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Thread: this "stuff" is for the birds!

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    just south of the LA/MS border off of I-55
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    this "stuff" is for the birds!

    I found an hour and change video on making birdhouse ornaments from Grinnett Woodworkers on Youtube. Almost sure to be good, they have plenty of other excellent video's posted. I haven't watched it yet, decided to make one first. Haven't turned in a couple weeks and just wanted to turn something light. Had a fresh sycamore branch and these two pieces were side by side in the branch. One is end grain turned one side grain turned.

    Hollowed to about a quarter to three-eighths inch, nothing fancy to throw outside. I did manage to get to the top of the cone with my five-eighths bowl gouge, a bit of a surprise. The total size is about 3.5"x6.5".

    The piece de resistance is of course the perch. I can't tell you how hard it was to turn, carve, and paint that. Trying to get the patina right on the "aluminum", the texture on the rubber, and of course masking off those tiny little letters to paint. I can't tell you any of that because I drilled a hole with the bit that happened to be in the drill and when I eye-balled the hole I said to myself, "Self, it looks like a number two pencil would fit that hole. It did indeed so I left it a little long to catch all the lettering as I threw the other end in my tool box. Didn't have any wooden dowel stock and had been planning to turn a little perch but the pencil struck me as a final bit of silliness.

    The two pieces are actually a design error, wasn't trying to make them flow together at all. They flow pretty well so not being perfect seems like a failure to execute now. I did pay attention to weather seal and put a drain hole in the bottom. Have to see if a tweety bird likes it or not.

    No glue used, everything fits pretty snug. The birdhouse hangs level, apparently I was a bit tilted when I took the pictures!

    Hu
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails birdhouse 006post.jpg   birdhouse 009post.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
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    Nicely done Hu, reminds me to get the lead out and turn something{well, try to anyways }
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    just south of the LA/MS border off of I-55
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    Thanks Ken!

    I had just had a bit of a breakthrough in my turning when my lathe went down on me, a couple weeks ago now I guess. New to wood turning and I was afraid that I would forget what little bit of tool handling was starting to come naturally. Happy to say that the tools are still working well for me although I struggled a little getting a nice curve on the bottom. Doesn't seem like I lost a whole lot during the down time, Have to see how it goes when I try to turn something else. I just felt like piling up some shavings today, trying to decide what next.

    Hu

  4. #4
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    Hu, You, Crack me up....
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Cool birdhouse, Hu. I'm sure you know it already, but don't be too surprised if things go a bit wonky on it as the two parts dry. Mixing grain orientation on two connected pieces of fresh wood often brings interesting results.

    I know how you feel in your concern about losing "the touch" after some time off from the lathe. I've only been able to turn every 6 months or so for a while, but so far (knock on wood) I've remembered how to use the tools each time I've gone back to them.
    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
    Aug 2008
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    Ha!! That's cool!!! I'd get the pencil outta there so as not to poison the birds...but that really looks nice!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    just south of the LA/MS border off of I-55
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    Thanks guys!

    I am pretty pleased with the surface finish I am getting straight off the tool now. The birdhouse got a very quick lick and a prayer with some worn out 100 and 220, a finial today just got a little two-twenty and that wasn't much of an improvement. A slow start this morning so I just cut out and put together my donut chuck and turned my first finial. I thought I had seen people use the paste shoe polish like Kiwi to blacken the maple but I tried it on the raw wood, lousy coverage, then cleaned it off and slopped some lacquer on. Let that dry and tried the boot polish again. Still looked lousy.

    What do I need to blacken the rock maple finials?

    Vaughn, I figure those opposing grains will either make it jam together tighter or fall apart. The birdhouse is hung over grass so if it comes apart a little glue should be all the fix it needs. I could find a small screw or two, probably do that if I have to stick it together better. The lacquer was a bit tacky when I stuck it together, hoping that is enough bond. If a bird likes it the house needs cleaning every year after the hatchlings fly the coop.

    Hu

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