Just an update on this post. When I left off, it looked like this:
I took a week’s hiatus – no motivation – and upon returning to the garage (last Sunday), I found this:
Note it goes right to the pith, as every check I’ve seen in any log, branch, or twig in which I’ve noticed any checking does. This is why so many people remove the pith entirely from their blanks, and why pith-in end-grain turnings can be a bit of a craps shoot.
Note that this was completely green lumber, and turning this thing all the way down, instead of a mere 2” may have helped , as it would have effectively removed the pith over a much greater length, but still… The other probability here is that because this was a branch, and didn’t grow straight up and down, it probably had internal stresses that originally helped it counteract gravity.
Here’s the bottom – note that the check finds the pith again on this side, and there’s a second one, too, which is very common in checking logs:
And this is the part I turned away after realizing it was just way too long. This was sitting on my router table, and checked the same way, right from the pith out:
With the checking, deep, fuzzy tearout which is really hard to manage, and rampant mold control issues, you begin to see why I have such a hard time finding any turnings – or anything – made out of Ficus wood online.
Anyone need about a half cord of this stuff? ;)
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator