Turning Archive 2006

NP turning quandry-goals in competition (long)

>I have probably turned less than two dozen pieces of Norfolk Pine, so I can hardly be called an expert. At this stage of my experience turning shapes from this wood, I seem to have a quandry. If I turn the outside shape first, like I do most bowl shapes, what happens on the inside to the pattern of the branches is sometimes a wild guess at best. So I tried to reverse the procedure by turning the inside first, and stopping when the best available branch pattern develops. When turning the inside first for the best branch pattern, the corresponding outside profile may not be the best. What may happen, then, is that the outside profile does not match the inside profile, and wall thickness is not constant from rim to bottom. This bothers me a little, as it smacks of a lack of accomplishment in turning. Also, if turned thin, the translucence is affected by the varying wall thickness. The answer, of course, is to have a piece that has the best of what could be three divergent goals: constant wall thickness, good overall shape, and a great branch pattern on the interior. Let me tell you—it is not often when all these elements come together.

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