Turning Archive 2006

A thoroughly rotten day

Bill Grumbine (Kutztown PA)
>It started out well. I had a hollow form of very heavily spalted piece of maple burl on the lathe. It was so punky I had to soak it with Minwax Wood Hardener. It had a huge bark inclusion that ran almost from the top to the bottom. I got it off the lathe and finished and it looks good. But things went to the bad place in a handbasket very quickly.

My next piece was some chestnut I had salvaged from the burn pile, old barn boards. I had it on the lathe long enough to determine that it was too splintery and stained all the way through. Back to the burn pile.

Next up was a roughed out piece of highly figured hard maple. After a short time I determined that it was going to be larger on the inside than the out in two places because of the warping. Another candidate for the burn pile.

So I tromped over to the barn an hauled out a piece of black locust that had the promise of burl in it. It was huge and wet, and weighed close to 70 lbs. I walked it back to the shop (about 200 ft.) and put it on the bandsaw. It turned out to be a huge cat's eye. Firewood pile, but not until next year it is so wet.

Back to the barn, this time with the truck. I am getting tired. Two bona fide burls go into the back, one cherry and one white oak. both are big as they go. I got the cherry on the lathe, and got a nice winged shape going. But the gremlins struck again. The faceplate got stuck on the lathe so hard that it took every ounce of my strength pounding on the tommy bar with a hammer to get the stinking thing off. The lathe and the faceplate survived (I was worried about the spindle for a while) but the bowl cracked. Firewood pile - again.

The white oak burl is still in the truck and it is staying there. No more turning for me today.


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