I decided it would probably be boring to show each step from the previous ‘milling everything flat and square’ post, to the final board, so here’s the final board, all finished: It is 6-3/4”x8-5/8” and a little over 1.75” thick. Or, you know, about the size of the US hardcover edition of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” though the book is a little less than an inch taller in the longest dimension. Note the butcher’s block c...
While looking through old Flickr sets, I realized I never made public one in which I slabbed one of the huge Eucalyptus logs I wrestled home from a craigslist ad. The largest of them is over 230lbs. I chose the smallest – probably around 80-100lbs, because I was desperate to see what lurked inside. I have at least a dozen of these things, so I could sacrifice one enormous beast to curiosity, though that said, I did immediately seal up the ends with a few inches worth of Anchorseal, and ...
This past Sunday I decided to saw a Y-shaped Ficus log in half and get some bowl blanks out of it. I couldn’t fit the 14” section under my band saw’s 12” vertical clearance, so I just cut the first half, up to the Y split. Then I spent about 20-30 minutes sawing through the Y with my 24” carpenter saw. Good workout! I could fit a 10-7/8” circle on each log in the Y area, which I wanted to try turning for the twists in grain and color. I had to...
I didn’t take process shots, but I rough-turned these two over the last week or so from the halves of a single jacaranda log resawed in half. Each was bagged immediately in its own shavings to slow drying and resist checking, though one has checked a bit anyway. Once they’ve dried enough to stop moving, I’ll chuck them up again and turn them back to round, and refine their shapes. I still consider myself in early training-mode, and as such, these are just more training piece...
I’ve done some smaller things in Jacaranda lately, but what does the larger stuff look like inside? I wanted to do some larger bowl work and other things, so I went to one my larger limbs and cut it into some pieces. They’re simple, but pretty inside, so I thought I’d share. It’s not very common a wood for most woodworkers, I think. The piece is the large one front and center on top of the pile seen here (and blogged about here): Here’s me sawing it up ...
I never posted it, but the day after I got those paperbark branches I went back to the same location to pick up the logs of the tree they were cutting down fully, so the building there could put up a security camera. I had stopped for the paperbark, and they asked if I wanted to come back for a whole tree the next day. Score! Here’s the tree as it stood between the cut-back paperbarks. I honestly never even looked at it, busy with paperbark at the time, so I was glad I had this one blur...
I went out for a walk from work late in the day last week sometime, through a neighborhood I’d not explored. At its end, I encountered a fallen gum tree, and as probably seems the right response to many in here, was overcome with joy. It had obviously been down for a while. These LA people sure don’t understand what treasure there is to be had in their trash. I determined to come back for it at night… sometime. Uncharacteristically for timid ol’ me, I went back...
Monday of last week, some 12 days ago, I was talking with a coworker who was wearing a small fedora. I commented that I should try to turn him a hat on my lathe. He thought it was a fun idea, and I mentioned I’d seen full-size, wearable cowboy hats online turned from green wood to very thin, then bent in jigs to hold them in proper shape with curled brims and dented-in top until dry, at which point they could be worn. The site was Johannes Michelsen’s woodhat.com, and his gallery ...
There won’t be many more opportunities before the snow flies, so Debbie and I took another trip up the coast Sunday… It was a Glorious Day, a little windy perhaps, but Sunny and Warm… During our Beach walk, we came upon a White Birch Log half buried in the sand… I thought and re-thought about whether to bring the thing home… I don’t even know if wood is any good after floating around in the Ocean, but the Log moved me somehow, so I moved it, up and into ...
A couple weeks ago I passed some tree trimmers cutting up a handful of paperbark trees (Melaleuca quinquenervia). I passed a few times on lunchtime errands, and finally decided to stop and ask for some free wood. I’ve been so curious for 5 years now about what’s underneath the spongy, peeling bark of these trees. You can punch the trunks and leave a deep imprint of your hand, which swells back up eventually, hiding the dent. It doesn’t hurt, because they feel like a s...
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