Friday, 14 January 2011

Free wood

A school local to us has decided to remove a load of trees.
There is every variety you can think of lovely mature trees.
I have collared a van full of mostly Cherry.
I am now about to cut it all up ready for roughing out into bowl and hollow form blanks.

                                                      Click on pics to make them bigger.

I have just had a session of cutting up ready to be rough turned this is about half of what i have got.

The important thing when cutting these up is to cut out the pith because wood always splits away from the pith so if you cut it out you lesson the chances of it splitting.
The next pic shows how to cut out 4 Hollow form blanks while removing the pith.

Another thing some of you probably have trouble with is how to cut out a round bowl blank when the surface is too uneven to mark a circle on.
I keep several plywood circles of different sizes with a hole in the middle.
I simply screw the appropriate sized disc onto the wood and bandsaw around it as the pic shows.

One of the problems you get when cutting up wet wood with the grain is that the fibres are long and thin and very quickly jam up the saw if they are not removed frequently.
As this pic shows this is in spite of using a powerful dust extractor.

This will make a nice bowl.

I have made a start on roughing out but still have a long way to go.
These are all roughed out to an Evan thickness .
Wall thickness approx 10% unless I want the finished bowl to be a bit thicker.

As you can see in this pic i put all my rough turned bowls in carrier bags.They are ideal to control the drying as they have small holes in them and this lets just enough air in to let them dry without splitting (i hope)

I thought i would have a break from roughing out bowls and rough out some Hollow forms.
I had a couple of hours to do a bit this morning so i rough turned they outside of a few ,
I had things to do for most of the day so the ones that i had rough turned i buried in wet shavings to prevent them splitting.

This what i use for holding irregular shaped pieces between centres for roughing down.
It is a 3" faceplate fitted with four sharpened bolts.

This fits easily into my Axminster chuck and is very quick to change.

These are the two tools i use for roughing out the outside of Hollow forms a1 1/2" roughing gouge carbon steel and takes an edge like a razor very fast roughing down tool.
The other one is is a 1/2" long grind bowl gouge.

I managed to find a bit of time at the end of the day to rough out the inside of four Hollow forms.
First i drill to the required depth with a 16mm twist bit in a Jacobs chuck the screw thread on the point has been filed down to prevent the bit pulling itself into the wood.

I always swivel the headstock when hollowing as it makes  it a lot easier on the back.
If you look at the bottom left of the picture you will see the small compressor i use to blow out the residue inside the Hollow form.This is a lot quicker than hooking it out.
I use the 1/2" Kelton scrapers for hollowing out through a small hole and the Roly Munro if i am working through a larger hole.
All i ever use to keep the edge on the Keltons is a diamond hone as pictured.

Here we have a pic of the two pairs of calipers that i use mostly for checking my thickness,

This Hollow form was microwaved for four minutes on defrost allowed to cool and then microwaved a second time.
This is the amount of water that has come out of the piece overnight this just shows how much water would be lost in a very short time if it was not controlled.


  1. There's devotion for you. Looks like lots of fun there. Lovely wood too!

  2. Hi George,

    Looking good. Some nice wood and a good WIP.

  3. interesting post, good luck with the new blog, i'll keep checking