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Forum topic by Mark Wilson posted 01-22-2016 10:38 PM 1217 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Wilson

1770 posts in 531 days


01-22-2016 10:38 PM

As many of you are aware, my turning experience is fraught with cracked wood. I lean, in my turnings, towards live-edge, natural, even whacky, results. There’s a kind of OOAK in such things that simply can’t be planned. It’s a reactionary process, really. Sometimes, the outcome is amazing. (See: Hibiscus Vase; Rose Fist, etc.)
So, I’ve done quite a bit of time studying videos and other turners’ work, filling my head with different notions of addressing cracks. In my efforts, I’ve filled them – my latest, Jacaranda Wing-ed Bowl (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/217122), bridged them – Pork Butt (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/189370), doweled them – Ficus Bowls (http://lumberjocks.com/MLWilson/blog/75194), etc. In all this, every time a crack needs to be dealt with, I spend way too much time thinking about what to do. My first inclination, it seems in almost every instance, is some kind of filling process. Unless, that is, the crack(s) present a structural issue, or go all the way through. Sometimes, I don’t know they go all the way through. Case in point: A very lovely little Peach bowl that I had used dowels on, to good effect, before hogging it out.

Well, sir, I left it in the chuck and filled that crack across the bottom with Envirotex Casting resin, unaware that the crack went all the way through. Well, sir, it got cemented to the chuck. I was able to pry it off. But the resin had cured in the chuck recess. So, unless I can devise a way to clean out the recess, I can’t remount it. I tried hard to slice off the cured drip, and, in the process, broke a bit of that lovely bark (it’s still attached, but only just).

So, I’ve pretty much given up on this one. For now. I have the second one in the chuck now. I’m set up to bore holes (this one has three cracks, and, I think, one goes all the way through). I spent much time on Sketchup, toying with several ways to place dowels. But, I’m all wanting to do something different with it.
So I start thinking about filling. No. I already did that (with this bowl – it used to be bigger). I tried coloring 5-min Epoxy with Acrylic paint. Now, you don’t have to. (Acrylic paint turns Epoxy into rubber. And the only way to remove it from a crack is to turn it out, thus making the piece smaller.)
Given my late penchant for eggshell thin turnings (again, http://lumberjocks.com/projects/217122), where I can achieve a translucent window-like effect with filler, I’m thinking I want to do some such with this Peach bowl. Only, instead of filling the crack with epoxy, or Epoxy/Quartz (very hard on the tools), I want to bore holes of various sizes, arranged in an attractive design and fill them with Resin. Colored Resin. Not just any colored Resin. What I’m dreaming about is something like a stained-glass window. I’ve watched several videos about coloring the Envirotex. But they all seem to simply tint the resin into a uniform, translucent, hue. People use food coloring, for lack of the expensive “casting resin dyes-and-whatnot.” Food coloring is inert, and has no effect on the Resin’s ability to cure, so it works well.
I want to bore out the “window” (made up of several, individual holes – five per crack, of which there are three – of different, overlapping sizes) and fill it with the Resin, and then drip one or more colors into it and swirl it around with a toothpick. The thing I don’t know is whether the coloring will remain in suspension in the Resin, or just dissipate. Also present in this scheme is the fact that I’ll have to bore a hole, fill it, color it, wait for the Resin to cure enough that I can turn it flush and bore the next, overlapping hole, and repeat, at least fifteen times. Envirotex takes 24 hours to harden, and as much as 72 to cure. And, I still have no idea how it’ll react to the steel on the spinning lathe – it could come right out of the hole; it could crack and shatter like glass (I don’t expect it to, inasmuch as it’s not glass, but a really hard plastic). I’m sure it should turn fine if I do the turning somewhere between hardening and curing, while it’s still, somewhat, pliable.
So, all this verbiage is a play at digging into your heads. A thing I enjoy doing, and have done to great success in the past (http://lumberjocks.com/MLWilson/blog/67610).
On that Blog, there was a comment from Don Rockbuster (my second[?] Buddy.) I just read it, and, enjoyed his humor. I quote:
“Lets See!! You could tie a dollar bill to it, set it out in the street, and hope that somebody would come by and steal both of them That way all of your problems would be solved. Easy way out. If memory serves me right, you seem to have a few car enthusiasts buddies that might like to have a really nice Shifter knob made out of it. For some reason, when I view it with the finish on it, it sorta reminds me of a Snails Shell Maybe it is time to learn another craft like carving, and try to incorporate it with this piece. Well! you did ask for some ideas eh.”
(If any of you have any recent information about that dear, sweet man, I’d like to hear it.)

-- Mark


25 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

11348 posts in 3223 days


#1 posted 01-23-2016 12:02 AM

You could try this

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1770 posts in 531 days


#2 posted 01-23-2016 01:11 AM

Scars, Lew? How’d you do it

-- Mark

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8768 posts in 1308 days


#3 posted 01-23-2016 02:01 AM

Mark, you do love a challenge! I’m here watching to see what others will say. Nice stitches, Lew!

