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Roughing up some bowl blanks

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Blog entry by Steffen posted 2448 days ago 1220 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last November while inspecting a home in the Bay Area I found a pile of wood from a tree which had fallen from the neighbor’s yard. The neighbor didn’t know what kind of tree it was but my insured thought it to be an Acacia. Not wanting to pass up some free wood I took a couple logs with me. The natural edge bowl I posted a while back is from this stack of wood. There were two trees laying on the ground so I’m pretty sure the natural edge bowl is not the same as this wood.

The first thing I had to do was cut the log into pieces I could fit into the bandsaw.

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I was pretty happy to find some beautiful spalting in the wood but also disappointed because the wood is deteriorating quickly. I wish I had cut the log when I first brought it back instead of coating it with wax and letting it sit.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Then to the bandsaw where I eventually broke a blade. Lucky for me the guy I bought the bandsaw from included a bunch of old blades I use for this purpose.

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I got about 18 blanks from this one log. Even on the cheap side from Rockler or Woodcraft it would come to a couple hundred dollars worth of wood. (Man I can’t wait until windy season this year)

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I decided to rough turn a few of the blanks so I could have them ready for the holiday season. Here I am marking the square blank.

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Cutting it out on the bandsaw

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Then to the lathe to true them up and add the tenon.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Finished on the outside now for the inside.

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Switched to the OneWay jaw.

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Hollow out part of the center

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Two more roughed blanks to add to the shelf.
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

As you may have noticed I didn’t treat the wood with anything but wrapped them in newspaper. This is the same method I used to dry the Ambrosia Maple lidded bowl I posted earlier and it only took a couple months to dry. I learned of the method from an issue of Woodworking Magazine “Turning a Cherry Bowl”. It’s kind of interesting, you can feel the dampness in the paper when you check the bowl periodically. I don’t know how well this works with all wood but it seems like the paper works well to slow the drying process. I’m still new and still experimenting with all this.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA



10 comments so far

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2811 days


#1 posted 2448 days ago

Looks like you have a great start on the holiday gift making season.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2586 days


#2 posted 2448 days ago

Is there anything better than taking chunks of found wood and making something beautiful from them? Looks like you have a great start.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2497 days


#3 posted 2448 days ago

I could check out this process over and over – looks like you had some fun! Are these older pics or did you just do this, this weekend? With this post here, and Mot’s turning videos, I’m gonna need to cut some of my various blanks into rough turned bowl blanks!!! I haven’t turned anything for too long!

Thanks for the post and pics!

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

View Steffen's profile

Steffen

326 posts in 2536 days


#4 posted 2448 days ago

Dorje,

I just did this last night. It took me about 2.5 hours to cut the log, rough up about 4 bowl blanks, one box blank and wax up the remainder of the square stock (about 12 pieces). It actually took longer to melt the wax than it did anything.
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-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6642 posts in 2480 days


#5 posted 2448 days ago

Hi Steffen;

I wasn’t familiar with wrapping the blank with newspaper, Thanks

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2497 days


#6 posted 2448 days ago

I’m right there with you on the time it takes to melt the wax! I recently cut some tulip tree blanks and waxing them was what took the longest – though it sure was therapeutic! Heat the wax, take it outside, let the wood soak it up, go inside, heat more wax, go back out, let the wood soak it up…

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

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2661 days


#7 posted 2448 days ago

are there special “rules” regarding cutting the log up into usable pieces? Direction of grain etc.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2706 days


#8 posted 2448 days ago

Hi Steffen;
—-glad to see your having fun, great pictures and WOW!....great spalted wood!

I’m glad to see your process for slowing down the drying of the wood, the use of newspaper. Have you ever tried using brown paper bags? Whenever I go to the grocery I still ask for their brown bags and so I collect them for this purpose….after cutting small chunks that I want to slow down the drying in and prevent checking, I will place the wood in the grocery bags, roll tight and ‘forget’ them for awhile. It also helps if I stick them in a dark space of stable cool environment….closet, barn or house celler, etc….

I also keep the chainsaw dust from the cuttings and if the piece is of size or out in the woods or one of my woodlots, I will cover, bury or put the chainsaw dust remains on top of a log or some small piece.

....works for me. Glad to read your writing here!

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3948 posts in 2564 days


#9 posted 2448 days ago

Can’t wait to see that spalt with a finish on it. I have a blank in a paper bag. It’s fun to check as I turn the bag inside out every once in a while, but it’s hard to wait to see the finished project.

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

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2747 days


#10 posted 2447 days ago

Every Christmas it is fun to make some gifts to give out to special someone’s, on your list. My family loves the stuff i make and fight over it. We have a drawing. But I make a few extra things for my favorites. Is the wax cheaper than anchorseal? jockmike

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

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