on a spool. I have found it to be a help in holding questionable burls together.

-- Darrell, Nova Scotia, Canada,

View BurlyBob's profile


3463 posts in 1685 days

#7 posted 11-21-2015 04:14 PM

The really sucks. Your posting this so it’s safe to surmise you ducked any flying pieces. I have little experience with turning but lots with projects gone bad. Wish you better luck with the next one.

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 1256 days

#8 posted 11-21-2015 04:43 PM

That’s a bummer Mark, but it happens. I think its cool that you did it anyway and I think it is helpful for new turners reading your blog to see that sometimes projects disintegrate and die of their own volition, especially when we are experimenting. Mixing hard materials with soft can be a risky business. I have no doubt that we will see many more lidded jars with knots come out of your shop.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 483 days

#9 posted 11-22-2015 12:37 AM

Thank you all for your kind condolences.
Hugo, sometimes, we demand abject obedience from the wood and get punks like this one
Bob, I’m actually working on a paying gig, off the lathe. Imagine that.
Jim: Pithy-ath wood.
Lew, thanks. I did.
Darrell, I’ve BMd your site. And, yes, please do post a picture of that. I made mine with an Allen wrench, which is why it’s 90 degrees. I guess I could collect up some other-angled ones. Thanks for wrinkling my brain. As to your second comment: I’ve seen people actually put a hose clamp around a Thing.
Thanks for the concern, Burley. But, really, it all just fell to the floor. Nothing flew. Things rarely do that. A person has to be really aggressive with the tool to make pieces fly.
Yeah, John. I’ll probably do a couple of “simple” bowls or vases in the interim, but, the Knot’s not out of my head.

-- Mark

View John's profile


414 posts in 689 days

#10 posted 11-22-2015 05:29 PM

Hi Mark, after watching this I will be more careful with my allen wrench hollowing tool. I will buy the proper tool some day.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 483 days

#11 posted 11-26-2015 01:05 AM

Hi Mark, after watching this I will be more careful with my allen wrench hollowing tool. I will buy the proper tool some day.

- John

Check D-Way.

-- Mark

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