Turning Archive 2008

Four Plumwood Turnings *PIC*

charlie belden
>A neighbor did some major pruning of a plum tree in his back yard and knows I'm into woodturning. He brought over some branches about 4" in diameter for me to play with. Normally I don't turn green wood because I prefer doing lidded boxes and detailed finials. But the stuff was free - and it had some interesting color to the heartwood - so I turned some pieces out of it.. Roughed to round and then down to some heartwood, followed by initial shaping and hollowing through a 5/8" diameter hole (OK, so on one of them I hollowed through a larger hole in the bottom and plugged it afterwards. NOT a good idea with green wood turnings due to changes in shape when drying).

Being somewhat impatient, I then microwaved each and turned to final shape and wall thickness, sanded, oiled with Mahoney Walnut Oil to pop the grain and polished with HUT Wax on a buffer using an unstitched cloth wheel. None of the pieces were completely dry , but as I've admitted, I'm not very patient.

Three of the pieces are "pinch neck" forms and very rakuesque. The fourth I turned to allow for some carving and grinding and took the Proxxon little disk sander to it. Will be playing with that some more in the future.

Still haven't figured out a way of holding these things in order to turn a finished bottom.

Like most fruitwoods, plumwood is prone to cracking and splitting as it dries. I've found that the thinner the walls the less splitting and cracking there is. Also found that if you drill out the pith and plug it with either the same wood or a dry hardwood, the cracking off the pith is reduced or eliminated.

Comments, constructive criticism and suggestions will be appreciated.

charlie belden

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