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Thread: Holy Elm Burl, Batman!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Holy Elm Burl, Batman!

    Continuing with the elm burl theme started a couple days ago by David Keller, this is the chunk of elm burl that taught me what a bad idea it is to put your thumb on a spinning blank that has voids in it. Nothing fancy, just a lot of cool holes, and a rim that's hanging on by a thread. Not really a good candidate for vacuum chucking, either. It's about 5" wide and 3 1/2" tall. It has a few coats of Formby's Tung Oil Finish on it now. I'll buff it out a bit with the finer grits of Micro Mesh and wax it in a few days. I don't think I'll be machine buffing this one.

    Click on the pics to see a bigger view...











    Comments, critiques, suggestions, and questions are all welcome.
    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    Vaughn, I have a few questions....

    1) Is it "harder" or more challenging to turn something with tons of voids in it? Does your piece tell the trained eye that you are very experienced?

    2) Are you photographing it in a light tent? Something home-made?

    It's very nice, BTW. Looks like something from outer space.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  3. #3
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    1) In some ways it's harder, because you have to be pretty carefully with the cuts, especially those last few. On the other hand, it's easier because you can see the wall thickness pretty handily as you work your way to final thickness. You can tell I got a bit gun-shy as I got towards the bottom, as the walls thicken up a bit as they go lower. I knew I wasn't going to punch through the side, but I also didn't want to lose the piece to an untimely catch.

    Dunno if it shows I'm experienced or foolishly brave.

    2) I'm using a commercial light tent with three "daylight" (5000K) CFL bulbs in cheap clamp-on reflector fixtures. Here's a look at my photo setup...

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=4380
    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

  4. #4
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    That's a good setup. A lot more sophisticated than the one I usually put together with Bounty Paper Towels and Scotch Tape Have you ever experimented with different color backgrounds or a white textured background? I'm not very fluent in photoshop, but I'm guessing you could do that in the program, no? without changing anything you have setup?
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  5. #5
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    I've played with different colored backgrounds, but with very few exceptions, any color in the background tends to throw off the color tones of the piece being photographed. White textured material would work, although you have to be careful that the texture doesn't distract from the object that's being photographed. Pure white can also trick your camera into thinking it's shooting a lighter-colored object than it really is, so you either end up with the piece looking too dark, or washed-out due to the excessive brightness around it. Shades of gray just tend to be more neutral.

    I've played a bit with using Photoshop to place the piece in front of different backgrounds, but haven't liked any of the results I've gotten. Doing it that way tends to remove the shadows, so the piece ends up looking like it's floating in space. It just looks wrong to me.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
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    Love them kind of pieces. and as always you know how to bring that wood to life.
    Steve

  7. #7
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    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    Very nice Vaughn
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  8. #8
    Beautiful piece of wood, and excellent work bringing it out!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    well he done it again and this time he even got the red out so hows the thumb doing vaughn? nice work dude
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    There was hardly enough space to put your initials on.

    Nicely done.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

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