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Calling on bowl-turners

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Forum topic by Douglas Bordner posted 07-01-2007 01:45 AM 2994 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4086 days


07-01-2007 01:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: greenwood turning bowl-turning box-elder

I just got two hunks of box-elder logs (about 10” across, 12-14 long), bark attached. There is the prized red-staining inside the logs just outside the heartwood. How do I get a bowl-blank out of this? I only have a 6 inch rise on my bandsaw, and a Jet Mini-lathe. I have never done any greenwood turning. Any help out there?

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


31 replies so far

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Jeffrey

15 posts in 4066 days


#1 posted 07-01-2007 03:53 AM

Well my friend, I think you will find the answers to your questions in a fairly new issue from the Taunton Press. I think its called Fine Woodturning. I believe I saw a copy at your friendly neighborhood woodstore. I believe they will let you look at it as long as you need!

-- Jeff - Bellevue,Ne.

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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4086 days


#2 posted 07-01-2007 05:07 AM

Which friendly wood store would you be talking about? <snicker>. And what friend do I know with a riser kit on his bandsaw? I believe I’ll be calling my good buddy when I hit home! See you soon.

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

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Dorje

1763 posts in 4019 days


#3 posted 07-01-2007 08:44 AM

Well – this will not be definitve by any stretch, but…

leave the logs as long as possible at this point – as they will start to check shortly! If you have a chainsaw (do you?), you can rip the log in half -lengthwise (you will later be able to cut a round bowl blank on YOUR bandsaw). It would be more work but you could do this with a hand saw (rip saw). You’ll want to cut out the pith as best you can without wasting too much wood. Also, cut flat spots on the outsides (opposite the rip cut you made) to give you a surface about 3-4” wide. You should seal the ends with melted parrafin, latex paint or a green wood end sealer (Rockler and Woodcraft have this stuff – spendy though) if you are not going to turn this right away (and again, leave the length, which you will cut down to size later).

Now, if you are ready to throw this on the lathe: make a 9-10inch pattern (our mini lathes have a 10” max. dia. I believe) and trace it on the blank (or freehand it), or better yet, use a pair of dividers. Cut this rough circle on your bandsaw. Now, I’m assuming you can take it from there?

Another thing…if all is well so far, I would suggest rough turning the bowl/s to 1” or so, then wrap them in a brown paper bag/s to let them dry slowly for the next few weeks – months (checking and changing the bag frequently to avoid molding, etc). The rough turned bowl blanks will warp a bit. When they’re dry you can turn them to their finished thickness. OR, you could go all the way to finished thickness now and expect that your finished bowls will warp to their own unique shape (some people love this – others don’t – I like both)...

Hope this helps!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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Dorje

1763 posts in 4019 days


#4 posted 07-01-2007 05:31 PM

Oh, here’s some more: You can mount the blank from the outside (what will be the bottom of the bowl) or the inside of the blank, which is probably easier to do. If you first mount up from the inside of the blank, you can turn your rough outer shape and turn a recess at the bottom to chuck in to. My experience with chucking up green wood is that a recessed dovetail works better than a dovetail tenon. Chuck up the bowl in the recessed dovetail and waste the inside.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4086 days


#5 posted 07-02-2007 01:33 AM

Dorje-
Thanks. You have solved the real headscratcher for me. The long center rip and the pith removal. From there I have a smallish clue what to do. I have some Pentacryl (left from an experiment with unstabilized Buckeye Burl I tried to make into pen blanks) to paint on the roughed out blank and a little Nova G3, so I will likely mount into the bottom after faceplate turning the recess.

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

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Dorje

1763 posts in 4019 days


#6 posted 07-02-2007 02:00 AM

Perfect! Looking forward to seeing how the bowls turn out…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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mot

4911 posts in 4058 days


#7 posted 07-03-2007 05:03 PM

A classic quote! If you can’t cut the pith out, then don’t forget to “turn the pith out of it.” -Bill Grumbine

Here’s exactly what you need to do.

http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/logcutting.html

Ahhh, but it looks like you’re there already…disregard. :)

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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oscorner

4563 posts in 4333 days


#8 posted 07-03-2007 06:18 PM

http://www.customwooddesign.com/turninggreenwood-1.html

Check out this link. I hope it helps.

Mot, I was looking for that link, thanks.

-- Jesus is Lord!

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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4086 days


#9 posted 07-03-2007 08:31 PM

Another reason I’m a Lumberjock, the helpful sharing. I’ve been to other sites where it’s just one snarky self-serving comment after another. We share. Thank you Gentlemen!

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

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Dorje

1763 posts in 4019 days


#10 posted 07-04-2007 05:41 AM

Great links you guys! I’ll save those for future reference!

DB- Have you cut those logs open yet? Can’t wait to see what the red streaking looks like!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4086 days


#11 posted 07-04-2007 08:04 AM

Dorje-
I cut them Sunday, waiting for tomorrow to have some time to work the blanks a little. The stain is pretty tight around the heartwood, although in the FWW article I read there was red throughout the sapwood as well. This made for a lot of drama with the red against the creamy white (Box-elder is of the maple family).

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/Gallery/GalleryImage.aspx?id=4388

I will cut the rough blanks and post a couple of photos. The bowls or platters will be small, with little red, I fear.

I have decided to try some as roughed out to dry, and some turned thin to allow the free-form warp as they dry approach. I will keep you posted. Who knows, it may be come a new favorite pastime. The price sure is right!

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

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Dorje

1763 posts in 4019 days


#12 posted 07-04-2007 08:24 AM

Thanks for the update! That picture of the bowl on FWW is really pretty. There’s a volunteer box elder at my grandma’s (5 blocks away) that’s about 7-9 years old, 20-25 feet tall…hmmm. Only 6-7” diameter at this point. Don’t worry – I won’t hurt it. Just imagining taking it down in another 10-20 years or so. The FWW page said the red comes from stress…another thing to think about!

Can’t wait to see your pics!

Love that you’re experimenting with the different approaches!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4086 days


#13 posted 07-05-2007 08:30 AM

First photo of the box-elder logs.

boxelder

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

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mot

4911 posts in 4058 days


#14 posted 07-05-2007 08:41 AM

Whoooo! I love that stuff! Can’t wait to see what you turn!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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WayneC

13754 posts in 4119 days


#15 posted 07-05-2007 09:12 AM

Very pretty.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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