Turning Archive 2005

Turning slime

Mike Foster
>Well I've turned some critters in wood at times, but have never encountered slime until now. I would rate it as about the most disgusting thing I've put on the lathe. We had some logging done on our land about 3 years ago, and this spring I discovered a burl on a 5" tree I couldn't identify. I hauled it out of the forest this summer and finally had the time to cut up and turn it. Come to find out, it was box elder. The red streaks were how I identified it. I've always drooled over the postings of box elder pieces, and was delighted with my find. Unfortunately, nature has done it's thing, and the burl was severely spalted. I was determined to get something out of it, so I made a lot of shavings and did a lot of bandsawing to come up with a little bit of wood worth turning. I think I'll end up with one little hollow form and a couple of smallllll bowls. Worst part of the thing was that I know the wood would have been gorgeous 3 years ago.

In the process of trying to find half way sound wood I ran across numerous slime inclusions (they seemed to follow bark inclusions). I'm fairly certain that the slime was some sort of fungus. It tended to fly out of the inclusions slowly as I turned. Can't say it was my favorite wood to turn. Did I mention that I was wearing my Airstream?

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