Man, I was worried!

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by odie, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. odie

    odie

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    For the past two days, I've been struggling with this Australian Jarrah burl bowl. I was worried from the start, because there were huge voids, shrinkage cracks, bark inclusions, etc. The basic bowl blank cost me $160, so I really was worried that I'd lose it. Besides thinking it might explode on me anytime, the darn thing dulled tools really quick. The final shape was the result of eliminating as much of the voids as possible, and trying not to be too weird looking! Final size is 10 3/4" x 3". Had 16% MC, and took 12 months to reach stabilization. Went from 2000 grams to 1885 grams. I'm guessing, but final weight is probably 6-800 grams.....the walls were kept thick, because I thought it might come apart on the lathe. Sanding was a big problem, because all those voids kept catching, and tearing.

    Knowing how people are, somebody will probably like the shape, thinking it was intentional! o_O

    Anyway, I do feel a lot better about it now, but feel like I got away with something! :rolleyes:

    I'm sure most of you have had similar experiences. :D

    -----odie-----

    IMG_3316 (2).JPG IMG_3317 (2).JPG IMG_3318 (2).JPG IMG_3319 (2).JPG

    Good evening to you all........:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Sometimes I get sort of hard headed and view it as a contest between me and a hunk of wood that doesn't want to cooperate. Win, lose, or draw it's a worthwhile learning experience on working with difficult wood (and, from the wood's perspective, a difficult woodturner). :D
     
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  3. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval

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    Glad you explained the problems you came across, I will refrain from commenting on the design side of this, lol. Are you going to cover the cost of the blank? Add 2 days of work, shop time, electricity, sanding supplies... Good luck Odie!!
     
  4. odie

    odie

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    Thanks, Emiliano......The cost was too much for what it turned out to be, but the original blank didn't look too bad. I blame neither myself for buying it, nor the seller, because the blank was one of those that didn't expose the real flaws until what's inside was revealed. I wouldn't have bought it, if I had "x-ray vision"! It will look much better when the final photos are done.....after the foot is completed, gets buffed out, and has better lighting. Yeah, it is kind of an unusual shape, but I believe someone will like it......which doesn't mean it's a bad shape at all, just that not everyone's art appreciation is the same......yes, I'll get my money back. The final price will not reflect my disappointment, but will be in line with the materials cost, time involved, plus some "artistic value".

    Bill is right about the struggle between the turner and the bowl, and this one was certainly a good example of that. This bowl nearly won that battle! :eek: Ha,ha,ha........Just like with every other turner in this endeavor, I've lost plenty of these battles in the past, but never with such an expensive piece of wood. It would have been hard to take, if it had ended up as an expensive piece of trash.

    -----odie-----
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  5. Fred Belknap

    Fred Belknap

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    Good job with a piece of difficult wood. Love the wood and hope you recover your investment with profit.
     
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  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Kelly,
    Woodturning is full of trade offs and this is an example of one of them.

    Does the turner dictate the shape and not use the whole block of wood or
    does the blank dictate the shape and the turner strives for the biggest piece from the blank.

    When you have an expensive piece of wood, the decision weighs toward using all the wood.
    Often we don’t see flaws until we start turning and we may have made mounting decisions that limit the options to change the design.

    Part of the art is our reactions the media’s characteristics.
    Sort of what makes it fun
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  7. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Beautiful piece of wood you have there Odie! I really like what you have done with the piece and I don't think you will have any trouble making a profit on it. Very well done indeed on such a delicate piece.
     
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  8. Bill Weaver

    Bill Weaver

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    The resent show I was in I had made up some simple rolling pins. I had bowls sitting out, winged, reversed etc. you know what I mean a variety for some one to chose from. The most sales I got was the rolling pins. the last one I sold the lady was looking real hard and I knew she wanted it and it was Sunday, I think she wanted a last minute discount. I told her that I was sorry but for the cost of the wood I had to stick to price on it. Guess what she bought it with a smile. Moral of the Story... Odie you ain't got a thing to worry about. wink..wink!
     
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  9. tdrice

    tdrice

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    That is a beautiful piece of wood and I think the shape is quite interesting. I have always gotten a great deal of enjoyment out turning something nice and unusual from a nasty lump of firewood. I have gotten some of my best pieces that way.
     
  10. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval

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    Every now and then I'm reminded by a piece of wood that woodturning is one of those professions that nobody will ever master it. I guess thats why is so much fun, every time we put something on the lathe is a different story... I used to try to maximize the blank, now for me it is to get the best piece out of a blank not to make the biggest piece that the blank offers. And yes, the wood talks to me, tells me what I can do and what I can't ... Odie, glad you will make some money out of it, its a beautiful piece of timber. Aloha.
     
  11. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    That's a crazy piece of wood and very interesting bowl! I'd love to see your bowl in person.

