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From Tree to Treasure
The primary source of wood using in turning come from dying trees, diseased trees, trees being removed and discarded and wood purchased from specialty stores.The process of turning a bowl, for example, may take years to complete because the wood has to dry slowly so it will not warp or crack. The standard process is to roughly turn a bowl to the desired shape but with thicker walls than the final product. It is then stored in such a way that the roughed piece will dry slowly. Once dried, the bowl receives a final turning and is sanded and finished.The following photos generally describe the process of turning a tree into a treasure. Click a button to change images.
Step #1 The tree is cut down and cut into manageable sized logs. The log ends are treated with a sealer to slow the drying process and reduce the chance of the wood cracking or "checking".
A burl log comes from a diseased tree which may show beautiful and unique grain design. The crotch where two or more branches meet can also produce a unique grain design.
Step #2 & The turner now decides how the log should be cut to use the wood most effectively. The pith is discarded.
Step #3 & The log is cut in half with a saw usually down the center. Once the log is in half it should be turned soon or cracks will appear.
Step #4 The split log is then cut round to facilitate turning on the lathe. In this case using a band saw although a chain saw would also work.
Step #5 & The wood blank is rough shaped on a lathe and begins to look like a bowl.
Step #6 The roughed bowl is then turned around so that the inside can be cored out. The inside of this bowl is turned to the final shape being careful not to make the sides too thin. It is then put away to finish drying.
Step #7 Multiple bowls may be made from one roughed bowl with specialized tools.
Step #8 Once the bowl is dry, it receives a final turn to thin the walls. It is then sanded and finished and becomes someone's treasure.
Examples of finished pieces. A vase and a bowl .
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