Don't give up on old cuttings

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Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby loyd » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:05 am

I gathered some box elder a year ago and put it in plastic bags. The fact that I never got around to it suggested that it was going to be garbage for the burn pile but when I dug it out the other day, it turns out that at least some of it is going to be OK. After brushing the mold and crud off, I took it to the band saw to see what was inside. Lo and behold, real colorful stuff. I really expected it to end up being burned. Now, I'm planning to look into the rest of the pile to see what can be salvaged. :roll:
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby southpaw57 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:13 pm

As Yogi Berra said; "You never know until you know!" :geek:
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby loyd » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:19 pm

May be that giving up would have been a good decision after all. The first blank was just out and out punky. I turned a 'shape' out of it, but it was like powder. So, I attempted to go at the surface with a freshly sharpened gouge to see if I could use a sheer cut to get past that stage. Not gonna happen. Large chunks between rings just came out.

Set that one aside and picked another. It seemed sound [sorta] so I went on, made a shape, drilled out the core, and hollowed it down to about 1/8" thick. Still OK but there was a bit of run that looks 'almost like a crack', but I figured that was just a spalt run and I couldn't feel a crack [ever been there?]. I went ahead with 120 grit and power sanded the tool marks away and did a bit of shaping of the base with a parting tool getting ready to cut it off after it dries and gets sanded to about 320 or 400 grit [maybe tomorrow or the next day]. The parting tool 'shaping' must have relieved some stress. The spalt line opened up to be a pretty hefty crack. Rather than tossing it with disgust, I rubbed in some shavings and sawdust and coated it with CA glue. Of course, the CA glue stained the thin walls. We'll see what tomorrow brings. :roll:

My third piece followed the example of #2 but I stopped when the grain started to lift. We'll see what tomorrow brings on that one too, but all in all -- other than some long overdo lathe practice -- not a productive day. :oops: :oops: :oops:

But now I have the turning bug and need to locate some workable wood to redeem myself.
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby southpaw57 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:54 pm

if you need some Ambrosia maple, give me a call. I saved you a piece. :geek:
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby loyd » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:37 am

I'll take it, and thanks. :D
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby loyd » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:52 pm

box elder vessels.jpg


Sometimes you just can't throw away box elder even when it's punky. These two turnings aren't too bad if you don't look too close. I went ahead and finished them out. Using the gouge in a sheer scrape fashion I was able to get a decent finish on the outside. No luck on the inside where scraping is the order of the day. That punky wood on really showed its ugly face inside and then again on the base. I fiddled with the base for a long time trying to get a decent finish there but the cross grain just wouldn't be nice. I sharpened the gouge a couple of times but finally gave up and just scrapped it off. I won't enter these into a exhibition but I have a few clients that will take them and be happy for it.

I'm sure there's a way to get better results; maybe next time. :oops: :oops: :roll:
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby loyd » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:56 pm

BTW: I picked up a couple of pieces of Ambrosia maple from Southpaw to try to redeem myself. Now if I can get to it before it goes south too. :roll:
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby loyd » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:23 am

Still lamenting the box elder that went to punk on me. I pulled out another piece that was very punky. I really mean that. It's very punky. Look at the edges on the bottom to get an idea of how punky.

389a (Copy).jpg


I was about to throw it away but the color was so striking that I decided to sharpen the gouges and go at it again. When I got far enough I realized the grain was separating and lifting. Based on a conversation a few weeks ago with Southpaw, I decided to cover it with CA glue. I set it aside with the idea I'd decide whether it was worth another go and it sat on the lathe bed for a few days. Bored with what I was doing on another project, I chucked it up again and used the power sander starting with [shhhsh!] 60 grit and working up to 320 alternating with sanding sheets and power sanding. I got it to a reasonable level that way and moved on to lacquer sanding sealer and then a rattle can of Deft gloss for three more coats.

When the lacquer was cured, I moved back to the lathe and wet sanded it starting at 600 and ending at 1200 before going to the Beal buffing system. Sounds like a long process, but it just took an hour or so over several days. The result is here to see. This isn't a 'turner's delight' but it certainly qualifies as a Christmas present for someone. AND my box elder is salvaged. Just don't look at the bottom or inside.

389 (Copy).jpg
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Re: Don't give up on old cuttings

Postby sid_matheny » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:13 pm

Thought I had replayed to this a couple of days ago but must have had a senior moment and didn't click submit.

Loyd it looks like it was worth all the extra time and work you put into that one, looks great.
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