Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Woodturning #1

Originally uploaded by Sally Carns.
I've been curious about woodturning for a long time. The process of chiseling a piece of wood while it spins on a lathe seems like good therapy to me. You can use a lathe to make just about anything that incorporates a round shape, but I'm most interested in bowls right now.

A couple weeks ago, Sally posted a story about the fallen trees in our neighborhood, and her salvaging a 500-pound log of elm wood for me. I checked with the forestry department about safe use and storage of diseased elm (strip the bark and spray with bug killer, if you're interested), and then rented a chainsaw.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you that you cannot have more fun for $30 than slicing up a huge log with a gas-powered chainsaw. I do wish that I'd had a better understanding of the capacity of my lathe before I started cutting, though. I now have a lot of pieces that, although they will technically fit onto my lathe, are too large to safely turn with the ancient Craftsman.

For the last week, I've been chucking up some of the smaller pieces and attempting to make bowls. The mounting method I use is rudimentary -- a steel faceplate screwed into the eventual base of the bowl. That method has the disadvantage of leaving holes in the bottom of my bowl. There are several methods to avoid this, but I'm just focusing on basic cutting techniques for now.

The bowl in this picture is the third piece of wood that I've turned. The first two were relative disasters, so I've already gotten a chuckle out of the woodturning maxim: "turners don't make mistakes, only kindling."


Sally said...

So am I hearing that you are in need of therapy?

Matt said...

yes, and yes.

The Olson Family said...

i would like one of the bowls, hole or no hole. ;).......sister

The Olson Family said...

p.s. you look especially sexy with the goggles.

Derek Andrews said...

That's a nice end-grain bowl you made there. Elm is a very nice wood with beautiful patterns in the grain.

Have you tried a side grain bowl yet? That is the more usual method for making bowls. I would recommend trying a wider, flatter form from side grain. It is much less likely to crack as the wood dries.

Good work. Keep at it!

Matt said...

OK, who here is uncomfortable with my sister referring to my goggles as sexy? [hand raised]

Also, Derek's comment is such a great example of how fun blogging can be. He's a very accomplished woodturner (check out his site - it's amazing), he probably monitors woodturning posts on blogs, and so he stopped in to offer some encouragement. I love the internet.

Michael said...

wow, I'm a little late finding this but you should totally put these in Renegade or Depart-ment!!

chacha said...

You Guldes have too much talent pooled in one family. It's hardly fair! Beautiful work.