Turning Archive 2005

re: thin green bowl....a sad story (l0ng)

>Well, thanks to everyonbe for the help. I guess I was in a little over my head...

I had some maple that I got shortly after it was cut. I chainsawed it in half lengthwise and cut rough blanks from it. I sealed everything with several coats of anchorseal. After about i month I noticed my two biggest and most promising pieces cracking. I cut straight down the pith but left it in figuring it would be easy to turn out. bu that's where all the cracks were coming from...no I take that back some were actuall starting closer to the bark.

So in a vain attempt to save this wood I thought I would try a natural edge bowl. I've read Turning Green Wood but I don't own a copy.

Actually things went alright....I got a bowl/vase, roughly triangular in cross section, turned pretty much to an even 1/8 inch thickness. But I didn't get to the bottom quick eveough and before I could thin it down all the way it started cracking. I filled those cracks with CA and proceeded on.

By this time my walls were so thin that I didn't have enough to cut the base down smaller and still blend it into the top. And the bowl was warping even as i worked it. Seemed I'd just get it trued up and five minutes later it would be out of true. ( My lathe and chuck have, to this point, always been very precise) So the form ended up a little clumsey, too.

When I went to finish it off I noticed a lot of bad, bad tearout. Even though I was getting lovely shavings with my gouge and scraper. I couldn't get rid of it....just too deep, I guess.

And after sanding to 120, I noticed that the although the original cracks had stopped, and whole new set further up the bowl had developed...tiny nasty things running half way uo the bowl and in wood that is a true eighth of an inch thick [sigh].

At that point I more or less gave it up as a lost cause. I put some tung oil on it and gave it to my wife.

I hope the anxiety and effort translates into a somewhat improved skill set, somewhere down the line, if nothing else. In other worlds I hope I learned something...right now, I don't even want to look at the lathe. [heavy sigh]

In the High Desert of Central Oregon

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