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Thread: Cutting bowl blanks

  1. #1
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    Cutting bowl blanks

    I was reading about Paul's good fortune and was wondering.... How do you go about cutting bowl blanks? I know that it depends on many factors here but in general, How do you cut for a particular size log? I also understand you have to know what shape you want to turn. Up the street there is some chunks of what I believe is norfolk pine that are about 18-20" by about 2-3' long. They have been on the ground for a few months now and think I'll talk to the owner about taking it away for him. The max my lathe will swing is 14"
    Aloha,

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  2. #2
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    Royal, here is a pdf my dad sent me quite awhile ago that shows the best ways to get blanks from logs.

    >>>>Bowl Blanks from Log<<<<

    Below is an article Bill G. did long ago, but it still holds true, for actually cutting blanks.

    >>>>>How to cut blanks from logs<<<<
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  3. #3
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    While on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, we saw a lot of the trees shown below. They are quite impressive and, I estimate, get to as much as 60' tall. I guessed them to be Norfork pines but found out that they really are Cooks pines.
    I saw some turnings from Norfork pine while we were there, it is beautiful stuff with dramatic grain patterns.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pines.jpg  

  4. #4
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    Here are some threads that I posted a while back.........

    >> Processing Bowl Blanks <<

    >> Wrapping DNAed Bowl Blanks <<

    Cheers!
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Royal, here is a pdf my dad sent me quite awhile ago that shows the best ways to get blanks from logs.

    >>>>Bowl Blanks from Log<<<<

    Below is an article Bill G. did long ago, but it still holds true, for actually cutting blanks.

    >>>>>How to cut blanks from logs<<<<

    Thanks for the links Jeff, I've got to try and get that wood before someone else gets the same idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    While on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, we saw a lot of the trees shown below. They are quite impressive and, I estimate, get to as much as 60' tall. I guessed them to be Norfork pines but found out that they really are Cooks pines.
    I saw some turnings from Norfork pine while we were there, it is beautiful stuff with dramatic grain patterns.
    Both trees are on the islands here. They do look very similar and hard to know for sure which is which. I've seen photos of both trees growing side by side and couldn't tell you which is which. The only reason I call this one norfolk is one of my neighbors pick up a chunk and said that was what it is. They do turn both here though so if nothing else I can practice on it

    By the way Frank, in the photo you posted I believe you have both trees! The way it was told to me is the cook's pine is more symmetrical an has more uniform limbs. So I would say the trees on the right are Cook's pine and the one on the left are the Norfolk pine.
    Last edited by Royall Clark; 04-09-2009 at 06:17 PM.
    Aloha,

    What goes around, comes around.

  6. #6
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    Royall, Blanks are cut depending on the wood and what a turner wants to turn. I know one master turner who turns almost all of his bowls in the end grain. Most of the bowls turned from Norfolk Island pine I've seen were turned into the end grain. The conventional turned bowl is turned into the side of a log section. This seems to be the way the majority of turners make bowls. When I cut blanks I usually try to get the best figure oriented so it will show when the bowl is turned. Also the conflict exists where some of the best figure is around limbs which will move the most in the drying process. Turning wood with knots and crazy figure can be a real challenge and often results in misshapen and even cracked bowls. You charge more for those because they are artistic.

  7. #7
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    Royall,

    I get really lazy about this (like with most other things...

    Usually, I just take a log, figure out how wide it is, and cut the round an inch or two longer (in case I slip, or angle the cut). Then I chainsaw the thing straight in half lengthwise, and that gives me the basic blank. Then I cut off the corners on the bandsaw. It's not the best thing to do (you can get some of the middle wood in there, and it moves differently when it's drying) but it works. If I were working with bigger trees, I think I'd do it the way Bill Grumbine showed.

    On the other hand, I've never done it the way one of the pics in that other set of links showed, so that the finished bowl has horizontal rings. That looks way cool to me. I wonder why more people don't do it that way? There must be a reason...

    I've seen some pics of some Hawaii turners doing local pine. Now that I think about it, that must be how they do it, to get the "eyes" all the way around...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  8. #8
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    Jeff pointed you to the two articles I had in mind. Paul is right about Norfolk Pine...it's usually turned in whole log sections (with the center pith still in it) in an end grain orientation. I think most of the bowls and hollow forms out there were turned after the center pith had been removed, and with the wood in a face grain orientation.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royall Clark View Post
    Thanks for the links Jeff, I've got to try and get that wood before someone else gets the same idea.



    Both trees are on the islands here. They do look very similar and hard to know for sure which is which. I've seen photos of both trees growing side by side and couldn't tell you which is which. The only reason I call this one norfolk is one of my neighbors pick up a chunk and said that was what it is. They do turn both here though so if nothing else I can practice on it

    By the way Frank, in the photo you posted I believe you have both trees! The way it was told to me is the cook's pine is more symmetrical an has more uniform limbs. So I would say the trees on the right are Cook's pine and the one on the left are the Norfolk pine.

    Of course, I planned it that way. And I wear both a belt and suspenders.
    At one of the markets we visited on Kauai, I saw this turner with his wares for sale. He was busy so I didn't get to talk much with him. But, the two bowls at the far back, right are Norfork pine. They are incredibly thin, I would say about 1/8". Dunno how he did it without warping. Not sure about the one in foreground, it could be Norfork, was a little thicker.

  10. #10
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    Uhh, Frank, did you forget something?
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