Box Elder

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Forum topic by JollyGreen67 posted 01-10-2012 10:52 PM 904 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1676 posts in 3002 days

01-10-2012 10:52 PM

Found some nice box elder to turn last week, with lots of red, and some spalt. Put it on the lathe, and had nothing but major tear out. Resharpened my spindle gouge, thinking the tool was dull. Turned some more, same thing. Resharpened the gouge, honed it – again – and the same thing happened! What?! I’ve had tear out before, but nothing like this. I swabbed it with shellac, to toughen the fibers, and this thing soaked up as much as I could throw at it. Let it stand for 2 days to dry, back on the lathe, same thing! Ok – then it got the CA treatment. Resharpened, began to turn – you guessed it – tear out. Nothing changed, except my gouge got shorter. Any ideas out there in LJ land?

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

3 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4199 days

#1 posted 01-10-2012 11:05 PM



View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3002 days

#2 posted 01-10-2012 11:06 PM

Real close to it!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21967 posts in 3344 days

#3 posted 09-17-2012 01:25 AM

I love Box Elder!..especially the red stuff Are you getting the tear out in the end grain only?

I have used a lot of it in projects including turnings and don’t seem to get any more tear out over other wood.

In spalted wood, I tried using many things to stop tear out. Some times I coat it with a heavy spray of clear lacquer. I have got it close to the final shape and them coated with a thinned coat of West System epoxy. that is very effective. I even soaked some pieces in Minwax Pre Stain Wood Conditioner and it worked for the tear out but was very gummy to sand because it went all the way through the part. I will not use it again for that.

Try using a sharp bowl gouge and when you get close to the final shape, use a shear scrape and turn off fine shavings. It usually yields a very smooth surface for you final cut!

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

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