Turning Archive 2004

Banksia Nut Vase (Pic & design thoughts)

David Eaves
>Hi there,

I finally got round to turning the Banksia nut I had bought at Christmas today. What a strange beastie to turn.. really like the possibilities with it though.

I made a vase form out of it. I'm not totally happy with the form. The base should be wider and the neck narrower I think. Part of this was being influenced by the shape of the nut. Next time I buy some I know what shape I want to look for now to get the shape I was after today.

The base section was wider by probably 1/4" (diameter) at one stage, however I was trying to turn the furryness out. With hindsight this was slightly misguided and messed the shape up a bit. I also like the effect it makes so I'm a bit narked with myself there.

The second mistake on my part was to drill the inside too large. I put a 30mm forstener bit up it. At the time I had a different shape in mind. The nut dictated to me the shape a bit and I went for this form. As mentioned above the neck should be narrower I think, I was limited by the internal diameter I had given myself though. I took it to about 1/8"-3/16" thickness with the open structure I didn't dare go any less than that. Its hollowed all the way down and I really like how the light shines through.

The piece was sanded in the usual manner sealed with sanding sealer and a spray lacquer applied.

Here's the piece. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on my assesment and your own ideas of how it could be improved/where it went wrong.

I really like these nuts they are very cool, in looks and finish well. One tip for anyone thinking of turning one, there is very fine fur, it may cause some skin irritation, a bit like fibre glass. I was careful to keep "dust-extractoring" my wrists to stop an build up. I always turn with a dust mask these days too.



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