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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Slow Progress

It is getting to be normal lately for me not to feel much like getting online late in the evening when I finally get time to do so. I will try my best to start posting more often. I want to thank those of you who have been sending me emails and messages of concern and well wishes though. I appreciate it very much.
I have been able to get in the shop a little lately. It has not been nearly as much as I would like, but a little.
I made some more of the pen boxes a showed last time. From left to right are rosewood (two of them), oak, pecan, walnut, sapelle, and sycamore.
My buddy Erwin, when he visited recently, left me some live oak burl with all the other wood he'd brought. I love burl. On the rare occasion I'm able to get my hands on some, I just can't wait to turn a pen with it. Turning burl is like opening a Christmas present. You never know what beauty lies beneath the ugly wrapping until you get into it and see for yourself.
Next up, he also brought some spalted pecan. I'd worked with spalting before, and pecan, but never spalted pecan. So I couldn't wait to see this one either.
Then it was on to another curiosity I had, the lignum vitae. This wood has been of interest to me for some time. This is said to be one of the hardest woods in the world. It is a nice looking wood. I think the pen would look better with some accent color added. Since I'd never turned it before though, I decided to leave it plain for the first go around to see how well it worked.
It is an easy wood to work with on the lathe in my opinion. It is hard as people say, but with sharp tools, that makes it easier to turn to a very nice and smooth finish.
I applied finish on this one. I wanted to see how it reacts with finish on it. I was told that it would turn a greenish color in a few weeks without finish. So I have this pen with finish on it, and another piece sanded. I will check back in a few weeks and see which way I like it best.
Also on the visit with Erwin, I got some pointers from him on something else I plan on diving into in the future, segmented turning.
While considering some of the ideas I got from him, I decided to try a couple of rings out of scrap wood just to see how much trouble it would be. This turned into a day long adventure in figuring out why my Incra sled was a half a degree off.
Some of you may be wondering why I am worried about half a degree. That doesn't seem to be a problem. This is wood after all. Well, if you take a half a degree off of each angle, that it one degree per joint. The piece on the right in the above picture has twelve joints. That adds up to twelve degrees. Now, a half a degree may sound like no problem, but twelve degrees is a huge problem. So I had to fix that.
After a whole day of finicky adjustments to my sled, I think I have it dialed into where I want it, and will try to make use of all this in the near future.
Here is another piece that was left that peaked my interest. I am not sure what it is. It was in a variety bag that was bought at one of the stores that I can't remember. I am not sure what it is. It looked, before turning, to be pink died plywood.
It is a pink pen. I think that is all I have to say about that one.
I liked the oak burl pen. Actually, everyone I show it to likes it. Since I plan on keeping that first one for myself, I decided I had better turn another one before someone snatches mine up.
I have now had the opportunity to turn oak burl and cherry burl. Both of them had figure that simply amazed me. I hope I can find a way to acquire different varieties of burl one day. Each time I work with it, the beauty of it just blows me away.

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