-- God bless, Candy

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1198 days


#4 posted 01-23-2016 03:16 AM

Mark, I don’t see where there is a problem cleaning up the recess. Using a chuck, make a plug that fits the inside of the form, bring up your live center to the center that is still visible, center it carefully and cinch it down. Remove the resin, turn it around and clean up the inside. Piece of cake.

When you have cracks, drill across them and insert dowel rod. What I see is what looks like you chased the crack drilling and filling the holes with plugs. Is that correct?

Go to you tube, put in Chas Thornhill, and look for his video on a large elm bowl. He’s the first modern turner I’ve seen use the dowels across cracks. He also use aluminum rod, but I found that to be not a very good idea…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2323 posts in 3151 days


#5 posted 01-23-2016 04:15 AM

Like Candy, I will wait and see what others suggest, mainly because I would never attempt something like that.
Keep at it and look forward to your usual great finish in the next episode.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8768 posts in 1308 days


#6 posted 01-23-2016 04:20 AM

Jerry, what is your concern with the aluminum? Interesting video.

-- God bless, Candy

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1770 posts in 531 days


#7 posted 01-23-2016 07:30 AM

Jerry, I’m subscribed to Thornhill. He may well be the one I originally got the dowel idea from, a long time ago. Chasing the crack as you put it, is directly attributable to Alan Stratton, more recently. Tilting the dowel to achieve a sort of an egg-shape in the end, however, is my own. It looks very nice on the outside, but, on the inside one winds up with the spots in somewhat unpredictable places. The trick, I think, is that over time I may learn to predict the inside, and plan for it. Can you throw me a specific URL to the video? Maybe you have it saved. I can’t seem to find it. I do remember aluminum and brass rods being used. To very cool effect. If I can manage to mount the bowl while leaving myself some room to work, I’ll do that. I’ll certainly try. I hadn’t thought of that, because my lathe is an old Shopsmith. The tailstock is stationary; the headstock moves. So, anytime something needs to be squeezed close like that, my mind doesn’t even lean towards trying it. I will now. Thanks.
Candy, they’re softer than some of the woods we turn, and certainly easier on the tools than CA mixed with pulverized stone, seashells, and semi-precious gems. And, if one is using carbide tools, one is using the same tools the metalsmiths use. I have a couple of them, but I prefer the old-school tools, quite frankly, now that I’ve become as familiar with them as I am. (I’m assuming your question had something to do with that. I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.)
Bob, climb aboard. You know this bus is going somewhere.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1770 posts in 531 days


#8 posted 01-23-2016 08:17 AM

An update:
I decided, shortly after I wrote this piece, that I just knew what I was going to get, with regard to responses.

Why, oh why, Woodsmith, don’t you practice your proposed procedure on another piece of wood? Knucklehead! Pick a guinea pig, for crying out loud, and get on with it. Geeze! What a stooge!

See, that’s what the VIMH said as soon as I clicked “Post.”

So, I picked one of those cutoffs from the Ficus referred to in “The Grudge Match.”

What if it turns out to be something really nice that I want to finish and keep? (Me)

Window Hanger. (VIMH) [Most of you others seem to have SW—-’s. I do not. I have a VIMH. I sometimes call it “Joe”. But, only in private].

Very well. I flattened one side, drilled for a wormscrew on the other, mounted it and turned it flat. That’s about fifteen minutes of my life I’ll never see again. Then I drew my design on the flat face and bored the first hole, a 1/2” diameter, mebees 1/2” deep hole. I made ready my Resin palette, mixed the Resin and filled the hole.
The question, in my mind, you may recall, was whether the food coloring (egg dye) would remain in suspension in the Resin, or dissipate, thus simply giving a uniform tint to the Resin, which is what I don’t want. What I want is something that can be taken for a sort of an abstract stained-glass window, not a colored, though translucent, window. Swirls and whorls are what I was looking for. I hadn’t even imagined that the dye would do exactly the opposite. It seemed to congeal into spots. Little comets that sucked their tails in. Whether those spots floated entirely to the surface or not remains to to be seen. I dripped a driplet of blue dye, then, I dropped a droplet of neon pink next to it, and dragged the tip of a toothpick between them, hopefully without the two mixing. (Ancillary learning on this: Resin, evidently does soak into wood. I just looked at the filled hole. There’s a definite sag on the surface. Lesson for future holes-to-be-filled: Seal the inside of the hole with CA first. Mebees. More thought needed. Thought thunk. I have no clue whether the Casting Resin and the CA will form a bond. If not, the “window” will pop right out in turning. Better, perhaps, to just overfill the hole? Let it sag? See, the more it sags, the more turning/sanding to flush it up with the wood. It’s the turning, I suspect, that’ll invite damage to the “window.”
It’s weird. It seems, really, rather like trying to fill a hole with molten glass, and having to be mindful of what comes after. So much to think through. It’s good it’s a “practice piece.” Although I deplore wasting even that much wood. Especially Ficus. A tree that’s very seldom cut down around here. Although, they are getting older. And lifting more sidewalks. There’s a street Uptown that’s lined with them. They were found, years ago, to be diseased, and they exist with a Democlean Sword hanging over their heads. I’ll get in touch with the City Arborist.
So many words. Someone should come up with a better way to communicate thoughts. I’d show you photos. But, here’s what you’d see:
Go to the nearest window and clean it. Hang a black t-shirt on the outside of the pane. Go back inside and look through the glass. That’s what the photos would look like. Not terribly loquacious, hmmmm?

