Spaulted Sycamore Vessel?

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Project by bubbared posted 09-02-2011 11:26 PM 1319 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

Hey fellow LJ’s here is a small vessel I guess you would call it that turned from a branch that I cut from a Sycamore tree in the back yard of my Moms home 2 first here first time turning Sycamore and first time with any spaulted wood and looking at the project on LJ’s of spaulted wood the wood is gorgeous but you dont realize the true beauty until you have a piece in your hand and see the work of art mother nature gives us to turn into something that will be apprieciated for years to come. Bieng my first time with Sycamore had a question because this tree bieng in Florida wanted to know if the Sycamore up north were as soft as the trees here because even the solid parts of the branch seamed to be a very soft wood and even with my sharp tools I had my doubts until I started sanding and smoothed the piece out.

approx. 2 1/2” w and 6” tall
just finished with a coat of wax for now.

Thank you for looking.

couple of natural edge cherry bowls coming later.

-- Joe, Florida

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#1 posted 09-03-2011 01:25 AM

Hello Joe, I’m Don Schneider , originally from Columbus Ohio, came to North florida to do grad school at FSU. The sycamore from “up north” is usually a hard wood not far removed from beech as I remember in working properties. Spalted wood however, is a whole new ball game and you throw your experience out the window. The degree of spalt can turn wood from a beautifully figured example of a hardwood specie to a rotted punky mass that will eventually crumble to crap. The secret is to be lucky and catch the wood at the right time while it still resembles non-spalted examples of the same specie. You will learn that there are tricks to “harden up” soft punky wood that is near going over the edge, but it is more luck than science. I have soaked whole chunks of badly punked out spalted wood in watco danish oil (submerged in bucket) then hung over the bucket in a mesh bag (like oranges come in) and let it drip dry for weeks. I have also found that the cyano-acrilate glues painted onto an area quickly will solidify wood on the edge, but the vapors are nasty. But some will argue that the fungal spores released when turning and sanding are too dangerous to bother with. To those folks I always ask they send me their spalted wood always offering to pay freight. But to get back to your original question (damn I talk waaaay too much) Sycamore down here should be about as hard as the sycamore you are used to from the nether regions. I think you did a marvelous job getting the most out of the figure from limb wood . Way to go !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

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