Roughing it

I’ve been working with some silver maple that a friend gave me–they had to cut down a large tree in their daughter’s yard, and offered me some of the larger branches. It’s still quite wet since it was just cut, and so if I turn things to their final size, the pieces will warp as the wood dries.

So I’ve been turning the pieces to close to the final size and shape I want.

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Moist, green wood like this turns nicely, and the ribbons of shavings that come flying off the end of a good sharp gouge makes this process a lot of fun. I finished four bowls this morning, and put them into paper grocery bags to help slow down the drying process. (If wood dries too fast, you’re more likely to get cracks.) It will probably take a couple of months until these are ready to finish.

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This, my friends, is curl

A friend gave me a couple of maple logs, and I’ve been roughing out bowls from it. I uncovered this ripple–which is called curl–in the bowl I was working on this morning.

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Keep in mind that this is rough turned, and still rather wet. I have to let it dry (slowly, to prevent checking), then finish turning it, sand it (probably to 1000 grit, because figure like this deserves that), and apply a finish..