I spent an hour or more last night trying to find the hollow form hiding in a piece of spalted flame maple that I bought on eBay. The blank looked nice, but I knew as soon as I saw it in person that it was a punky piece of spongewood. After putting it off for a few months, I finally chucked it up last night and saw that it was worse than I'd expected. Regardless of my tool choice or presentation, I couldn't get rid of the tearout (up to 1/4" deep in places. So I tried the 80 grit gouge, and although it smoothed things up quite a bit, because of the differing hardness throughout the wood, the more I sanded, the more out of round it became. Within minutes it was at least 1/4" out of round. So...back to the bowl gouge to true it back up, then a heavy slathering of wood hardener.
I put it back on the lathe tonight, and tried sanding it again. It became apparent real quickly that it was going to get lop-sided again, so I tried the gouge one more time. Yep...more tearout craters, even with my most careful shearing cut.
After about 5 minutes of this nonsense, I said to myself "life's too short to turn junky wood". Then I turned off the lathe and removed the piece from the chuck.
With a hammer.
Attachment 10289 Attachment 10290
It felt good.
I've only given up on about four pieces of wood in the year or so that I've been turning, but this one called for the "hammer test" in a big way.