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Thread: Worst turning wood ever -- angelique?

  1. #1
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    Worst turning wood ever -- angelique?

    I was sold a piece of milk chocolate colored wood with a tropical looking grain which the seller said was angelique. It passes as similar to pictures I find on the web labeled as angelique. I see some references to hard and full of silica. Tonight I turned a sphere from a 3"x3" piece.

    Wow...what an experience. The square roughed round fairly uneventfully, but when I started to round it over...past about 20 degrees to parallel to the grain, it was almost impossible to pick up a cut with a spindle gouge. A negative rake scraper would start to cut but would be dull to the point of refusal in 2 seconds ( I literally mean 2 seconds). I kept sharpening the gouge (Thompson) and it would last for one pass...you could feel it dulling as you went. Once I rotated the sphere to an endgrain cut and switched to a bowl gouge (also Thompson), I'd get four light passes per sharpening, one near the tip on each side and one on each wing. I believe I sharpened 12 times turning a 3" sphere!

    Interestingly, the cut quality was not bad; I just couldn't do it for more than a few seconds.

    Maybe this was just an piece extra rich in silica, but this sphere will serve as a trophy to persistence and the rest of the 3x3x12 blank will go on the shelf and wait to someday become an April fool's day joke on a fellow turner.

    Anyone else have experience with angelique?

    Best,

    Dave

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Never heard of it, but not surprising. First piece of Ipe that I got, years ago, laid it out in the sun to see what it looked like. You could see lots of sparkling bits of silica in it. Not terribly bad though. I would expect that it might be a wood for carbide tools. When using the NRS, I prefer a burnished burr over the grinder burr. It is sharper, and lasts a lot longer.

    robo hippy

  4. #4
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    I agree, it was the worst stuff I have turned in the 15 or so years that I have been back to turning. Really hard to get a smooth surface.

  5. #5
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    I've never heard of it. Can't find it in the Wood Database but see it elsewhere as Basralocus (Angelique) Discorynia guianensis. I'll try looking in the books after while.

    But yikes, sounds like your piece to be shaped with a diamond grinder. It makes me want to find some and try it myself! (Hey, April Fools day is soon upon us. Trade you for a piece of cocobolo, ebony lignum vitae, or dogwood or something. )

    I did get a 100 year old walnut mantel once that was so full of silicon or something worse it dulled an expensive 3/4" 3tpi Starrett bimetal bandsaw blade in maybe 18" of cut. I've got more of it if anyone wants to ruin some of their tools.

    JKJ

  6. #6
    Worst wood I ever turned was some coconut palm. Tried to make a side grain bowl out of it. Never more. I have seen end grain bowls made out of palm and I think that would work better.

    For reasons I don't understand, walnut always seems to dull all of my cutting tools more than other woods. Just because I guess. I don't turn walnut any more though, it makes me sneezy and itchy.

    robo hippy

  7. #7
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    The dark bowl on the left is my one and only turning of Angelique. I think I took this photo for a woman who wanted a yarn bowl. She chose the middle bowl and I cut the slot for the yarn in that one.
    Yarn bowls 1.jpg

    Reed, I agree with you about Coconut. My cousin who lived on Maui used to send me USPS large flat rate boxes of local wood cut offs from her ukulele maker friend. I got a lot of interesting wood including a lot of koa and kolahala, but I also got stuff I don't want to turn again. Mango was kind of nice, but hard to get a clean cut.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    Worst wood I ever turned was some coconut palm. ...
    I have some palm I bought in a weak moment. I'll give it to the first person who comes to the door and asks for it!

  9. #9
    John, I would suggest that you only give it to some one you don't want to see ever again....

    robo hippy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    John, I would suggest that you only give it to some one you don't want to see ever again....
    I only know one woodturner I don't care if I never see again. The oddest coincidence, I haven't seen him in a LONG LONG time. Maybe I could use it to make some perches for the baby peachicks.

