Turning Archive 2005

Bowl wired for Lightning *PIC*

Barry Irby
>I cut some trees off the family farm, harvesting walnut and cherry. One of them was a yard tree from an abandoned tenant house and a clothes line had been nailed to it years ago. The sawyer cut that piece out, naturally. Just as naturally, I decided it was a bowl blank.

Thinking the wire had been nailed there and that the tree had pushed it outward in a curve as it grew, I centered it between the wires and tried for a natural edge with the copper wire in the bottom. Not exactly what I had in mind, but interesting anyway. The bowl is about 15" across the long points and the blank was near the limit of the swing of my lathe.

Turning it and not getting tangled up in the wires sticking out was a challenge. Spent the day making exaggerated arm motions. Sort of like trying to turn a Weed Eater, with it running. So far, I have not gotten cut, but it's still on the lathe and the day ain't over.

It has been interesting. One wire is solid copper and the other is steel with a heavy copper jacket, heavier that plate. I started out thinking it was a single wire. There was a staple and a nail and some steel bailing wire that has mostly rusted away. The form of the bowl was largely established by the shape of the wire in the wood. Another surprise was that the wire is not bonded to the wood at all. Where I cut it free, it just pops out. I guess it's under stress from having been pushed into position by the tree as it grew.

Wood is stained and ugly from the metal. Any suggestion about how to treat the "antennae".

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