-- Mark

View OldGuysRule's profile

OldGuysRule

130 posts in 441 days


#9 posted 01-23-2016 09:37 AM

Oh, my but you do go on at times! But, damned if it isn’t fun reading.

Carry on wayward wordsmith!

And I did mean word, not wood. Of coarse that also applies.

And Lew I love the Frankenbowl !!!!!!

-- Rod P.........OLD GUY......Learning new things!

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8768 posts in 1308 days


#10 posted 01-23-2016 10:20 AM

Yes, I think my question had something to do with that, if that was why Jerry thought turning aluminum rod was a bad idea?
Here is the link, I think, Jerry was referring to. At least it’s the one I found.

”It’s good it’s a “practice piece.” Although I deplore wasting even that much wood.”

Sounds like something I’d say…
The VIYH...Mudflap has a shirt that says “Shut up voices…or I’ll poke you with a Q-tip again!”

-- God bless, Candy

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7489 posts in 1475 days


#11 posted 01-23-2016 12:29 PM

VMIH here ….

OK, so here’s a question. If you poured the resin in with the bowl still chucked in it, and the resin fully cured with it STILL in the chuck, why cant you just line up the jaws so they fit in where they were when it dried?

That resin should have made a perfect mold of the jaws.
.
.
.And tell me again, just WHY you chose “Joe” for the VIYH ??

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#12 posted 01-23-2016 12:33 PM

One concern I would have with those big plugs is they will have some movement across the grain and I’m wondering if that couldn’t cause more cracking if they are oriented at an angle to the bowl grain.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1198 days


#13 posted 01-23-2016 02:55 PM



Jerry, what is your concern with the aluminum? Interesting video.

- CFrye

Candy, thanks for asking. I did the method Chas demoed in the video, but decided, since I had a lot of copper, I would use that instead. I inserted 4 pieces 3/8” od, plus about 5-6 wood dowels same od into a piece of the most gorgeous piece of Pecan firewood I have ever seen. Turned it to about 5/16” thick showing a bunch of nice embellishments from the dowels and copper. On that last clean up pass, I caught the leading edge of a copper piece, and ripped the tenon off the form leaving the ugliest funnel I’ve ever created. Plus the copper piece flew from the lathe narrowly missing me. It had the most wicked looking point on it on one end, kind of like a knife edge on a round object. From now on, I turn my own dowels, and use them instead of metal. I don’t like the look of store bought dowels.

Later today, I’ll post a thread on the few pieces I’ve done with the dowels.

While you were at Chas’s channel, did you happen to notice the video on finishing a natural edge pecan bowl? He features my invention, the Tail Stock Steady, for removing tenons. Go back and check it out. Some of you might find it useful…......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1198 days


#14 posted 01-23-2016 02:59 PM



Yes, I think my question had something to do with that, if that was why Jerry thought turning aluminum rod was a bad idea?
Here is the link, I think, Jerry was referring to. At least it s the one I found.

”It’s good it’s a “practice piece.” Although I deplore wasting even that much wood.”

Sounds like something I d say…
The VIYH...Mudflap has a shirt that says “Shut up voices…or I ll poke you with a Q-tip again!”

- CFrye

Thank you, Candy, that’s the one. Right now, my computer won’t let me show my brilliance by inserting links into threads. It’s keeping me in the dark. Maybe, laziness might be a factor…..... Jerry(in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1198 days


#15 posted 01-23-2016 03:20 PM

Not terribly loquacious, hmmmm? ????

- Mark Wilson

Ok, Mark, what I think happened is you were using food dye with resin. Food Dye is probably water based, and the resin is not. So like oil and water, in this case, they didn’t mix. Resin will stick to anything. Just get some on your hand and see how tough it is to get it off. What you probably need is a pressure pot or even a vacuum to get it to migrate.

I use resin every now and then. System 2000 resin and 2100S hardener with the colorant of choice. Mix the two parts together, then add the color. Swirl it in with a stir stick a few times, and pour it. It should give you the streak effect you’re looking for.

Allack? Ok, what gives???? heheheeh. ......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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