Bill, Looks great so far....I like stories...
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
Some big wood there Bill, hurry up and tell the tale!
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
Hey, looking good! You sure are lucky to have all those Ice storms
Looking forward to the story. Barry
Looking good Bill.
Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day
and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.”
To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.
Now that's a big ice cream bowl.
Well, it could be a chip bowl also, I guess, but you need a dip bowl to match, then...
Bill, you're such a tease!
Looks great so far; looking forward to the rest of the tale.
Ok, so I guess I'll just tell the story here, since everyone's jumped in already...
You may remember this post from a few weeks ago: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ead.php?t=8134
which was me complaining about an ice storm. But as they say, it's an ill wind indeed that doesn't blow at least some good to someone! A tree came down a couple blocks away, on my normal route to work. It *looked* like a walnut, very dark center, new wood around the edges was white. Homeowner took a stab at cutting it up, and gave up, so there's still a good ten feet of bottom trunk, roots attached, leaning over about 30 degrees off the ground. When Doorlink came home from singing on sunday, I got her to the general area by telling her there was an open house (she loves to go looking at homes for sale, even if we can't buy, and believe it or not the realtors around here like the traffic). Anyway, got done with that, and got her to knock on the door of the people who lost the tree. Of course, she made fast friends, and they said "take all you want", and they're hoping I can come back with my chain saw to get the trunk...
I took two rounds home with me right then, the smaller of which is in the first picture. Frankly, they were all I could lift: the wood is incredibly heavy. It was too big for my bandsaw (12" is my limit"), so for the first time I had to cut a flat side (actually, two opposing flat sides) before I could use the bandsaw to slice it lengthwise (that's the second picture). Then I took one of the halves, and cut it in half, to give me the first blank. Now, at that point, I used to just mount the blank on the lathe, but it's time consuming to do it that way, and frankly a bit too dramatic. So I've taking to reverse tilting the bandsaw table as far as it will go (wish it would go further!) and slicing first four corners, then the resulting eight corners, off the blank. This leads to a lot less drama when I first mount the blank. I still need a quick and easy way to make some kind of circle cutting jig which will let me make a large, heavy round blank (don't forget the minimum speed of the lathe is 600 rpm, so you can see why that's a goal!
Anyway, got the thing mounted on the 6" face plate, and started going at it with one of Randy's monster tools. It was not done with ease! I had to stop every few minutes and resharpen. At this point I'd lost the illusion that it was walnut. I fear that it's oak, but the bark doesn't look like any of the known oaks on our land. It truly qualifies as Dunnowood. I don't have the slightest guess... I'm a gardener, not a forester... It's hard, it's *heavy*, and it's incredibly wet, even slimy around the edges. Took a long time to get it to round. I did some sanding on the outside, massaged some CA into one place where it was thinking about cracking, sprayed that with accelerator, gave the outside a wash coat of shellac to slow down the drying, and gave up for the night.
Of course, it was out of round in the morning, so I returned the outside and resanded while it was still round, Then I cut a groove in the bottom for rechucking. I've been very unhappy with the marks the barracuda chuck makes on blanks when I tighten it down, so last week I got some of that canned stuff you dip pliers into to coat the handles, and coated all the business ends of the jaws. It's worked so far... Got it chucked and running fairly true, so I turned it around...
Did I mention the wood is incredibly hard? And harder in some places than others? I had to use a combo of two bowl gouges, the monster, and a very narrow (1/4"?) roughing gouge. Four different tools just to hollow the inside. I'm sure part of that was frustration! And there was no finessing it. I had to push hard, very hard, even with freshly sharpened tools. I also don't have a curved tool rest designed for bowls, so there were times when I had a few inches of air between the rest and the bowl. Dramatic doesn't describe those moments... Yikes!
Anyway, got it hollowed. More CA, this time for the inside. I toyed with the idea of just roughing the blank and doing the DNA number, which I've never done, but in the end rejected it, and pushed on. Used my drill, with a flexible rubber 6" sanding pad, to go through the various grits. Then put on a couple coats of shellac on the inside to slow down the movement and keep it from cracking.
That's where I am now. It looks like it might stay in one piece. I'll need to sand the shellac off the inside, and go through the grits again up to 320. Then a few coats of shellac, inside and out, and I'll be done. Maybe a little wax when the shellac dries? Total size is a little under 11" by a little over 5" tall. That makes it sound small, but trust me, it's a big ole thing...
Last edited by Bill Lantry; 03-05-2008 at 04:33 PM.
Great story and fine wood, Bill!! Congrats on your "lucky (wind)fall"
I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!
Man, that's a monster bowl! Looks great, too. I certainly know how exciting a large green blank spinning at 600 rpm can be cause my 1236 dances around pretty good, too.
FWIW, that doesn't look like Oak to me, it looks more like Elm, especially the bark. Elm is sorta stinky when turned green. Oak has that acrid odor, not unpleasant, but easily identifiable.
Whatever it is, I'd like to see the finished pics of that bowl.