Been awhile since I posted anything! How’s everyone been? Work keeps me busy all the time anymore, but I do love it. Unfortunately it’s a very long drive, about 45 minutes to an hour in the morning, crawling along LA’s 405 and 101 freeways. Traffic ever since school started keeps it really busy until midnight, and with all the techy stuff I’m always working on, I tend to stick around at work until after 8PM, and often until 9 or 10, then the long drive home in heavy (b...
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 ...
In my last post, I showed some Jacaranda log halves I’d cut up and sealed in preparation for turning them into bowls. Here’s the first one I turned. It’s a very simple bowl. I concentrated a lot here on just practicing techniques, getting a very flat, slightly rounded slope to the inside bottom, and not suffering any catches or gouges. I didn’t want to leave any tool marks this time. This is a rough turning, and has been drying now for 10 days. For the first wee...
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 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...
After knocking out a Jacaranda bowl in one lunch break, I was a little fired up that night to do more, so I got a stick of Jacaranda from the pile and cut it into some small pieces for making tiny champagne glasses. My attempt here was to go very thin-wall. I didn’t bother with process pics (it gets a little tedious sometimes :) You can see light shining through the walls into the interior of the glass: Unfortunately, I went a little too thin in the middle. Note how mu...
This past Wednesday, all in the span of an hour lunch break, I ran home, cut a chunk off the end of one of the Jacaranda logs from my recent haul, resealed the main log with Anchorseal and washed out the brush. Sliced the chunk in half through the pith, and turned one into a thin-walled, simple bowl, took a quick shower, and brought the resultant piece back to show off at work. Amazing what can happen in one hour! The turning itself took less than 15 minutes! I’m getting faster, if not ...
In part 2 of this saga, I got a call from Camille who’s lawn was coated in freshly fallen, fungally rotten Jacaranda mimosifolia. Her call awoke me with a start this morning, and soon I was at her house, borrowing her electricity for my electric chainsaw, and cutting up what I could. One heat stroke, or heat exhaustion later, and I drove away with a truck full of limbs. I ran home for my second shower and change, then off to work, then ran home at lunch (nice living 1.5 miles away) to d...
In yesterday's dramatic episode, Camille – the homeowner who’s Jacaranda mimosifolia street tree fell over due to fungal rot at the base – was very concerned about a whole host of things that might happen if she allowed me to cut up the tree and take a bunch with me. She was rather justified about some of it, perhaps much of it, but that didn’t help eager me, of course. This morning, after waiting a whole day for the street crew to come by as promised, she’d h...
I take different routes on my daily commutes to see if any limbs or trees have come down. Today, taking a road I never take, I hit the jackpot – a full, large, old Jacaranda tree with fungus rot through its base fell over on its own this morning, on a windless, quake-free day, narrowly missing a pedestrian. I knocked on the door and a nice lady answered, holding back her dog. We talked for a half hour, but she had an endless stream of concerns, all of which I tried to answer: ...
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