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Thread: The deafening silence. . .

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Northern MN
    Posts
    248

    The deafening silence. . .

    It's been two days since there was a post to this board, that's sad. Maybe all the questions have been answered and we've reached "the end of the internet".

    But, I'm hoping someone out there is turning something, and if so, they should post some pictures of it, so the rest of us have something to look at. I post these two not because they are at all remarkable, they're just the last two things to emerge from the shop. Spring is slowly coming even here in northern MN, and there are outdoor chores that are cutting into my shop time.

    Two spheres, one black ash burl and one apple, both found wood, both about 3.25" in diameter. Rather than cutting blanks and waiting for them to dry, I've taken to commonly roughing out spheres from green wood, then coating with anchorseal and letting them dry in a paper bag. I've found that the wood dries much faster this way than if left in spindle blank form, and I think it's less prone to cracking, especially in the 3"-ish range I like to use for spheres. Both of these were handled that way. It's highly dependent on the nature of the wood, and how wet it is, but I've found that a 3" sphere from many woods will dry to a stable weight (i.e., dry enough to final turn and finish) in 3-4 months in a heated shop. Dense tropicals go a little slower, and I put two coats of anchorseal on those because generally speaking dense woods seem more prone to drying cracks than less dense, at least that's been my observation. I think spheres dry quickly in large part because their relatively small radius means that most all of the wood is pretty close to end grain. In larger radius bowls, there are larger (longer) portions where the wood is all flat/side grain. That's my theory anyway. It's not intuitively obvious that a 3" thick sphere should dry faster than a 10" green turned bowl with 1" walls, but I think they do.

    So I did my part, now someone else please post what you're working on.

    Best,

    Dave

    Capture60.JPGCapture61.JPGCapture58.JPGCapture59.JPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    1,639
    Dave -- First, I love your spheres. The entire series is great. It never ceases to amaze me how different wood looks when it's surface is in a constant curve. The usual grain patterns we expect -- rift, plane sawn, quarter sawn, etc. -- are there, but they're not. I just wish I could reach into my computer screen and pick them up.

    Second, I don't believe your explanation for the dearth of posts is correct. People or probably just getting around to doing their taxes.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,627
    Like David, I really like you spheres.

    Locally, it's spring. While my wife is out of state homeschooling 3 grandchildren, I am at home doing yardwork, trimming trees and getting the tomato patch spaded, fertilized with compost and planted. I also planted some peppers. As I drive the local streets, I have noticed many young families walking on the dikes along the Snake and Clearwater Rivers here in town.

    After a year of social distancing I see small gatherings in the neighbors yards once again.

    I doubt the death of the internet. I think after having it as the only manner of safe socialization, as spring erupts, they are taking advantage of it.
    Ken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Northern MN
    Posts
    248
    Thanks David. I have what could be fairly characterized as an unhealthy obsession for spheres, for precisely the reasons you give. I hesitate to flood the board with them, but with only that small bit of encouragement, here are some more recent ones. Have had kind of a flush of finished spheres recently, as I roughed out a bunch of them green (or at least not fully seasoned) around the first of the year and many are now dry and ready to finish. All are in the vicinity of 3" in diameter.

    In order: canarywood, sycamore, marblewood, shedua, chakte viga. Apologies for the dust specs on several of them, they aren't that obvious until the camera accentuates them.

    The sycamore is really relevant to your comment about the different perspective on familiar grain patterns. The "mini-lacewood" character of QS sycamore comes out as concentric circles in sphere form. I think marblewood is interesting because of all the different types of character; you notice the dark marbling first of course, but the fine stippling from the parenchyma (I think that's the correct structure) is interesting as well; several South American woods have this character.

    The last pic is the end grain of a 3"x6"x6" cutoff of Gaboon ebony that I picked up in an online auction very inexpensively. More often than not, online auctions for turning stock go for more than everyday retail, but sometimes something is overlooked, or maybe falls under the axiom of "one man's trash is another man's treasure." I am anxious to see what the swirled black and light looks like in sphere form -- I have high hopes. I have been stewing around about whether to go for maximum drama and take the sphere out of the very center, or to split it in two halves and fill the crack to salvage the left half. Epoxy with graphite powder should not look out of place in that crack.

    I am very fortunate to have a tolerant wife. Tolerant, or at least cognizant that her horse hobby has similarly irrational elements. As the joke goes, "Know how to make a small fortune in horses? Start with a big fortune."

    Best,

    Dave

    Capture62.JPGCapture65.JPGCapture64.JPGCapture63.JPGCapture66.JPGCapture67.JPG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    1,639
    I like them all, but that marblewood sphere is fantastic!

    There a a number of possibilities for the Gabon ebony. I suggest you go bold -- cast the left half of the blank with red or blue resin. I think that a bright stripe of color would be an interesting addition.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Southwest Louisiana
    Posts
    121
    Iím impressed, love the one in the middle. Several other forums have been very quiet the past several days.