    Tis the season for difficult wood! I put in 6 or 7 hours today on a single bowl that was at least a third air. I'll post a picture or two when I have them.

    The more I work on difficult bowls, the more I realize how much each piece of wood has to teach us.
     
  12. Doug Rasmussen

    Doug Rasmussen

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    This is exactly why I prefer turning automation, CNC in my case. I want to do what I design, doing what I want not being limited by having to work around difficult characteristics of a blank.
     
  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    But all wood is different. If you put a piece on the lathe and you don't like how the grain is aligning or there is some other figure that you either want to include or want to leave out, with CNC and a piece mounted your stuck. I can change the appearance in a second by either moving the centers or changing how I cut.
     
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  14. Doug Rasmussen

    Doug Rasmussen

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    John, you're under some basic misunderstandings. When the part is mounted in a CNC you're never "stuck", even after the start button is pushed. The machine can be stopped, paused, sped up, slowed down, part remounted, whatever, same as with manual turning.

    Pictures show a simple part. First CAD picture shows it as designed. Second shows it with double height, same diameter. Third shows it original height, double in diameter. Likewise, the relative height/diameter ratios could be maintained to make the overall part smaller or larger. Those changes require from a single key stroke up to three key strokes. Likely faster than you could release your part from a chuck. All of these "redesigns" are done right at the CNC machine's keyboard.

    There is the time to make the original design. I'm familiar with the programming/design software so max of an hour. Time to run could be up to an hour if the part is run so only very light hand sanding with fine grit before finishing. If the part is easily sanded (no detail to work around) more like 20 minutes run time.

    The part could be done on a machine from Rockler, complete including software for less than $3K. ON EDIT: To clarify one thing, the Rockler machines cannot do the keystroke editing of parts on the machine, you have to go back and reprogram the part.

    taper-2-rings.JPG taper-2-rings-2.JPG taper-2-rings-3.JPG taper-2-rings-4.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  15. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I think you are both right.

    With the lathe it is easy to change the centers, the axis, and the whole plan for cutting the curve

    CNC can easily change the centers and do do some limited change of axis. It can easily scale the programmed curves.

    However to do a different curve you have to do a new program. To do a major shift in axis the workpiece needs to be remounted in the machine.

    The CNC is terrific at repeating something.o
    The lathe will beat it every time on one of something at can be done on the lathe
    There is room for both in the world.

    Think about things the CNC can do that the lathe cannot
    cut a spiral bead up the surface of the piece.
    cutting off center platters and get curves you could not get with the lathe

    Duplicating a antique furniture leg the lathe is gonna be a better tool.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
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  16. odie

    odie

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    It's funny.....because when I went out the next morning, the Jarrah burl bowl looked totally different to me. I'm actually beginning to like it! :D Hope I can capture it's "essence" when it gets to the photo session stage. My original post was made after a lot of frustrating time was spent with it, and giving it a little time seems to have given it (or me) a whole new perspective! :rolleyes: I've got other bowls ahead of the Jarrah bowl right now........so, it'll be about a month before I get to that stage with it......anyway......there is a "new hope"! :)

    -----odie-----
     
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  17. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Some people listen to what the wood blank is telling them, on occasion I have been
    confronted by a stubborn piece and will argue with them and yell obscenities if needed. :)
     
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  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Speaking of inspiration and conversing with wood reminded me of something that I posted about three years ago:

    BC.jpg
     
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  19. Zach LaPerriere

    Zach LaPerriere

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    Odie,

    I hope you do post some completed pictures. I've had similar experiences where a bowl grew on me. If something doesn't sit well I leave it for a week or two.

    I turned a bowl in a bad mood a month or so back and the shape was just awful. I felt bad for the wood. So I set it on a round of wood outside the shop as a bird bath. A customer came by to look at a bench I'd just completed. They picked up the bowl, saying it was beautiful. I protested, but then let it rest. Sometimes I pass it and think if I threw it hard enough, it would hit the ocean.

    And Bill: THAT is funny. Let's just hope the wood makes no retaliatory threats.
     
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  20. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Jeez, thanks guys. I thought I was the only one who got ticked off at a particular bowl in progress, thought about slamming it with the big gouge and sending it to the stovewood pile, decided to take some days to rest about it, and then eventually came up with a good piece. It is easy to think that way. We can all look at some famous Irish, Australian, English, and American masters on Youtube churning out blanks and stacking them up in production with a day's piles of shavings deep enough to heat my cottage for a year. Then you gotta' think, "Cripes! I'm bustin' my things over this one piece-of-crap hunk of spinning firewood because it has that one special eye, that special curvy grain spot, that awesome little spalted section, that weird bug infestation like you've never seen before, and the dry rot that is so closely woven into the hard and stable new growth--- would they put any more time into this?" Eh, why not give it a shot? Nobody but me is going to know how long this piece took.
     
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