Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
OK, now it is war - a bit lengthy

David Breth
>Last night I started working on a large piece of osage orange - my first O O. The wood had different ideas.

First, I got a screw stuck in there when putting the faceplate on. It stopped dead with maybe an inch still to go. It was so stuck that I couldn't back it out with my power drill or a screw driver. Vice grips snapped the head of the screw off. I complimented the wood on its density, and said "well, that was unexpected!" or something along those lines. Then I spent about a half hour drilling, gouging, grabbing, pushing, making lewd suggestions and ultimately getting the screw out of there.

Then I thought I'd better pre-drill the holes for the faceplate screws. Good thinking (I'm not sure I've ever had to do that). So, the drill bit got stuck. Hopelessly stuck. Drill couldn't hold it tight enough. Had to flip the blank upside down with the bit end held in a vice, then spin the bowl off of it. This was probably another twenty minutes of fun.

Then I pre-drilled the holes for the faceplate a bit more wisely - about a quarter inch at a time before cleaning the bit and going back for more. No more faceplate screw problems.

It was time to mount up. This blank was round-ish, as I had used the bandsaw to knock the corners off, but still had some bam bam. It was during one such bam bam that - and it happened too quickly for me to tell you for sure what happened, but I think the tool popped off the rest, got smacked by the wood on the next revolution, and smacked me pretty convincingly on the knuckle where the index finger meets the hand. It stung a little, and I couldn't help but think that the battle had been fairly joined. Fighting back, eh? OK, now its ON.

It took a while to get the wood round, but it got easier and easier. Still, the wood is in the concrete family, and I was sharpening approximately every revolution of the wood. Got the bottom done last night, and sanded it down. Generally, I start out with paste wax, spend a lot of time with the first grit and things go quickly from there. It took three "treatments" of paste wax to get the tool marks/high areas out - testimony to my great toolwoork, but also testimony to the hardness of this wood.

When I left it last night, it was chucked up and ready to turn out the inside. Haven't looked at it yet, but I'm pretty sure that some defense mechanism will have grown on the wood overnight.

Now, I'm not going to deny that all of the above problems are my own fault, but I'm still pretty sure that either this piece of wood or the wood gods in general have it in for me on this one. But the piece will yield. I will prevail. You are going down my friend, down like the lead duck that you undeniably are.

I can tell you this much - if I ever do a craft show, and put this bowl on the table, I'm going to stick about a humongous price tag on it just to compensate for my war wounds.

It does have some pretty nice figuring by the way!

David B.

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