Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Turning a big Avocado bowl ...

Here are some pics of the big avocado bowl I started turning on the 27th Dec 2006.
The diameter of the blank was a smidgen over 500mm once cut to the round!

This is where the Stubby 1000 comes to the fore. I could never have thought of trying this on the old Record CL3!

Started off by triming the blank with a chain saw until it was more or less balanced

Turned the outside shape

Formed a spiggot on the base to fit the Axminster Chuck with its 100mm Mega Jaws

The bowl blank was attached to the headstock with a three inch faceplate

Reversed the bowl on to the chuck

The beautiful Oneway live centre with its reversing attachment is just the right thing to ensure perfect alignment

There is a picture of how to use it in one of my previous posts

Face off the blank

Leave the faceplate in place though

You'll see why shortly

Using the Kelton 'bowl saver' to core out the centre

This way the centre piece can be re-mounted on the headstock, without having moved the faceplate

Using this method, three or more nested bowls can be turned from a single blank

This shows the shape of the cutting tip on the Kelton tool

Below is the centre removed

One can see that the Kelton tool cut nearly to the centre

The centre piece is removed by giving it a sharp wack and cracking the small uncut section in the centre

Obviously one must wack the side-grain quadrant of the core not the end-grain quadrant

I ended off by remounting the faceplate on the lathe and turning the centre piece into two more bowls!

Each bowl is left rather thick (10% of the bowl diameter) so that after drying and warping there will be enough material to re-turn each to a perfect round shape.

This re-turning will probably be done 6 months to a year from now for the biggest bowl!
The smaller ones, being thinner, will dry sooner.

BTW - I highly recommend the Avacado wood. Beautifully fine grained and easy to cut.

If you are ever offered Avocado wood DO NOT turn it down.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Family Function at OudeNektar ...

On our way back from Marloth Reserve we stopped off in Stellenbosch for a family Christmas get-together on Hans-Peter's Oude Nektar Estate in the Jonkershoek valley.

Thanks H-P for providing such a fantastic venue.

Däumchen with grandson Nicolaas

Annette in background

Annette and Nicolaas

Ninkie,'Little David', Süsse and Sybe

Süsse, Miki and Midori

Daumchen removing splinter from Niko's finger

Lisa providing quality control

Josh and Rob

The dam

Marika's two daughters, Nieka and Kayla

Unusual pose according to Marika!

Nieka and Kayla

Marie with cousin (once removed) Nicolaas

Nicolaas with grandma Daumchen behind

Josh and Miki

"And he just picked me up by the scruff of the neck and ... " or words to that effect!

Marika and Margerethe paddling Nieka and Kayla around the dam

And Michelle and Paul's two daughters, Emily and Kaylee as well

'Little' David from Scotland just soaking up the sun

Nina and friend (or is it one of Bernie's daughters)

José and daughter Francesca

'Techno-kitten' Süsse


Thanks for the video of last year's clan gathering Chiara

This time the family will just have to make do with my blog.

You can either click on the hyperlink in the text above or click the play button on the window below to watch Chiara's video. To open the video in a new window or tab respectively hold down the shift key and "click" if you are using Microsoft's Internet Explorer or "scroll button click" if you are using Mozilla's Firefox. The video will load slowly the first time and play intermitantly if you have a slow connection, like a dial up modem (shame), but once it has fully loaded you can play it over again continuously without interuption


Chiara and Miki



Gigi drooling over Ninki's, or is it Süsse's, new camera

The kids attacking the Knusperhäuschen



playing boule

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas at Marloth Reserve ...

The family spent three days at Marloth Nature Reserve, just outside Swellendam, over Christmas.
What a wonderful place to chill.
Gigi and I drove out to Swellendam (3 hours) on Saturday morning.

Once one gets beyond the belt of pine plantations that fringe the Langeberg Mountains this is the view

The temperature reached above 30degC on most days so the most attractive places to be were the patches of relic Afromontane Forest in the kloofs (ravines) where it was cool

Beautiful cool mountain streams run down all the kloofs

Suikerbekkie (Sugar bird) Cottage where we stayed

As soon as we had unpacked we went exploring

Glenstroom hut is close to Suikerbekkie Cottage where we stayed and is the first hut on the Swellendam Hiking Trail

The cooking and 'dining' hut at Glenstroom


Cycle trail indicator lying in a local water canal

A typical local stream

Harveya stenosiphon

With magnificent red flowers

The Langeberg Mountains
Coloniesbos (left) and
Duiwelsbos (right)

The top of Coloniesbos (Colony's forest/wood) where Gigi and I walked on the first evening

The boys drove out to join us after they had finished work

Duiwelsbos (Devils forest/wood)

