Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cork oak woodturning blank ...

Yesterday Ken phoned me to 'come fetch'.

He had cut down a big cork oak stump which was the remains of a tree that had been cut down some two years ago in a park near where he lives.

The 'stump' was way too big for his lathe so he very kindly bought it to my attention which he always does under such circumstances. Thanks Ken. With friends like Ken to provide wood and like 'Uncle' Bert our ace salesman, what more could a guy want. Perhaps just to get rid of the day job and spend more time in the workshop.

The cut stump was some 600mm diameter and about 1500mm long. A monster.

It weighed an absolute ton but between Chris, Ken and I we managed to manuvere (definitely not 'lift') it up on to the old trailer.

I had to drive very carefully with that heavy load on the trailer but I got it home safely after I dropped Chris off at the climbing wall at 'City Rock'.

This morning I woke up early, sharpened my chainsaw and got going converting the log.

First of all I cut the log to the same length as the diameter

Cut the central pith out of the middle of the log to minimise splitting

My electric chainsaw handled the job admirably

And after two or three hours working like a dog in the baking sun

Two 600m blanks that were way too heavy to lift and four 'smaller' ones, the largest of which I could just lift!

It was all I could manage to stand the two big ones up on end to photograph them

Two years after felling in the park or not, that wood is still amazingly wet!

Those blanks are bigger than the trailer wheels

And what fantastic figuring the wood has

So - natural edge or not the bowls will be spectacular

Maybe I'll do one blank as a natural edge bowl and the other blank a 'standard' set of 3 or four nested bowls

Decisions ... decisions ... decisions!

Eish - what fantastic figuring

And that is bark of note

Perhaps for the natural edge

Decisions ... decisions ... decisions!

Cleaned up the driveway that was now a meter deep in shavings!


So! - Exhausted, I stowed the blanks in the shade by pushing the trailer under a small tree, and came inside to eat pizza that Gigi had just bought home and recuperate for an hour or two

Then back to the workshop where I mounted a 450mm Australian blackwood blank on the lathe

Photos compliments of my son Nic

Focused - shavings flying

Smile Dad!

Knocking all the corners off

Look at the spalting and general figure of the piece of cork oak I had removed from the centre of the big log earlier - beautiful

And here is the Oneway tail-centre and adaptor for reverse mounting the chuck on the tail-centre that Andi kindly bought over from the States for me when she visited in October

This ensures perfect alignment of the chuck jaws on the spiggot on the bowl blank

Move the tail-centre up and close the chuck jaws tightly on the spiggot

More pics tomorrow

Now being keen to get on with turning the next day, I forgot to take pics of the following stage

But never fear. I have some pics of a very similar bowl turned earlier in the year

Remove the chuck and the bowl and reverse the chuck on to the headstock

Here I am using a Kelton coring system to remove the core of the bowl

This saves turning all the centre into shavings and provides a blank that can be turned into another bowl or two

Out comes the core

Put it aside because it's going to be turned into at least two more bowls

Gert Ferreira watching me clean up the inside of the big bowl with a Rolly Monro hollowing tool

And back to the original bowl

The interior surface now cleaned up

The bowl is now released from the chuck and set aside to dry for a couple of months or even years

We need the cellulose cell walls of the wood to dry, not just the lumens of the wood trachids and vessels

As it dries the bowl will warp before it is finally returned in a couple of months time

The core is returned to the lathe

A small spiggot is turned

The bowl blank is reversed into the chuck and the centre is cored yet again

We then dashed off to the 'Watershed' concert at Kirstenbosch

More pics of completing this bowl set next weekend

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