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Elm

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:33 pm
by loyd
There was an Elm tree in the front yard of LaDoris' family farm house. It had to be removed, but I had the tree guy leave me a couple of short logs. I decided that the wife and maybe my daughter by marriage [the wicked one] would feel some nostalgia about that tree. They did about an old maple tree at their Manchester house. So I decided that I should make a hollow vessel or two from one of those logs.

Here's the thing though: Elm isn't maple. It turns OK to a degree but not really nice [so far]. I knew that elm has interlocking grain but didn't think through what that means to turning a hollow form. It turns out that if you leave an area -- say the neck of the turning -- too thin, you're likely to watch a chunk of that elm just pop out. That leaves a hole or divot where you least want one.

At the moment, it sits on my lathe waiting to get dryer and more amenable to sanding. I may have forgot to mention that elm seems to hold onto it's water content longer than maple. That's probably due to the interlocking grain thing but I'm not sure of that; just supposing. I turned it on the center of the log by finding the pith and centering it there until I could turn a spigot at one end to get hold of it with my Stronghold chuck. I figured that if John Jordan can do that, so could I. We'll see how that turns out.

Anyway, if anyone has a thought or two about how to stop the chunks from popping out, or other advice on turning elm [other than don't do it since I've already started] let me know. Posting here would be nice. It would break the boredom.

Re: Elm

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:44 pm
by sid_matheny
I have turned a few pieces of elm but never tried a hollow form with it. You may have your hands full trying to make it the way you want. Good luck with it Loyd.

Re: Elm

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:20 pm
by loyd
I have a feeling that I'll need that luck Sid. The grain is really loose.