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The Macadamia Nut Experiment

Emiliano Achaval

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Dec 14, 2015
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Maui, Hawaii
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hawaiiankoaturner.com
The "Macadamia Experiment" Last year good friend, artist Tom Calhoun gave me some very dry Macadamia Nut wood. I shared some of that with Michael Hunter and Pat Miller. I was surprised that there were hardly any cracks, anywhere. Tom told me he cuts the pith immediately and his success rate goes up 90 %. Yesterday Wayne Omura and I got the largest Macadamia nut tree I have ever gotten. To test Tom's theory we cut some of the pith out on several logs and out of the giant stump, which was cut into 4 and then into more pieces.. The logs that we cut did not crack at all. The giant stump zero cracks. The logs that we didn't cut were splitting within 15 minutes of cutting!. Today I processed the entire load. The logs that had the pith were splitting badly, 3 way splits, 2 inches deep or more. I never take the pith out from any woods that I get here. The problem with this is, if the tree is not big enough, and you start taking the pith out, you end up with just shallow bowls. So, you need a fairly large tree to do this. I painted all the ends with Anchorseal, something I never do, I will let you know how the logs look in a few weeks. I put a big part of the loot inside my shop, on shelves. The pictures show 2 logs side by side, with the pith, and pith removed. Take a look at the size of some of the logs! Thank you Wayne Omura as always for the help! For those of you that never turned Macadamia, it is known as one of the finickiest woods in the world. You take your eyes away and she cracks. I have a love-hate relationship with it...
 

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Joined
Aug 14, 2007
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Eugene, OR
I was looking at some of your posted pictures, and it appears to have spectacular medullary rays. It will be interesting to see the final pieces.

robo hippy
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
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509
Location
Jasper, Alabama
The "Macadamia Experiment" Last year good friend, artist Tom Calhoun gave me some very dry Macadamia Nut wood. I shared some of that with Michael Hunter and Pat Miller. I was surprised that there were hardly any cracks, anywhere. Tom told me he cuts the pith immediately and his success rate goes up 90 %. Yesterday Wayne Omura and I got the largest Macadamia nut tree I have ever gotten. To test Tom's theory we cut some of the pith out on several logs and out of the giant stump, which was cut into 4 and then into more pieces.. The logs that we cut did not crack at all. The giant stump zero cracks. The logs that we didn't cut were splitting within 15 minutes of cutting!. Today I processed the entire load. The logs that had the pith were splitting badly, 3 way splits, 2 inches deep or more. I never take the pith out from any woods that I get here. The problem with this is, if the tree is not big enough, and you start taking the pith out, you end up with just shallow bowls. So, you need a fairly large tree to do this. I painted all the ends with Anchorseal, something I never do, I will let you know how the logs look in a few weeks. I put a big part of the loot inside my shop, on shelves. The pictures show 2 logs side by side, with the pith, and pith removed. Take a look at the size of some of the logs! Thank you Wayne Omura as always for the help! For those of you that never turned Macadamia, it is known as one of the finickiest woods in the world. You take your eyes away and she cracks. I have a love-hate relationship with it...
Beautiful timber Emiliano!
 
Joined
May 13, 2020
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Location
Ontario, CA
I seem to recall an article in an old issue of Fine Woodworking about Bob Stocksdale. There was a photo of a bowl of Macadami he made that contained the pith. The medullary rays were indeed very prominent. Alway wondered how it never cracked.
 
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