  11. #11
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    Epilog to an old thread. Couple nights ago I finished that angelique sphere, and finish turning was just as unpleasant as the rough turn. I said in the original post that I sharpened 12 times roughing it out, I counted 10 times while finishing. Bear in mind a "pass" on a sphere this size is about 1.25" of cutting, and the Thompson gouge was dull after 1.25" of cutting. Like *really* dull. And the wood isn't even that interesting. I wonder if all angelique is like that, or if I just had an extra bad piece (seems Paul thinks maybe not).

    Capture 162.JPG

    John Jordan, did you ever try turning the piece I sent you?

    There's a youtube channel by a guy restoring (essentially completely rebuilding) a 40-ish foot 100 year old wooden sailboat. It's pretty entertaining from a woodworking point of view and the guy's got mad skills (like a Swiss watch fit on a 6 foot long hook scarf joint joining two purpleheart timbers that are 12" x 16" and 20-ish feet long; see episode 14). Well worth a watch if you're a woodworker, even if you don't care much about sailboats: https://www.youtube.com/c/SampsonBoatCo. Bring something to eat, there are over 100 episodes.

    At any rate, he used angelique for some of the planking. I can't imaging planing and fairing 40 feet of that wood if it was anything like the piece I got.

    Best,

    Dave

  12. #12
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    High silica content?

    Interesting. I haven't been turning for a while but hope to soon. I'd like to see how it treats my tools. I wonder how it would handle with a Hunter tool. Were the two pieces from the same stock?

    I have some old walnut that was supposedly a mantle in his family, the guy told me, for about 100 years. I dulled a brand new Starrett bi-metal bandsaw blade in prob less than 2' of cutting. Made me appreciate that all wood of a species is not created equal. I suspect that specific piece of wood has a high silica version, off the normal scale for walnut. I didn't even try turning it. Perhaps your angelique does also. (I could send you some of the walnut if you want to dull some more tools!)

    On one hand, I found this:
    https://bacowood.com/portfolios/basralocus-angelique
    Basralocus Wood is easy to moderately difficult to work
    Maybe their analysis was from a piece from the low end of the silica scale.

    Then there is this which mentions using carbide tools:
    From https://www.woodturningpens.com/1410-2/
    The most significant barrier to working with Angélique is the typically extremely high silica content which is reported to vary between an extreme low of .20%, with an average being around 1.70% with highs reported up to 2.92%.
    ...the silica content of Angélique govern its working characteristics. When working with the dried wood, carbide tipped tools are essential for any type of success, and even then the carbide should be fresh and it will relatively quickly be dulled by the silica.

    JKJ


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mount View Post
    Epilog to an old thread. Couple nights ago I finished that angelique sphere, and finish turning was just as unpleasant as the rough turn. I said in the original post that I sharpened 12 times roughing it out, I counted 10 times while finishing. Bear in mind a "pass" on a sphere this size is about 1.25" of cutting, and the Thompson gouge was dull after 1.25" of cutting. Like *really* dull. And the wood isn't even that interesting. I wonder if all angelique is like that, or if I just had an extra bad piece (seems Paul thinks maybe not).

    Capture 162.JPG

    John Jordan, did you ever try turning the piece I sent you?

    There's a youtube channel by a guy restoring (essentially completely rebuilding) a 40-ish foot 100 year old wooden sailboat. It's pretty entertaining from a woodworking point of view and the guy's got mad skills (like a Swiss watch fit on a 6 foot long hook scarf joint joining two purpleheart timbers that are 12" x 16" and 20-ish feet long; see episode 14). Well worth a watch if you're a woodworker, even if you don't care much about sailboats: https://www.youtube.com/c/SampsonBoatCo. Bring something to eat, there are over 100 episodes.

    At any rate, he used angelique for some of the planking. I can't imaging planing and fairing 40 feet of that wood if it was anything like the piece I got.

    Best,

    Dave

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I'd like to see how it treats my tools. I wonder how it would handle with a Hunter tool. Were the two pieces from the same stock?JKJ
    If you like abusing your tools, then charge ahead. The piece I sent you was indeed from the same larger blank. Might as well get your order for new Hunter cutters ready!

    Hope you're turning again soon.

    Dave

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