Woo Hoo, Part Deux #2: There's gold in them thar logs!

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Blog entry by Douglas Bordner posted 11-13-2007 07:19 AM 1946 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Streetside Maple Log Quarters become bowl blanks Part 2 of Woo Hoo, Part Deux series no next part

The story, for those unfamilar with the first entry, is that I was driving through the neighborhood. Truth be told I had the feeling there was going to be something I was going to find. Highly developed “Free-dar”. I happened upon a yard with the entire length of the sidewalk lined with quartered log sections of a massive maple tree and a sign exhorting me to take all I wanted. I was frustrated because most of the sections were massive. And when I went to toss one in the bed of the pickup, I about busted a gut. Each of the pieces I tried to lift were in the 80-90 lbs range. The homeowner helped me get a second log quarter in the bed, and told me there was more in the back.

I politely told him that these were for bowl-turning and would likely have more than I needed, but thank you.

If you ever hear something like that come out of your mouth, slap yourself.
I waited a week to have the time to render bowl blanks that would fit my mini-lathe and my 14˝ bandsaw with the 6˝ height stricture. Then I coated the endgrain with some left over blue paint. The next day I decided to try a wet-turned bowl, and turned the piece down to about 1/4˝ walls. I let it air dry for a day, mounted it back up in a four jaw chuck, refined the shape and gave it a preliminary sanding. I had thought to let it dry in paper bags, but I decided to try microwave drying with this small piece. Predictably there was some warping, as the bowl became oval in shape – stretching out in length along the end grain. But the shape remained pleasing, and so I pressed on, mounting the blank back up and in the spirit of investigation I decided to wet sand with some homemade danish oil that I toned with Walnut and Corinthian MC Campbell Microtone wood dye (acetone and alcohol base, non-grain raising).

Predictably the endgrain took more dye than the rest of the bowl. But the science experiment looked okay to me, so I’ll post these shots.

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This last shot I took into Photoshop, cut out the background and a huge flash shadow, and made a digital background to match the other shots taken on a couch pillow and added a modest drop shadow.

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I didn’t have to add any grain! This haul of logs has tiger-striped figure in the rock maple. I have since recovered every usable scrap of the blank offcuts and trimmings. If only I would have known this, I would have rallied every relative and neighbor within shouting distance and stacked maple behind the garage up to the eaves.

But you know what they say…”If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, it’d be Christmas all year ‘round.”
I’ll have to be thankful for what I’ve gotten.

When I’m sure everything is completely dry, I’ll put on a decent clear coat on this piece and it will sing…
I’ll post the progress, and any other offspring of my lucky logs.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

25 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35130 posts in 4522 days

#1 posted 11-13-2007 07:23 AM

Never pass on free wood. I mean you can always give it away, if its no good. But who ever heard of no good wood. Not a LumberJock.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4027 posts in 4185 days

#2 posted 11-13-2007 07:29 AM

If I’m ever to get a stash on par with your golden horde, Karson, I’ll never turn my nose up again.
I may have to plank some out and try a spalting experiment. After all you don’t need 2”x8”x8’ers for the jewelry box trade. Woo Hoo!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4216 days

#3 posted 11-13-2007 07:31 AM

Hooray for Science! I like this, Doug. I don’t know if it’s the shape or the lighting popping the grain or both. Seems like about the right size for a cool coffee cup sans the handle.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4027 posts in 4185 days

#4 posted 11-13-2007 07:52 AM

Have to admit the music in my head while turning was…

“Way down South they gave a jubilee
The Georgia folks they had a jamboree
They’re drinkin’ home brew from a wooden cup
The folks dancin’ got all shook up

And started playin’ that that
rock and roll music.”

Lyric credits: Chuck Berry and The Beatles

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4112 days

#5 posted 11-13-2007 08:19 AM

Nice! You’ll have to give one of them to your neighbor!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Grumpy's profile


24282 posts in 3973 days

#6 posted 11-13-2007 09:31 AM

You sure are one for doing it the hard way Doug. Nice bowl, it looks like Aussie silky oak. you could pretend that you turned it oval, that would be a good party conversation.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4119 days

#7 posted 11-13-2007 09:52 AM

Looks great Douglas! It shimmers!

Is the wood all gone at this point or can you go back with your saw to make the quarters more manageable??? I know, I know…be happy with what you got, be happy with what you got, be happy with what you got…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4027 posts in 4185 days

#8 posted 11-13-2007 10:07 AM

I tried to go back about a week after I picked up the haul and it was gone. I thought about bringing the saw over to this fellow’s house but to tell you the truth, I’m so new to using a chainsaw and it makes me so nervous, I couldn’t entertain the notion of going over there and accidentally severing an extremity in this gent’s front yard.

I cut these when Pam wasn’t around, and truth be told I got my cellphone out of my bookbag, turned it on and had it on the truck tailgate while I was cutting in case there was trouble. Even had a bungie handy in case a ligature was needed.

So, Debbie if I have ever give you static about how evil routers are to you, I deeply apologize. That’s how I feel about chainsaws. It’s gut-check every time I fire mine up, but there is no other expedient way to get where I want to go with logs, so it’s a necessary evil.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4119 days

#9 posted 11-13-2007 10:20 AM

I’m pretty comfortable with my 20” saw…but, I started up and cut some wood with the borrowed 32” this weekend to get a feel for it… Now, that was quite a different experience! I felt like I should have had a helmet on; I kept on imagining the result of a kick back. Quite frightening…it’ll feel safer with the milling attachment bolted securely on it.

And now for your fortune: More wood is sure to come your way!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4368 days

#10 posted 11-13-2007 10:46 AM

Very pretty bowl Doug, nice grain pattern. Nice color too, love that gold. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View MsDebbieP's profile


18616 posts in 4282 days

#11 posted 11-13-2007 01:19 PM

after all the stories here about “take the wood”, you’d think NO LumberJock would ever pass on free wood..

I think Karson gets ribbed now and again about his stash – but we all know that it is pure jealousy!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6863 posts in 4101 days

#12 posted 11-13-2007 01:39 PM

Who’s selling the free wood?

Let me know


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4084 days

#13 posted 11-13-2007 03:04 PM

That’s some really uni-que wood, Douglas. Too bad you didn’t get it all. But …...someone else will cut down a tree. Don’t worry about the chain saw, after you’ve cut yourself once or twice you’ll catch on.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4018 days

#14 posted 11-13-2007 04:13 PM

Looks great Doug. I’ve always have been afraid of the chainsaw, I’ve used them, but still don’t like them. I have, however, been known to use a good old fashioned axe with good results. (It’s better exercise also.)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16276 posts in 4340 days

#15 posted 11-13-2007 04:14 PM

Yeah, Doug, like old Three-finger Tom says, there’s nothing to using a chain saw. :-)

Good find on the wood, and great job on the bowl!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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