Turning Archive 2004

Surprise Gloat (long) *PIC*

Mike Foster
>I got a call from my wife in Vermont a month ago when I was last here in Sitka. AK. Our neighbor was hiring some tree surgeons to take down several trees on his property and called us to see if we would mind if he had them take down a large tree on the corner of our property that was dying and threatening his house. Most of the larger trees that line our property along the street are sugar maples and I told him to go ahead, just save the trunk/logs for me and I'll deal with it when I get back. Well I put it off for most of the time I was back, since I have plenty of maple to keep me busy for a while. 2 days before I had to come back up here to Sitka to work, I decided to cut off a chunk to turn into a vessel that I could bring with me to carve on (gives me something to do while I'm here). Lo and behold, the wood was not maple, but ash, and the whole log had some nice curl to boot. Never seen curly ash before, and never turned wet ash, so this was a real prize to say the least.

I had to turn a piece of it just to see how it would turn and how it might finish outl. Below is a bowl out of a small offcut that I roughed out. Surprising how wet this wood is not. I'm used to getting soaked turning maple. I also found out the hard way that the wood is like oak in causing rusting of equipment. I left a small chunk on the tablesaw overnight and found the iron under it completely rusted in the morning. Brightened up with elbow grease, but learned a lesson from that. The bottom pic shows about half of the haul. the other half is in larger chunks (I did rip out the pith and endseal the lot). Brad Vietje happened to drive by and stop for a short chat while I was mining the motherload. Will have to wait till I get back to see what the finished products will look like.

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