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Project by scottb posted 01-03-2012 03:15 AM 1672 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Set out to make a (Texas) Ebony stopper today. Had to work around checks in the log to get a couple usable blanks. One came out okay, but revealed another hairline crack – probably not a structural issue, but certainly not salable. Took a stab at the alternate blank, but this revealed lots of insect tunnels throughout. Some of the holes were plugged up quite soundly (and looked cool!) but there was also a groove that ran vertically up the whole side. bummer. I tried getting another blank out of the same small log… but that oddly shaped piece (which was borderline too small in the first place) went flying when I tried squaring up the bottom. Okay. Message received… No Ebony would be turned into anything today.

So I looked around the shop for anything that was big enough, crack free, and ready to turn. I spied this Juniper log (Also from Texas I just realized) hiding in a couple Osage Logs. Hmm… Nothing odd about almost all these stoppers being Texan, save for the fact that I’m up in New Hampshire.

SO anyhow, this was about as soft and easy to turn as they come. A far cry from the ebony for sure. This did need a lot more sanding than all the other stoppers this go round too. Up to 1000 grit, wet and dry just to eliminate all the marks from the rougher grits (starting at 220 isn’t normally considered rough, is it?)

I am impressed with the complete lack of checking in this log (or was it a branch?). The top of the stopper shows that it is clearly cut from a branch or small trunk – which belies the plywood-esque appearance of the sides…. But I’m not really sure if I like how the grain looks on the sides. So to that end I’ve assembled this stopper for its photo op, BUT haven’t glued it together yet. We’ll see how the coming days go before I commit this one to the gallery.
I have already sold one cut from the same log :

Click for details
(the one on the right)

BUT I’ll still have to sleep on it. My wife and daughter like it. Maybe it’ll grow on me. I’m pleased that I was able (after a few false starts, and with nothing prepared, to turn out a finished project – keeping my streak of projects going (maybe I really am doing 30 projects in 30 days after all… but still don’t want to admit it)...

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

6 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4604 days

#1 posted 01-03-2012 03:54 AM

Scott : That’s a great a great looking stopper. Nice job Scott.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3780 days

#2 posted 01-03-2012 04:48 AM

Good work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 3802 days

#3 posted 01-03-2012 05:38 AM

Very Nice!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4510 days

#4 posted 01-03-2012 07:54 AM

Hey, is that from my yard? Just wondering…. Look’s great, even if it’s not.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 4609 days

#5 posted 01-03-2012 05:24 PM

Hey Scott, I can feel your pain.
I’ve used logs for things before, and as they dry out more over time, they do check. I’ve helped stopped that by sealing the end grain with CA glue, and putting the wood finish over it after the CA was sanded well. I use the “thin” CA glue to soak into the grain, and I don’t use the accelerator. I’ll put it on a couple of times a day until it quits soaking into the grain, basically building up a plug in each of the end grain tubes. I’ve had success with that even after several years later. It seems to be more successful than “filling” the end grain with wood finish only. I’ve also done this sealing process before turning, which helps hold together knots and cracks that would otherwise go flying apart in the turning process. This CA glue process could slow down your “30 day” speed, so you might want to do all of the sealing of the pieces you have before you start the clock.

good posting, keep up the good work,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4530 days

#6 posted 01-04-2012 03:52 AM

Genius Mark. Thanks for sharing that nugget of wisdom. (heading out to get a gallon of CA…. ;)

Yes Rob, That’s yours, from wherever you sourced it.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

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