I was talking to a friend at work about turning, and he said he had thought about trying it at one time. He put the cart before the horse, so to speak, and bought some blanks but never got a lathe. He had them sitting around for a long time, some nice cherry blanks, and gave them to me. The blanks he had were all cut out of the tree pretty poorly I think, as they contain wood really close to the center of the trunk. The first blank I did wasn’t that bad with the cracking, but this larger one developed some pretty good sized cracks. Here are some pictures showing the cracks.
It’s hard to show it with just the images, but if I grab the sides and pull, the cracks are deep enough that the whole bowl pulls apart. It’s a nice piece, so I didn’t want to give up on it. I did some looking and searching and found that others had used polyester resin or epoxy resin to fill in cracks in pieces. I bought some polyester resin from the craft store and did some mixing to see what I thought. It stinks like crazy, but it did cure well and seemed suitable. But I was a little leery because I had read that it can be difficult to work with and may chunk or chip out easily. I then went to my local Woodcraft and asked about any products they may have and a guy there recommended this T-88 stuff.
He said he has used it a number of times and it works well when turned. So I mixed some of it up and added the pigment and started spreading it into the cracks. I was hoping it would be a little thinner and just seep deep into the cracks, but it was a bit thick. I did manage to spread it into the cracks fairly well though. Here are some pictures after I applied the resin.
I hope it does what I’m hoping. I left the bowl walls pretty thick so hopefully that will give me some material to work with should I need it. Wish me the best!