Tragedy somewhat averted vase

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Project by RichardH posted 05-27-2011 05:47 AM 1564 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a piece of 300 year old redwood that I was given by a friend of mine recently. after hollowing the redwood and fitting the top piece of ebony, I planned to delicately finish the hollowing around the rim when WHAM …er, guess that wasn’t so delicate after all! Much loud yelling and hoping later that the neighborhood kids were not in earshot of my garage given my language.

I’ve had a few blowouts before, but it’s particularly sad when you have a piece of wood that is really special. Even before I broke it, I was thinking “This is fairly high risk…you need to be very careful right about now…no risk, no reward…go for it!)

I almost lopped off the top to make something else (with deja-vu like memories of several ashtray size pieces in the early days of turning), but decided to try and stitch it back together as best I could. I was fortunate that it only broke into 5 pieces and I’ve done this a few times before, but I was more patient this time and took over 2 hours just gluing the 5 pieces back together. I used tiny amounts of fine sawdust from the different woods to fill the small gaps.

The last photo shows how the final 2 pieces went together, and if you look closely in the 3rd picture, you can see the remaining seam now that all of the finishing work is complete.

We should probably start a blog on the topic of “I broke it, but I’m happy with the final repair job” :-)

Let me know what you think!


-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

6 comments so far

View peteg's profile


3806 posts in 2245 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 06:11 AM

Bugger @#$%^&*(
Richard, I think it would be hillarious to have a blog on “what you dont normally see” that ends up in the firebox. Auctally you could have
1 on saves
1 on definately the fire box.
It’s always the treasured piece of timber that gets the bad deal (have you noticed that)
BTW, nice job on the turn & an equally good job on the stitch up, lovely piece of timber.
What were you planning to do with the base?
Keep the faith, there will be more to test your calm :)))))

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16808 posts in 2527 days

#2 posted 05-27-2011 06:20 AM

Way to go. Nice save. You did a great job and no one would notice if you did not call attention to it. You just have to try and it worked!! Thanks for sharing. It will give others ideas to saving pieces that come apart while turning….........Jim

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

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2226 days

#3 posted 05-27-2011 02:48 PM

heck of a job saving it.
very awesome

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 2424 days

#4 posted 05-27-2011 08:41 PM

Thanks everyone!

@Peteg, I almost decided to hollow from the base end vs. the neck end as I knew the tight neck would present a challenge and/or limit the ability to hollow. In the end, I did it the traditional way and the base is finished in pretty basic manner. I used a glued on tenon to get as much height out of the chunk of wood as possible (you can see it in the 3rd picture). I then turn off this tenon and made a small indention on the base – need to get into the habit of taking a picture of the base.


-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2440 days

#5 posted 05-28-2011 04:35 AM

Beautiful vase and great job saving it. If you had not said anything I would not have known it was busted at one time! Fantastic job of finishing!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2867 days

#6 posted 06-01-2011 03:43 AM

Great save and that is a beautiful piece.

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