Turning Archive 2006

Turning hard wood

John Lucas
>I find Mikes observation about Osage interesting and I hear this a lot on other woods as well. My friend Bobby Clemons and I were talking about turning hard woods the other night because the same thing came up at our club meeting. I've personally never had a wood I couldn't turn. Hardwoods require frequent sharpening and small cuts. It may take a while to hollow a bowl but it still cuts. Bobby said he thought the same thing. We've both turned woods like dry locust, pecan, osage and some exotics. The only wood that really gave me a hard time was Oak barnwood. When turning through the gray outside I would make one pass across the wood and have to sharpen the tool. After I got about 1/4" deep is cut pretty well.

The only woods that have given me a hard time were those that don't cut cleanly and leave fibers showing. We all have experiences with some wood that we don't like. Bradford Pear is my wood. Not because it doesn't cut clean but 8 out of 10 pieces I've turned have had wind shake on the inside that you can't see so the piece is ruined or has to be radically reshaped.

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