Turning Archive 2006

Layoff over, nice score, how about that storm?

David Breth
>I laid off turning for a very long time (spring and all of summer) and have only recently started lurking here again. In the Spring, my 1-year old son fractured his skull (he is 100% now, thankfully), and in the summer, "etc". But now I'm back to making oblong things round.

Observations upon my return:
1) The last thing I did before I stopped turning in the spring was set up a dust collector. Recently turned my first bowl with it. What a huge difference.
2) Magically, my sanding technique improved dramatically during my layoff. I wasn't putting pieces of sandpaper under my pillow at night, so I'm not sure what the deal is there, but I'm not complaining.

1) At work, land is being cleared for additional parking. I've befriended the gents doing the work and the result has been several very nice pieces of cherry. Cost to me - being friendly, a six pack, and an offer from me to turn a cherry bowl for the father and son.
2) We recently had a bit of a power outage in the Buffalo area - perhaps you heard....my maple tree in the back yard took it pretty hard, but can be saved. The guys mentioned in #1 above turned me on to a very good arborist. Very kind of them.
3) I stopped by a golf course the other day. Hey, did you lose any orange osage during the storm? No, but I cut one down the other day. Help yourself. Don't mind if I do.

Question about the orange osage - those potato-bug like critters love that stuff. When I store blanks, do I need to get the bark off? Are they harmful to this or other wood?

OK, the storm. I suppose we made national news for weather. Wicked, sudden, very early lake effect snow storm hit the area last Thursday. Worst of its kind in October on record. Leaves were still on the trees, so the weight of the snow on the limbs was terrific, and the resulting carnage to the trees is unbelievable in some areas. My wife and I came out of it ok tree-wise, but my folks house (where I grew up) looks like a tornado went through. Many people there lost every tree on their lot. I enjoy benefitting from the odd downfall, but I could almost cry looking at all the spent trees. Some look like peeled bananas. We had about 8 inches of snow, my parents had about 24 inches, and it hit super-quick. I was actually turning when the power went out - had literally just finished sanding a red oak-crete bowl. Went upstairs, and the 11:30 pm world outside alternated between bright orange and bright blue, trading between power to the street lights and lightning strikes above the clouds. VERY disturbing to see. EVERYTHING was blue, or EVERYTHING was orange.

Power-wise, we were dark from Thursday night through Monday noon. About 400.000 people total without power, and still about 70,000 without power today. We made it through with a generator, but there was a time when the water pressure dropped to nothing and there was a boil-water ban, so things got a bit dicey. All is well for us now, but unfortunately there are still many people who will struggle for the next few days. The worst of it was my daughter waking me up every two hours (when the generator ran out of gas), whimpering that her nightlight was out again, daddy. OK swee'pea, you go back to bed, daddy will fix it. Sleep in 2-3 hour increments for four days is not ideal.

Crews have come from all over and are working like madmen to get power restored. So, my list of heroes has to be revised officially: military, police/fire/rescue people, and now people who restore/repair electrical lines.

Wow. That was long. Hope it was at least entertaining.

David Breth
Orchard Park, NY

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