Thanks, Isaac, for a Memento of Mr. Ben

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Project by CharlieM1958 posted 09-15-2012 09:46 PM 17408 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend and neighbor from three doors down passed away not too long ago. His children are currently in the process of trying to sell his house. There were quite a few trees down around here after Hurricane Isaac, including one from his back yard. When I saw the cut up trunk and branches at the curb, I thought it would be nice to turn something from a piece of Mr. Ben’s tree to remember him by.

I thought it was an oak tree, but the wood didn’t have the big pores I’m used to seeing from local oaks. Then again, this is the first green wood I’ve ever turned, so I had no idea what to expect. I left the walls fairly thick, but no telling what will happen as it dries. The finish is buffed BLO.

Whatever it decides to do, it will still bring me good memories of a fine old gentleman.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

24 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17472 posts in 1840 days

#1 posted 09-15-2012 09:49 PM

I’m thinking Mr Ben would approve.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Porchfish's profile


712 posts in 1805 days

#2 posted 09-15-2012 10:11 PM

Oh yea , Ben would approve ! Charlie , I turn green wood whenever I get the chance ! As long as you eliminate the heartwood from the blank before turning, you’ll only have to deal with a little distortion…not much problem with checking. If however, you leave the heart (not heartwood but the dead center of the heart) you could have problems. I love the look of long peels coming off relatively green wood, and if you take your time turning and turn to a uniform thickness it will dry sufficiently during turning to only require a couple days of drying before final sanding and finishing that is if you are at about 1/4 to 3/8” thickness. Some really good turners like to turn to 1/2 ” or more (depending on mass of piece planned) and let it dry thoroughly for a month or more before final turning (leaving it on an aluminum face plate the entire time it dries is supposed to be helpful.) I have a good moisture meter and have found the heat and friction of turning a large open vessel requires no more than 2 days post turning to my favored thickness to test the vessel out to 15% + or – (Mas amenos) ! That of course is affected by the variety of wood being turned . A good friend who has since passed used to pop his turned green vessels in the oven on low heat 200 for 1 hr. then test with moisture meter. I always just turned green and tested …love the smell of green oak being turned wet…messy though ,, I use a plastic sheet hung a couple feet away in the firing line ! And I agree with you, doesn’t look like oak ! but it is pretty, and that is nice work ! Don s.

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16203 posts in 3491 days

#3 posted 09-15-2012 10:20 PM

Thanks for the tips, Don.

I turned it to rough outer shape, then left it sitting on the lathe for almost a week before I got back to it. It did seem much drier than when I started. We’ll see what happens.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View michelletwo's profile


2535 posts in 2288 days

#4 posted 09-15-2012 10:32 PM

good thing& a good way to remember folks..

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 2186 days

#5 posted 09-15-2012 10:39 PM

That is nice Charlie, Good way to remember him!
I hope it stays this nice for ya’ Great work.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View cajunpen's profile


14562 posts in 3338 days

#6 posted 09-16-2012 12:47 AM

Great looking piece AND story behind the piece. Nice work Charlie. I have just started back with my lathe – I think that will be my primary interest going forward. Turning is so rewarding – and you don’t have to wait too long to see the finished project. Now if I can just get back to where I was a few years ago :-) Practice, practice, practice.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View ChuckV's profile


2841 posts in 2800 days

#7 posted 09-16-2012 12:54 AM

That is wonderful Charlie. You had a great idea and did a fine job on the lathe.

-- “It was they who were wrong, and for them here's a song.” ― I. Anderson

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 1912 days

#8 posted 09-16-2012 01:37 AM

Nice in every way, Charlie.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14136 posts in 3255 days

#9 posted 09-16-2012 03:46 AM

well done Bud

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View majuvla's profile


7439 posts in 2140 days

#10 posted 09-16-2012 04:49 AM

Nice tribute and memory.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3999 posts in 3336 days

#11 posted 09-16-2012 02:12 PM

Good work(s) and good job. Love it.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2718 days

#12 posted 09-16-2012 04:37 PM

Great tribute Charlie. I’m sure Mr. Ben is pleased.

View Napaman's profile


5488 posts in 3350 days

#13 posted 09-16-2012 05:14 PM

very nice tribute…very nice…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View sras's profile


4336 posts in 2402 days

#14 posted 09-16-2012 06:35 PM

Projects are always better when there is a story to go with them. The project and story are great.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View chopnhack's profile


374 posts in 1667 days

#15 posted 09-16-2012 07:20 PM

That’s nice Charlie, I hope the family appreciates the sentiment. It’s nice to have community, people that care. There are too many disconnected people in the u.s. imho…

As for species, shoot, if I didn’t know better I’d call that some type of pine. Any more clues? Pictures of the wood before cutting, bark, leaves, etc? Could it be fir?

-- Sneaking up on the line....

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