Monday, 7 November 2011

Experiments with dead wood ... ...

I'm sure people are beginning to wonder about me, seems every time I hear a chain saw I'm off looking to see what's being cut down, although it is paying off, just the other day I acquired 2 large sections of Silver Birch, which was going for fire wood, it'll be a while before I can use it, but even so.

I will also (fingers crossed) be getting some Holly and Apple in a few days time, which will further expand my collection of logs.

A few weeks ago I did a shrub removal job for a friend and I decided I'd have a go a turning some of it, I asked if I could take some, which receive a slight raising of the eye brow, and a look of "what on earth do you want that for ? " but I took some of the more usable pieces home.

It turns out it's some kind of Cypress tree, but because it had been pruned on a regular basis it wasn't very big and as a result of the pruning some of it had died, and it's the dead bit's I took most of, mainly because I figured I could turn it straight away, if it's dead it won't warp or crack as there's no life left in the wood.

Even wood that's been cut down still has life in it, it will shrink and grow with the temperature and humidity of the air, but dead wood won't, at least not so much.

So this is what I made from one bit of the dead wood - 

It's an interesting colour.

It turned pretty well, and I managed to get a great finish on it, and even though it didn't appear to be very hard wood, it is, even though it's a small pot it feels sturdy, and the point on the lid is quite sharp.

Another picture -

With the lid off.



You can't really see it in the pictures, but in some places it has a kind of pale pinky colour to it, which is quite nice. I burned the dark band in while it was on the lathe, this is an easy way to add a little detail to an item, you basically hold a piece of wood to the piece whilst it's revolving and friction does the rest, although if you hold the wood to the piece for too long you'll get fire !

I've found this technique is a good way to add a little extra interest to an item, but it works better on some woods than others, I've also found that it's best to use a piece of the same wood, rather than a random bit you might have lying about, you can also use a welding rod or even one of those ceramic tile saw blades, the ones that you hand cut tiles with.

The Apple tree I have my eye on is also dead, so I hope to start turning that more or less straight away, so I'm quite looking forward to turning a load of new stuff.

Thanks for reading.

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