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Thread: Square Bubinga Bowl

  1. #1
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    Square Bubinga Bowl

    This bowl/platter/whatever you want to call it is curly bubinga. Although the curl isn't real prominent or noticeable in the pictures, there's some nice chatoyance in the wood. It started out about 10 1/2" square (14 7/8" diagonal on my 15" lathe) but by the time I fixed some twigged corners it ended up at 9 5/8" square and about 1 1/2" tall. This blank was dry, and probably the hardest, densest stuff I've turned. I turned it and started finishing it immediately. As simple as the final form is, I learned it's a tough one to cut and make look good. I had a lot of practice riding a bevel on air. And the turning was the easy part.

    I had a devil of a time getting a finish that I liked on this piece, and I'm still not 100% satisfied. The bubinga is pretty porous, and my problems started when I decided I wanted a gloss finish with no pores. Like a grand piano. I started with Formby's Tung Oil blend, sanded that off, wasn't happy, then tried a couple coats of Bullseye SealCoat (dewaxed shellac) to fill the pores, then more Tung Oil blend, with various wet sanding and dry buffing sessions (and no acceptable finish) in between, and finally a few coats of Watco rattle can lacquer...my "I give up" finish. I buffed it through the standard three stages, but the finish is still a bit more satiny than I want. I'll give the lacquer a few days to cure then rub the satin out and bring it to a higher gloss.

    I could have made a bigger round bowl out of that blank, and maybe I should have. No regrets though, and I got enough bottle stopper blanks out of the leftovers to pay for the whole blank. It just now dawned on me that I could have simply lopped the four sides off a round bowl on the bandsaw or tablesaw (with the proper jig). It would have been immensely easier on the pucker muscles. Still, having the square sides from the beginning made it easier to see the bowl thickness as I went along.

    Attachment 10894 Attachment 10895 Attachment 10896 Attachment 10897

    Once again, comments and critiques are 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
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    Vaughn, that is VERY cool, I like them much, they sure do make a lot of noise when they get going eh?

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

  3. #3
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    Vaughn - as always, exceptional work. I don't know how you consistently (and so frequently) turn out such beautiful work. You seem to have nearly as many hollow forms as Stu has avatars!
    We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will. - Chuck Palahniuk

  4. #4
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    Vaughn,

    That is hugely cool. I like the thickness, the gentle curve contrasts well with the square form. Someday I gotta try that... but not in bubinga...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  5. #5
    Nicely done Vaughn! I like Zinsser's dewaxed shellac on bubinga too!

    I gotta trying completing on of those. I started one and chichened out about the 3rd time I got my knuckles whacked.....

  6. #6
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    Well done Vaughn. I really like the form. Finish looks pretty good to me.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    ...I started one and chichened out about the 3rd time I got my knuckles whacked.....
    I was pleasantly surprised to survive with all ten fingers and thirty knuckles. I was paying extra attention to make sure I didn't get my extremities on the wrong side of the tool rest.
    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

  8. #8
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    Vaughn,

    That is a nice square bowl. For the fininsh you said you wanted a non-porous, high gloss. For the non-porous part you can use pumice or rottenstone fine abrasive powder to fill in pores and achieve a very smooth finish.

  9. #9
    Vaughn, I really like minimalist design. When I turn square bowls, I glue sacraficial pieces on the 4 sides that are cut away later, It makes turning and sanding a breeze. This may be considered cheating to a turning 'purest' Here's a link that explains it pretty good; Cheers, Barry http://woodturners.org/tech_tips/don...are/square.htm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Reid View Post
    Vaughn,

    That is a nice square bowl. For the fininsh you said you wanted a non-porous, high gloss. For the non-porous part you can use pumice or rottenstone fine abrasive powder to fill in pores and achieve a very smooth finish.
    I've got some rottenstone and pumice, and was thinking the same thing. They may not be necessary, since I did finally get the pores full. Now I just need to work the satin into a gloss. I'm planning to start with wet 600 grit, the work my way into automotive rubbing and polishing compounds. I did a similar finish on a pool cue case and it came out nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Richardson View Post
    Vaughn, I really like minimalist design. When I turn square bowls, I glue sacraficial pieces on the 4 sides that are cut away later, It makes turning and sanding a breeze. This may be considered cheating to a turning 'purest' Here's a link that explains it pretty good; Cheers, Barry http://woodturners.org/tech_tips/don...are/square.htm
    Thanks for the tip, Barry. I'm pretty far removed from being a purist...whatever gets the end result better, faster, or safer is a good thing.
    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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