A Neener And a Gloat
And then the big branch of the old apricot tree, that has been leaning on the back of the shop roof, came down. One winter of the roof leaking on the router table/cabinet because of the apricot tree prompted having the shop roof re-roofed. I hand sawed the branches below the phone and cable lines and tried turning a two inch in diameter piece just for fun - couldn't let fruitwood go to waste if it could be used.
A little bandsawing to get the ends more or less parallel to each other and square to the major axis of the piece and it was Rough To Round Time. Rather than tiny chips and scrapings like dried turning, it was big chips and then continuous ribbons of green wood streaming off the cutting edge.. No catches, no sweat. Then I did another branch, and another, and another. Soon the bench had a stack of green rounds 1 1/2 to 3+ inches in diameter,from six inches long to about 14 inches long - and they were all drying. Quick drying means splits and cracks. Dat's a No No. Had to get the ends sealed - quick..
I like shellac, specifically grinding flakes up in a Braum coffee super grinder, then dumping the fine powder into a mason jar of alcohol and periodically swirling things around, not so patiently waiting for the shellac to completely dissolve. I even went retro and got some Kusmi button lac and found about half of the resulting solution was a cloudy waxy liquid. Being semi-frugal, I'd saved the stuff even though I had no intention of using it. Some of the two quarts of this stuff was perfect for sealing the ends of my green rounds. Coincidentally, it also popped the grain. But there was still the issue of drying too fast from the edge grain. Wrapped each round in paper, folded over the ends and held things in place with rubber bands. Labeled and dated each one and looked for a place to store them for the next 6 months to a year to dry and stabilize enough for turning.
Then a post to the turning group informed me that a) the green wood could be turned to almost finished form and b) about the LDD trick for dealing with drying and all that goes with drying too quickly. LDD? Leif Thorvaldson suggested LDD - Liquid Dish Detergent.
Before committing to LDD, I wanted to see how green turning would go and what this stuff looked like. Set one up between a spur drive and a live center, set the detail gouge on edge and cut grooves, rolled it and cut beads, pivoted it and cut coves, ran it parallel to the grain and sheared off ribbons down to the size of strings. It was amazing - and messy. Ribbons of damp wood piled up at an amazing rate. A little sanding, 120, 180, 240 and 320, a quick burnish with shavings - ta-dah! (thumb included in photo to provide some scale),
The right most shape is a stylized poppy pod. With a longer stem it would look interesting in a vase. Moving left, the next part is an idea for a bead for a neclace, the third shape would make a nice little spinning top and the mushroom, well that was just a tweak.
Now the Neener AND Gloat. Here's the roughed to round stash, fresh out of the LDD.That's a yard stick for scale.I've since roughed out another half dozen and there's still a six foot branch about 6 inches in diameter to cut up and rough to round.
And here's the stack of apricot logettes - 12 to 22 inches long. The long axis of the big one in the upper right is around 10 inches.
Now the gloat is IT'S ALL FREE and my shop roof is ready to shingle.
I'm really liking this turning thing.
(ps - I didn't cut the entire apricot tree down, just the stuff on the roof and up in the phone lines. Figure since it's at least 75 years old it should be given the chance to shoot for 100)