Poplar windfall

Poplar windfall

Last summer, some of our friends had a large poplar branch come down in their yard during a wind storm. I offered to help with the clean-up, and brought home a couple of chunks. Here’s the result.

There’s a bunch of tight curl figure on this one, but it’s hard to get a picture that does it justice. It’s much more vivid than this in real life.

This one is 8 3/4 inches tip to tip, 6 3/4 inches wide, and about 3 1/2 inches high.

Here’s the one from the other side of the log.

This is just a bit smaller: 8 1/2 inches tip to tip. Both have had a couple of coats of teak oil and have been buffed to a satin finish.

Prairie Skies II

This started out as a really ugly log. This is another one where I can’t decide which is my favorite side. I’m over the moon at the figure and coloring in this one.

The wood came from the North Dakota farmstead of my immigrant grandparents.

Boxelder. 5 inches diameter, 4 1/2 inches high. Teak oil, topped of with friction polish.

Caragana sphere

Caragana sphere

I’m sensing a trend here.

Caragana is a shub native to Mongolia and Siberia that was introduced to the United States in the 1700s as an ornamental. It’s common in the upper Great Plains. The wood is beautiful, but it never grows very large. This sphere is barely over 2 inches in diameter, and the branch it came from was about 2 1/4 inches.

 

Figured green ash sphere

This is my first attempt at sphere turning. The basic concept is simple: Turn a rough sphere between centers, then rotate it 90 degrees and turn off the high spots, then rotate it 90 degrees again and turn off the high spots. But it does take a bit of finesse to make sure you get it properly centered each time.

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I’m pretty happy with this one; the way the figuring in this green ash shifts in the light is fascinating.

3 1/2″ diameter, friction polish finish.

Not bad for firewood

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A local company salvages timber from buildings being torn down as well as urban trees being removed, and every once in a while they offer some of their “scrap” free for the taking as firewood. Being the frugal (a.k.a. cheap) guy I am, I brought home a load. One piece of poplar looked like it had potential so I chainsawed in in half to find some fun figuring. Here’s the result. 5 1/4″ high, 5″ diameter. Teak oil finish.