OK all of you experienced green wood turners (that sounds like an oxymoron)---HELP
A couple very kind and generous FWW members gave me a beautiful gift. It is a humongus walnut crotch (22” wide x 19 1/2” long. 8” thick at the tail of the Y. 2” at the end of one leg of the wye and 3” at the other leg.)
My lathe experience:
I have just been playing around, having fun, making a few requested wood turned gifts, a couple pens, candle holders, dry weed holders, etc. The gift seems to have come with a price. I am supposed to get my skinny in gear and make something of this beautiful piece of wood. Normally I would just charge full speed ahead. And if it were a small piece that is what I would do. I just DO NOT want to mess this one up.
I have never turned a piece of green wood. I have never turned anything this large. I have never turned anything where I would have felt genuine regret if I messed up. With this piece I want it all.
The books and DVDs that I have are pretty close to useless for this. The libraries were no more help. I have not tried Barnes and Nobel yet.
Knowing that I know nothing about what I am about to try---WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?
What I have:
Delta 46-460 1hp variable speed lathe. Claimed 12.5” swing. Speed range 250 - 4,000 rpm.
Some very good gouges and scrapers (Doug Thompson). An inexpensive skew (Harbor Freight). Good lighting. Good safety equipment. Good DC. Four jaw chucks. Tail stock chucks. And a bunch of the little, necessary lathe stuff.
My largest faceplates are 3” (One is aluminum with 8 holes; the other is steel with 4 holes). This feels small to me. Should I purchase larger (Santa will buy one)?
87 years of experience, but nothing that applies to this.
Advice and suggestions are wanted, desired, and needed.
What I am planning:
I plan, if you concur, to make a jig to create a flat spot on the outside curve of the crotch using a router. This would be used to mount a faceplate. The flat spot would be parallel to the flat surface of the crotch.
Questions and Assumptions:
This wood is asking to be a bowl. I assume the top of the bowl would be towards the center of the tree. Where do I want to cut my 12.25” circle---as far up into the crotch as possible??? What thickness at the rim? I assume a rather thick rim (1/2”? 3/4”?) to show off the wood. I cannot go too thin due to lack of experience.
The "box" shown in pic #2 is a jig for a router to slide over (the router will be on a board that spans the box sides.) The router bit will make the flat spot for the faceplate to mount. The box has had 2 sides removed to show, more clearly, where the crotch is mounted.
The vertical lines that show on the flat side are NOT cracks. They are a slight change in pitch created by sawing.
In the past I have seen many threads/posts on what to do with green wood after it is turned---I hope they will provide the info I need on that phase of the project. However, I am open to suggestions on that phase also.
Cynthia, I am sounding like you when you got started in woodworking…questions, questions.