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Thread: Turning Question...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Turning Question...

    So when I was turning my first bowl there was a time when the tool had a splat of something on it, I stopped the shaping and saw that it must be a worm. Is it common to behead worms when turning? It was kinda gross, but I marched on anyway. (After saying sorry to it).

    The question is, how do you know what wood not to turn? how much rot is to much? And if you turn a piece that is very brittle is there a way to stiffen it up?
    George Blevins
    Astriapo@earthlink.net

  2. #2
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    I've not turned any live worms myself, but I've read of other who found them so thick they were splattering the wall behind their lathe.

    The question is, how do you know what wood not to turn? how much rot is to much? And if you turn a piece that is very brittle is there a way to stiffen it up?
    For me, the only way to know a piece of wood shouldn't be turned is to try it. Some of my favorite peices so far have come from wood that was questionable in one way or another. I've turned a few pieces that were pretty rotten/punky, and some have come out nice; others didn't.

    There are a number of ways you can stiffen up brittle or punky wood. One way is to use liquid wood hardener, sold in your local hardware store with the paints and wood stains. It's made for treating dry rot, and it can help firm up a punky piece of wood. Another similar approach is the "Epoxy Cocktail". This is a mix of epoxy (I use the 5-minute kind in the twin tubes, but other kinds work too) and denatured alcohol, mixed to about the consistency of milk...pretty runny so it can soak into the wood. After coating the wood liberally, let it dry (I let it go overnight) then give it a spin.
    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

  3. #3
    Back in the Dark ages when I first started teaching, Wood borers got into our Lumber Bin. Those suckers can go through a stack of wood in a heartbeat. Several of our students would complain of a snot wad or so flying past as they turned their projects. (Youth of today are so intolerant) We had to have the place fumigated as they were getting into the building structures as well (was an old Wood building left over from WWII training facility in Western KY) Gee that must have been near 40 years ago..... Time's fun when you're having flies...

    As for getting my wood hard (don't go there) I use a vacuum bottle and some sanding sealer or thinned Poly. Half fill a large Pickle jar with Thinned Poly or Sanding sealer (something cheap) connect a vacuum pump (I use a hand pump designed for bleeding brakes) suck the air out and watch the air bubbles flow from the wood and it will sink to the bottom when it is evacuated, when the bubbles quit, release the vacuum and the pressure forces the liquid into the punky wood, do it a couple of times. Then remove the piece from the liquid and put on a rack to dry. In a few days the piece of punky wood is hard and stable, ready to turn with great detail. Bigger pieces of wood will require a bigger jar. An old Pressure cooker works well for bowls and such. (just, you can't watch the bubbles, sort of guess the time necessary, practice with the jar and smaller pieces to get a feel of the time and adjust for the size)
    Last edited by Bill Simpson; 04-17-2007 at 03:07 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Blevins View Post
    The question is, how do you know what wood not to turn?
    Don't think there is such a thing. If you can mount it, then it can be turned.

  5. #5
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    vacuum...

    Interesting tip... I may have to give something like that a try... thanks..
    George Blevins
    Astriapo@earthlink.net

  6. #6
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    Yeah, great tip on the vacuum bottle, I've got one of them hand help vacuum pumps too, Mighty Vac, I think it is called.

    Should work well for some iffy blanks I have

    I wonder if I could add a dye to the thinned poly?

    BTW, do WB polys work or are the oil based ones better?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I'll second (or is it third?) the thanks for the great vacuum idea. I've had some pieces that I should have done that on, and as long as I keep buying spalted woods, I'm likely to need it in the future. Thanks, Bill.
    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

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