I sat here this morning trying to figure out what I was going to do. I was hurting so bad I couldn’t even put my boots on until my wife got home from her night shift at work to help me. I lurked around Lumberjocks until then. As soon as I got my boots on though, I was determined not to let the day be a total waste. I was going to do something, even if it was wrong. Not only that, but I wanted to do something on the lathe.
And I did do wrong. I had a good reason though. I could not bend over at all this morning. I could not handle running the chain saw or picking a large enough piece up and hold steady to cut on the band saw. I did feel though that if I could get something chucked up on the lathe, I could sit on a stool and hold a tool. So that’s what I done.
This was not from a prepared blank at all. I simply predrilled a hole into a short piece of a small log and run it up onto a screw chuck. I then just started rounding it down on the lathe while sitting. I had been seeing these type bowls on videos online and decided to try my hand at it.
Because I started with a whole log instead of a half, the pith runs right through the middle of this bowl. I’m sure this will probably crack pretty badly as it dries. I put it aside anyway to let it dry. I’ll see if it can be saved even for a display piece in a few months when it is dry enough to finish.
That brings me to my lesson for today. You may have noticed that I’m learning a lot of lessons lately.
My lesson today is that to never assume a piece of a log is dry without cutting into it and seeing what the middle is like. I actually thought this was a dry piece of log. It seems that way anyhow, until I got closer to the middle. The middle was wet. I’m talking about been soaking in the bathtub wet.
After getting it done though, I hope this is salvagable when it’s dry. I love the way that pith made this design inside the bowl. It looks so interesting to me.
That brings me to today’s entry title. Now THIS is what I call fun. It may be the wrong technnique turning the whole log as I done. I assume it is anyway based on everything I’ve read, seen, and been told. I don’t care though. Taking a whole piece of a log, round with bark on, and turning it into something on the lathe is the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I have enjoyed all the turning I’ve been learning, but after today, I can definately see myself making more live edge turnings. As soon as I’m able, I want to split some logs down the middle and do some that may make more stable pieces.
The rest of today’s entry isn’t wood turning, but I’m placing it here anyway because it is just what I done today.
By the time I got the bowl done, I wanted to turn another bowl. However, I seen no sense in turning another bowl with the pith through the middle like the other one, and I still knew I wasn’t up to preparing anything better at the moment. Actually, I was feeling even worse and didn’t feel up to even trying to get another small piece of log up to the lathe. So I had to find something else to do, with easily prepared material, that I could do on my stool or another chair.
I noticed some blocks of wood I had cut wrong for another project sitting on one of my many wood catch all places. They were wrong for what I originally cut them for, but they were the perfect size for something I hadn’t done in a while. Besides, I’ve had several people the last couple of months ask about them. You see, I used to have several of them around that I would show visitors to my shop. I have since given them all away to different people though.
These are made with sapelle blocks. The middle is a cube in a cube. The other two are a cube in a cube in a cube.
These are about the size of the largest I’ve ever done. The reason is that these are the largest I can cut and get square with enough accuracy to do them right with the equipment I have. One of these days I want to figure out a way to get perfectly square wood that is large enough to do four, or maybe eve five, cubes inside of each others. Three is the most I’ve been able to do successfully with this size.