Rothmannia capensis

According to von Breitenbach, 'Southern Cape Forests and Trees', 1974, the name of the genus is in honour of a Swellendam farmer, Rothmann, host and helper of Carl Thunberg when the latter Swedish botanist explored the Doktersbos (so named after Thunberg who was originally a physician) and Grootvadersbosch in 1772 and discovered the tree there

We visited Doktorsbos the following day

Fruit of Rothmannia capensis

Leaves of Rothmannia capensis

Fruit and leaves of the the Red Candlewood tree, Pterocelastrus rostratus (I think)

The leaf shape is wrong for the more common Candlewood tree Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus

A typical Western Cape mountain stream

Leaves on the forest floor

A beautiful small pool

Gigi listening to bird calls

And there it is!

The Hard Pear (Olinea ventosa) is the big tree, centre rear
It's wood was so hard that the early settlers could not cut it with hand saws, so many mature trees remain in our forests

Lying horisontally is a Blossom Tree (Virgilia oroboides), a 'pioneer species', that is common on forest margins, grows fast and is relatively shortlived

Virgilia provides shelter for the slower growing dominant trees to establish

Decending through Coloniesbos we came across this magnificent stand of tree ferns

Leaving Coloniesbos

The boys arrived shortly after we got back to the cottage

Chris lighting a fire

Nic and Gigi downloading images

Gigi - chilling

Chris contemplating

Nic off to bed - falls asleep listening to music

We slept late and went off to explore Duiwelsbos and find the waterfall in the afternoon

Many trees in Duiwelsbos grow in rings like this

This ring of trees must have copiced from one large old single stem that has since died and rotted away

Who knows how old the rootstock is, from which this ring of relative young trees copiced

A closer view showing how all the trees are joined at their base

Perhaps the original tree was burned down like the one in the picture further down this post

Gigi and Chris in Duiwelsbos

Red Pear, (Scolopia mundii)

A stunning turning wood

On the forest floor we found this interesting specimen ...
This is the fruiting body of a fungus called Aseroe rubra.
It's apparently fungus from Australia - another Australian invasive in South Africa - enough already!

The brown 'chocolate' is foul smelling spore slime that attracts insects who then crawl/fly off and spread the spores.

Better pictures of Aseroea rubra in Kirstenbosch on one of my previous posts

The further up the kloof one gets into the forest the more big trees there still occur, not having been felled by the early settlers

This is a wonderful Outeniqua Yellowwood tree (Podocarpus falcatus)

Here is a big hardpear tree, burned out from the centre

It seems that the big fynbos fires outside the forest shoot burning debris into the forest

This causes localised fires within the forest itself

A huge Ironwood tree (Olea capensis)

A stunning, much sought after, turning wood

The waterfall at the top of Duiwelskloof

Gigi checking out the waterfall


Cape Holley tree (Ilex mitis)

Sunset from Suikerbekkie cottage

Pitty about the invasive eucalyptus trees!

Christmas dinner is taken on Christmas eve in the German tradition

The boys thank Esprit very much for the two Ipods

Next morning, Christmas day, we took a walk up to Doktorsbos (so named after Carl Thunberg who was originally a physician)

Nearby some idiot forester planted an extension to the local plantation high up on a ridiculously steep slope surrounded on three sides by Fynbos

Now knowing that Fynbos communities are fire driven ecosystems, guess what ...

The lower slopes of the mountains are dominated by invasive alien vegetation, pines, eucalypts, black wattle and blackwood among others

The temperature was over 30degC

So we stopped at a small stream

This was the most co-operative frog imaginable

He loved having his photograph taken

Red current tree (Rhus chirindensis)

Red current tree (Rhus chirindensis)

A pool in the stream

Foresters also have the habit of planting belts of Eucalyptus trees as fire belts between blocks of pines

Eucalypts just dry out and 'kill' the soil where they grow

Nic, our family geologist, pointed out to me when we were traveling in Namibia how the wind blows away the dry soil leaving a layer of rocks on the surface

Look at how dry that soil is

The soil drying out is causing the forest road to crack and slide downhill

If this is not repaired soon guess who is not going to get their vehicles to where they need to figh the next fire

Panorama to the south

The Langeberg to the north
See the burned plantation on the very steep slope

Another big errosion gully essentially caused by all those soil dessicating alien trees

The reserve buildings

'Nice' big swathe of invasive kikuyu grass growing where buildings previously stood

And on the way past those buildings we come across flowers of a passion fruit or Granidella (Passiflora edulis)

And its fruit

The next day the boys left early to get to work in Cape Town and we followed a more leasurely pace to join a family gathering in Stellenbosch