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Ficus Bowl #7

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 07-24-2018 07:26 PM 520 views 2 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the Ficus that I’ve had lying around now, for a few years. When I brought it home, I found that Ficus is the Dromedary of the arboreal world. It was full of water, and extremely heavy. After it had seasoned for several months, I found that it had lost a lot of weight. So much so that the logs has shrunk such that the bark had simply popped off.
I began making a few Things of it.
It was so much easier, then. It still had some moisture, some life, left in it. Now, however, it’s completely desiccated. That made this piece a really dusty process. There were virtually no shavings – all dust and chips.
I wound up sanding it less than I ordinarily sand Things. This was so I could put a sealer of Shellac on it. I followed that by sanding it back down, though 600, and applying Danish Oil, and topping with WOP, buffed out with pumice. The resulting finish could be a lot better, and the next one will be.
This is how it started:

And progressed. The wormscrew hole failed, almost immediately, as one might expect in very dry wood.

The bead I was attempting was begun using the normal suspect tools – skews; fingernail spindle; spear. It wasn’t working as I hoped. You can see that some chips came out. I remedied that by buying yet another tool – a bead-forming tool. What a peculiar little tool it is. Nonetheless, after I repaired the damage with CA and dust (I had plenty of that), the new tool made a deep, well-defined bead. It took some getting used to – it was kinda scary, at first. One expects the pointy parts of the tool to act like sticking a broom handle in bicycle spokes. But, it didn’t. These photos are from before the bead former.

Here’s what I got with the new tool:

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark





21 comments so far

View pottz's profile

pottz

2859 posts in 1066 days


#1 posted 07-24-2018 07:36 PM

wow you always take the worst wood and make the most gorgeous things from it.ive got some mamosa or silk tree logs ive had drying for a few years,i was thinking about tossing them but watching you gives me hope they might be usefull.you ever work with that wood?

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View awsum55's profile

awsum55

231 posts in 591 days


#2 posted 07-24-2018 08:07 PM

I agree with Larry, it is hard to believe you can make anything nice out of a piece of wood that starts out looking like that. Ficus has really nice grain.

-- John D, OP, KS

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

31985 posts in 2949 days


#3 posted 07-24-2018 08:51 PM

This bowl is very nice.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

12670 posts in 2950 days


#4 posted 07-24-2018 09:17 PM

Nice deep bowl- I like those rings outside

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View peteg's profile

peteg

4354 posts in 2905 days


#5 posted 07-24-2018 09:39 PM

Nice clean detail to the outer Mark, well done mate
pete

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

1467 posts in 2034 days


#6 posted 07-24-2018 10:02 PM

Hi Mark,

I’m sorry, but I can’t find one nice thing to say about this.

Five nice things, yes, but I just can’t narrow it down to one:

1. Beautiful shape. You are really getting the hang of those thin walls and deep bowls.

2. Impressive save when your first attempt at a bead did not produce the desired result. Buying a new tool was using your head. I recall a time when you would have tried to forge ahead with the tools at hand, possibly causing more damage or at least a reworking of the design – leading to frustration and cursing causing your Muse and Mojo to run screaming from your shop while the Spirit of the Wood wept for the lost opportunity to become this thing of beauty.

3. Great finish, you really brought out the beauty of the wood.

4. Fantastic use of free wood (I remember when you brought it home – and now it is all grown up and ready to find its place in the world.) You showed great patience in waiting until the time was right to put it on the lathe.

5. Excellent photography and narrative – you have no reason to apologize.

OK I do have one minor complaint – you did not give us the dimensions – but you are forgiven for that insignificant lapse.

Thanks for posting,

John

-- Leafherder

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2809 posts in 2385 days


#7 posted 07-24-2018 10:06 PM

I don’t believe I have ever seen Ficas but it has a beautiful grain. Thanks for making something stunning with it.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

7552 posts in 2125 days


#8 posted 07-24-2018 11:28 PM

The process was well worth your efforts Mark. I enjoy the greener woods myself but sometimes we have to indulge ourselves in dust. Nice work .

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20916 posts in 3187 days


#9 posted 07-25-2018 01:52 AM

Nice work , Mark!! You are putting that new lathe through it’s paces!!

Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Rick S.'s profile (online now)

Rick S.

10114 posts in 3115 days


#10 posted 07-25-2018 02:58 AM

Very Nice Project Mark & Well Done!

-- If it wasn't for Electricity, We'd all be Watching Television by Candlelight!

View BobWemm's profile

BobWemm

2500 posts in 2008 days


#11 posted 07-25-2018 03:02 AM

Hi Mark,
You done good mate.
I agree with the other comments, Ficus wood really does have a strong grain and you brought it out beautifully.
I bought a beading tool about 12 months ago but haven’t used it yet. Will have to get my ar** in gear .

Thanks for sharing.

Bob

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

3142 posts in 2365 days


#12 posted 07-25-2018 03:33 AM

Nice to see your fine work again.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2195 posts in 1145 days


#13 posted 07-25-2018 05:34 AM



wow you always take the worst wood and make the most gorgeous things from it.ive got some mamosa or silk tree logs ive had drying for a few years,i was thinking about tossing them but watching you gives me hope they might be usefull.you ever work with that wood?

- pottz

Mamosa, I’ve never heard of. By “Silk,” do you mean “Floss Silk?”


I agree with Larry, it is hard to believe you can make anything nice out of a piece of wood that starts out looking like that. Ficus has really nice grain.

- awsum55

Yes. It is gorgeous wood. It has chatoyance, when finished properly. This piece didn’t quite get there.

John:
1) It’s not terribly thin – 1/4” or so.
2) Brother Al (Furtado), in his videos, nags constantly about “Using what you have on hand…” It has not escaped my attention that Brother Al has a lot of thing “on hand” that I don’t have. But then, Brother Al doesn’t have one of the coolest lathes on hand, either. If you haven’t observes him or his work, do so.
3) See the note above to Awsum55. The finish on this really kinda disappoints me.
4) I didn’t wait with this wood. Did you click the links in the narrative? I made several pieces about six months in. They all have the chatoyance this one lacks. And I wonder if, mebbees, that’s due to the dryness the wood has developed. I’m thinking of soaking a piece in water in a bucket, to see what happens. I saw a video where someone did that, a long time ago. I have no recollection of how it turned out.
5) I apologize for my compulsive apologizing.
It’s 4” tall, and about that wide, too.
Jim: PM coming. And thanks.
Honorable Bob: Thanks. And, you needn’t censor yourownbadself. We’re all grown-ups, here.
Brian: Thought about you, while I was sanding this piece. Can’t get around it. You made your mark. Thanks.
Oh. Lee: This is a Ficus tree:

-- Mark

View John's profile

John

1205 posts in 1352 days


#14 posted 07-25-2018 05:59 AM

Those new tools have peaked your interest again, good to see, and nice results!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2195 posts in 1145 days


#15 posted 07-25-2018 06:09 AM

I miss-named this. It should be ”#8,” I think. #7 – a, b, and c, was the set linked in the narrative.

-- Mark

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