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Thread: Prickly pear.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Cornwall, England
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    Prickly pear.

    I have always thought of this as a cactus but I needed some wood to make a pair of goblets for a commission and only had wet wood so someone at our club has given me two lumps of wood that has Prickly pear written on it. Anyone know anything about it? I'll get some photos up tomorrow if it'll help. It's very heavy and dark wood.

    pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Prickly pears are cactus.
    And, their roots aren't large enough to make wood stuff from. At least, I've never seen any large enough.
    Curious and anxious to see what you have.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    That's what I always thought and then someone PM'd me this. The 'leaves' look the same as I know but I've never seen one quite like that before. I'll photo the wood tomorrow and post it. Really solid stuff. Be interesting to turn

    Pete

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Wow. I've lived around prickly pears in the southwest US all my life, and haven't seen any as big as the one in that picture you linked to, Pete. Looks like the Aussies grow 'em big down there.

    I can hear him now...



    You call that a prickly pear, mate? Naaaaaah...THIS is a prickly pear!
    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
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    Now that's funny Vaughn.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Vaughn you are just brilliant.

    Anyone on this forum eat prickly pears?
    cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Vaughn you are just brilliant.

    Anyone on this forum eat prickly pears?
    I've not eaten the leaves... but you can make a jam/jelly from the fruit... the year I lived in Tucson, we picked about half a bushel or so and tried to make jam... don't know what I did wrong, but it never set.. we had prickly pear syrup and it was nasty tasting.

    You can buy cactus candy at most of the roadside stops across the southwest.. never tried it myself though.
    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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    i have had prickly pear jam and it wasnt all that great kinda sour for jam but had to try it
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  9. #9
    Vaughn, Where is the link you mention? I dont see one. If they have any turning use, I'll be all over them, as they are abundant in these parts. I've seen very large old pickly pears around here, mostly around homesites and in parks though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
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    112
    I've seen prickly pear that big (rarely) around Phoenix and Tucson. Mostly in very old desert landscapes where they are watered regularly. But, I've never seen one with a trunk/stem "woody" enough to turn. If your piece looks like wood on the inside, it is probably something else (variety of pear maybe?), but if it looks different from that, not the usual grain or ring structure, it could be a cactus. The "trunk" of a prickly pear is actually older pads. As new pads grow out of the top, the older pads slowly change shape and outer texture to support the new pads. But if they are from down under, I guess they could look the same and be totally different on the inside. Curious to see what you turn out of it. Could be a whole new source of turning material.

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