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Thread: Is it worth turning??

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Is it worth turning??

    I was taking to some friends over lunch when one of them mentioned one of the trees he's having taken down on his property was a rubber tree. It is about 100' tall and fairly big in the butt. I asked him if this it the same tree they get the latex from but he didn't know. He just said it had large waxy oval shaped green leaves. With so little information is it worth grabbing some for turning???

    I'll try to stop by and take some photos of it.
    Aloha,

    What goes around, comes around.

  2. #2
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    Reno, Nv
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    If it's free...it's worth turning. It may need to be stabilized and since I know nothing about rubber trees...my advice is crap. But try it anyway...could be a diamond in the rough or a pain the the same.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  3. #3
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    Royall,

    My guess is its a Ficus elastica, rather than a true rubber tree. If you had visions of it bouncing all over the shop, don't worry...

    It's actually a kind of fig tree, and might make for some interesting stuff. It's at least worth a try. I'd be interested to know how it met its demise...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
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    I'm with the others...try it and see what you get. If it is indeed ficus, you might be in for a treat. I recall seeing pics of some turned ficus that looked real nice.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I guess I'll go over to Don's house tomorrow with the ol' chainsaw. I guess some of the chunks are almost 24". It's coming down to let some sunshine through the jungle. It is growing amongst a bunch of junk trees like albizia (not the brown). They can reach 60-80 feet and 2' plus at the butt in 10-15 years. The wood isn't even good for pulp for some reason and can be very dangerous as the limbs can for break and fall for little or no reason.

    If I get some, do I paint the ends?? will latex pain work.... hope so that's all I got

    By the way..... what length is a good size to cut the rounds???
    Last edited by Royall Clark; 02-22-2009 at 04:42 AM.
    Aloha,

    What goes around, comes around.

  6. #6
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    Yep try it and see what happens if it doesnt work out you can try stablizing it, and some fun trying to make it work. If nothing works you have some designer firewood for the cold times..............

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Mosley View Post
    Yep try it and see what happens if it doesnt work out you can try stablizing it, and some fun trying to make it work. If nothing works you have some designer firewood for the cold times..............
    He lives in Hawaii!

    'course, the big island also has a ski resort and a volcano... can you say hot and cold
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royall Clark View Post

    By the way..... what length is a good size to cut the rounds???
    Royall,

    What's the distance from the spindle to the lathe bed? On mine, it's nine inches. So I double that, and add two inches for slop, mistakes, and unanticipated yuckiness. Gives me 20", anything beyond that is just waste. Not that I can actually turn anything quite that big (my lathe doesn't go below 600 rpm, and an unbalanced blank at that speed would shake all over the place). I think the biggest bowl I've ever actually turned was about 16", and it was a bit too exciting for my taste...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Mosley View Post
    Yep try it and see what happens if it doesnt work out you can try stablizing it, and some fun trying to make it work. If nothing works you have some designer firewood for the cold times..............

    Stabilizing, is that when you put it in the DNA?

    Firewood?? I don't normally need heat here. I'm at about 135' elevation and anytime other than winter it is great! Don't have any way to heat the house. Best we can do if we can't stand it is run the oven cleaning cycle. By the time the cleaning cycle is finished it has warmed up outside. Right now it's 6:30 am and it's only 64* and I've got my warm sweat pant on, socks and house shoes, a tee shirt and a long sleeve Chamois shirt! 64* feels mighty cool when the old blood thins out!


    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Ellis View Post
    He lives in Hawaii!

    'course, the big island also has a ski resort and a volcano... can you say hot and cold

    Almost got it Chuck They do ski up on Mouna Kea, but there's no resort. The snow doesn't get that deep or hang around that long. If you're at the snow level you'll be 13,000 plus feet and with no ski lifts you don't make too many runs before you're puking your guts out from altitude sickness sure sounds like fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    Royall,

    What's the distance from the spindle to the lathe bed? On mine, it's nine inches. So I double that, and add two inches for slop, mistakes, and unanticipated yuckiness. Gives me 20", anything beyond that is just waste. Not that I can actually turn anything quite that big (my lathe doesn't go below 600 rpm, and an unbalanced blank at that speed would shake all over the place). I think the biggest bowl I've ever actually turned was about 16", and it was a bit too exciting for my taste...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Bill, from center to bed is 7" and I could mount a 36" spindle blank. It's an old Rockwell 46-111. I think is was Tod who asked awhile back what I wanted to turn and had to tell him I didn't have a clue! I'll figure that out as I learn.

    So, do I cut the rounds to 36" diameter and break them into chunks with an axe and BS. Or should I just cut up some limbs that are about 6-10" diameter?
    Aloha,

    What goes around, comes around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Royall, the DNA is to speed up the drying. Stabilizing would be to coat the wood with something that soaks in and makes the wood fibers more stiff. There are a lot of ways to stabilize soft or spongy wood...thin shellac, CA glue, commercial wood hardeners, etc.

    At this stage in your turning experiences, I'd suggest cutting some of the branch wood into 24" to 30" lengths for spindle-type projects, and some of the bigger log sections into bowl blanks sized to fit your lathe's capacity (plus a bit for trimming). 16" x 16" x somewhere around 3" to 6" would be about the biggest, and you can always have smaller ones, too.

    Here are a couple references for some bowl blank cutting ideas...

    http://handturnedbowls.biz/data/how_to_saw_log.pdf

    http://www.nestlerode.org/Fun_with_C...ing_blanks.php

    And yeppers, you can use latex paint to seal the end grain. I'd suggest glopping on a couple thick coats, but it does work.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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