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What must a woodworker visiting Australia come back with?

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Project by jfk4032 posted 10-25-2013 09:47 PM 1171 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I guess you could fill in the blanks with many answers, but what fits easily in a suitcase and won’t break the 50lb limit per bag extra fees are banksia pods. I did see some sweet timbers/burls there, but who knows what that would have cost to bring or ship back.

These are two quick thank you gifts from my recent 25th anniversary Australia trip. We met a fellow Marylander on a fishing trip to the Great Barrier Reef and he surprised us with a bottle of champagne in our room the next night. We also wanted to thank a friend for comping us at his hotel by the airport on the return trip.

The banksia pods are filled with crushed turquoise and wet sanded with Dr.’s Woodshop walnut oil up through 2500 grit and then applied their Pen’s Plus polish. I used Ruth Niles bottle stoppers which I feel are the best quality stoppers out there.

Onto making the tumbling block cutting board now…

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!





13 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1700 posts in 955 days


#1 posted 10-26-2013 12:43 AM

Those are beautiful Stoppers Joel. Congratulations also on your 25th anniversary, way to go!!

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14141 posts in 990 days


#2 posted 10-26-2013 01:57 AM

Those are really cool.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View BrentKistner's profile

BrentKistner

25 posts in 587 days


#3 posted 10-26-2013 02:14 AM

Very nice. :)

-- "Out of the darkness back into the darkness- affairs of the cat."

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11433 posts in 1758 days


#4 posted 10-26-2013 02:49 AM

Beautiful bottle stoppers!!. I did manage to bring some Iron bark back from Australia.Those banksia pods are great. Did you find them or have to buy them?
..................Jim

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

View deon's profile

deon

2179 posts in 1678 days


#5 posted 10-26-2013 04:36 AM

That looks realy great

-- Dreaming patterns

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

937 posts in 1134 days


#6 posted 10-26-2013 05:04 AM

Very cool turnings you have there. I think I saw what the blanks look like at the old Windsor plywood.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

757 posts in 1900 days


#7 posted 10-26-2013 10:27 AM

NEAT! – I have 6 of those banksia pods in my shop, I started on one about two weeks ago cleaning it up and filling it with a red epoxy for fun. I haven’t gotten much further but this is more inspiration to get moving on the project. These things are so cool!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View jfk4032's profile

jfk4032

249 posts in 1179 days


#8 posted 10-26-2013 10:32 AM

Hey Jim,

I did both. I found 3 that were decent size outside of Sydney and bought a few bigger ones at a craft market.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View jfk4032's profile

jfk4032

249 posts in 1179 days


#9 posted 10-26-2013 10:34 AM

Eric,
They turn surprisingly easy once you clear out the fuzzy crud and those random voids are so cool to fill with contrasting material. Looking forward see yours with red epoxy…that would open all kinds of color possibilities I never thought of.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1779 posts in 841 days


#10 posted 10-26-2013 05:21 PM

Beautiful pieces! Im really amazed at how stunning they are. Well done Joel.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

757 posts in 1900 days


#11 posted 10-26-2013 07:20 PM

I’ll try to work on it this week – my curiosity gets poked around when I see other projects like yours. I wish I could retire and just do whatever I want to do each day.

I got through some of that fuzzy crud, but I had it mounted with screws on a small face plate and it tore of as I was turning. I’m wondering if I am going to have to drill this out and put a dowel in it so it can be tapped and put on a wine stopper chuck? I have a few of those. This is my collection of unfinished (unstarted) pods to date …

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

View jfk4032's profile

jfk4032

249 posts in 1179 days


#12 posted 10-26-2013 08:43 PM

Hi Eric,

Hope this description helps you understand how I worked these banksia pods:

I first sliced off each end of the banksia pod on my bandsaw to be as parallel as I could to each other. Then turned between centers not to waste much material. Once close to round and with most of the fuzzy crud removed I stopped on the lathe and went back to the bandsaw where I sliced my ~6” long banksia pod into (3) 2” long rounds. From there I drilled a hole that fits the Niles bottle stopper mandrel. The mandrel is self tapping which makes this step very easy. Since that holds it on so tight, you don’t need tailstock support and you then turn the shape you want. I do a rough sanding using 150 grit to finalize the basic shape and contours of the piece and off the lathe again to start the task of placing the crushed turquoise into the voids and filling in the CA glue to secure into place. Once all of those are filled and and at least slightly above the surface, I use a dremel with small diameter sander drums to take the turquoise piles back down to surface. Be careful, when doing this wear a mask as the sanded CA particles are nasty to breath in. Once everything is roughly smooth, I started the wet sanding with walnut oil and finished as described above.

Good luck trying these. Once you get the hang of it, they are easy to do and breathtakingly beautiful.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

757 posts in 1900 days


#13 posted 10-28-2013 12:17 AM

Great – thank you!

I’ll post as I progress with them. Going to be a very busy week so it may be a little while before I get back on it. I also have to get going on some more manzanita turnings and we have a TON o spalted maple, and I have to get through the rest of the spalted copper beech before that rots out too far.

Also figured out my lathe I think lots its programming. Not sure – it’s not putting on the torque as it should. We upgraded to a 3HP 3Phase motor w/ a frequency drive and it was working great, friend programmed it. It was powered down or a while, not sure what’s going on but the torque setting is off. I don’t like a lathe to stall on me so we had it cranked up. I stopped it easily on Saturday playing with a chunk of spalted cherry.

Finding a LOT of spalted stuff around from all the storm falls.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com

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