  7. #7
    Unfortunately my hands have been on a shovel, more than a bowl gouge, but I want to thank everyone for the replys on my post.
    I agree that more turners and wood woodworkers are enjoying some time out getting reacquainted with family members and friends.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    10,692
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Nix View Post
    Iím impressed, love the one in the middle. Several other forums have been very quiet the past several days.
    I think many are busy with the season. I haven't touched a lathe in the longest time. Spring at the farm gets a little overloaded for me. Just in the last few days: put up a new fence section and repaired another fence, incubation in progress, candled about 50 eggs (three new guinea chicks hatched today), have 6 more peacock eggs to pick up and start, clearing brush, loaded and hauled maybe 10 tons of old logs and stumps to to the burn pit staging area, in the process of cleaning out the barn and remodeling the tack room so the horse girl doesn't beat me, a little wiring and mounting lights, turned over a huge compost pile with the excavator, added a beehive nuc and had to assemble new frames, planted more of the garden, mowingmowingmowing, weed eating, and tree trimming, took down four more junk trees in the last week - about 100 to go, cutting a new access through one are of jusk trees, changed oil in the little farm truck and more vehicle maintenance, cleaning up llama manure, moving horses, more spraying for buttercup, spread 2 tons of fertilizer last week, repaired two tubless tires, got to play taxi driver for my Lovely Bride who can't see to drive in the rain/fog/dark. Can't remember what else - oh, finished a scifi book and started on a Hemingway.

    I'd LOVE to have some new woodturnings to show - I'm having serious lathe withdrawal symptoms. I have four boxes of new turning wood from friends that I haven't even opened yet and the suspense is killing me. Oh, I did cut up some 8/4 and 10/4 mahogany planks from a traveling wood dealer - just to fit them in the shop before it rained. Oh to put some on the lathe...

    Dave M, I'll be glad to send you a couple of spare horses. My horse girl is begging to get two more but my pastures and wallet simply won't support eight equines and six camelids.

    I think the spherical shape is one of the best to show off the true color, grain, and figure of wood, especially that with dynamic figure. With most turnings you are usually limited in what you can see due to the orientation but holding a sphere in the hand shows all! Beautiful work, as we've grown to expect from you! You are a true sphere-turning expert.

    JKJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inver Grove Heights, MN
    Posts
    731
    Thanks for calling our attention to the lack of posts. I was thinking the same thing. I have been busy with spring yard work and rough turning and sealing the five boxes of wet eucalyptus my wife's niece sent me. Prior to that I had requests for several silhouette glasses, including the two in the photo. The idea is not mine. I tried my first one from a creeker's post when my 14 year old grandson was a baby. Didn't work at all. Since then I have developed a method that works well for me and am collecting photos to share how I go about it now.

    Zoe Bryce with pattern.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    686
    I just finished snow removal from the driveway about ten days ago, got the back lawn pumped out, still have about two cords of melting snow in the back (south) yard and three in the shadow of the house in the front lawn on the north side of the house. My lilly plants are just starting to peek out of the ground - and I need to rewire the garage outlet circuit to my lathe since I found a 4.5% voltage drop at the lathe when the lathe motor was turned on with no stock mounted. Hopefully I can be turning by September. My chores list is very very long this time of year. Thanks for the inspiration though, nice looking spheres.

    Could you maybe make one best possible sphere out of the ebony piece and sell of the other for pen blanks or knife scales? Not shopping, jut asking.

  11. #11
    My excuse is that I have been turning a lot but didn't want to bore anyone with my roughouts
    A friend just gave me two large logs from an apple tree he had to take down. They are wonderfully twisted. Looking forward to that
    ~john
    "There's nothing wrong with Quiet" ` Jeremiah Johnson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    10,692
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Williams View Post
    Thanks for calling our attention to the lack of posts. I was thinking the same thing. I have been busy with spring yard work and rough turning and sealing the five boxes of wet eucalyptus my wife's niece sent me. Prior to that I had requests for several silhouette glasses, including the two in the photo. The idea is not mine. I tried my first one from a creeker's post when my 14 year old grandson was a baby. Didn't work at all. Since then I have developed a method that works well for me and am collecting photos to share how I go about it now.

    Zoe Bryce with pattern.jpg
    Paul, I like your goblets, very nice! I made some years ago but not with stems that thin, with "positive" profiles rather than "negative". This set was for my son and his wife and how I made a template from a photo:

    profile_PC244147es.jpg profile_comp.jpg

    The pair were a surprise so it was challenging to get useful profile photos!

    JKJ

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
    1,282
    OK, fairly new turner here(year or so), but I have been exploring a lot of ideas, materials and pieces.20210311_120207.jpg
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    2,298
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Williams View Post
    Prior to that I had requests for several silhouette glasses, including the two in the photo. The idea is not mine. I tried my first one from a creeker's post when my 14 year old grandson was a baby. Didn't work at all. Since then I have developed a method that works well for me and am collecting photos to share how I go about it now.

    Zoe Bryce with pattern.jpg
    I've never heard of this. Very interesting. Thanks for posting Paul!
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

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