Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wood Stripes

You know, one of the things I love in my shop is the vertical stripe on the wall behind the lathe.  I turn green wood most of the time and when you get a blank up to speed and really going, it flings water out of the piece and  makes a stripe on the wall. 

People who are not familiar with wood and wood turning will ask why green wood?  First of all  it is cheap.  If I want to make a bowl which ends up five inches deep, then I need a blank about five and a half inches thick.  Try going to the wood place and buying a piece of dried wood that thick and it will cost a fortune, even if you could find one that size.  It is better to make your own and in fact, I leave my wood out in the weather until I can get around to shaping it for the lathe.  Green wood is mostly free for the taking, and if you put it on the lathe and turn away most of it and then let it dry naturally, you can get a nice bowl for much less money. 

Second green wood is so wet that it tends to cut very easily.  Chips just fly when you present the tool to the wood at just the right angle.  When it all fits together, the work is a joy indeed. 

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