Alright It's Fall
Fall is here in full force, 4” of rain during the past couple of days. This is the time of the year when most of the outdoor stuff and honey dos are done and I can return to my wood shop for the winter. I have a large supply of fire wood for the stove and many projects planned.
I have been collecting many ideas for projects from friends, magazines various art shows and of course the special requests from family and friends. Some of the things I like to make are wooden bowls, walking canes, cutting boards, cabinets, and basically anything that gets my creative juices flowing.
I have been making walking canes for family and friends; these are very fancy pieces of work, I always said; “if you have to use a walking cane, you should be proud of it”.
I will use any type of wood that is strong enough and has some character. Diamond Willow is a good choice, strong and easy to work with. I cut a spiral along the length of the Cain to give it some character and after sand finishing and trimming to a personal length I add a brass handle and a brass and rubber tip. I like to use a cooked stick for the cane, the middle can bend and twist but the ends have to be in alignment, so that when you push down on the handle the tip is directly below and not off to one side.
Cutting a spiral on a straight piece of wood is relatively easy. Cutting a spiral on a crooked piece is more difficult, the difficulty is in balancing the spirals so that they flow around and along the crooked body of the Cain.
Other projects include turning bowls with a natural edge; mostly I only use highly figured wood. These types of bowls are best turned while they are still green and I have built a kiln to dry the green bowls. Always make sure to leave extra thickness in the bowl to address the warping that will occur. Generally allow at least 1 to 1 ¼ inch of thickness. This will result in a finished thickness of ½ to ¾ inch thickness finished. My favorite woodturning tool for this type of work is a 5/8 bowl gouge with a 60 degree grind and I always cut my bowl blanks round with band saw.
Segmented Bowls have been a favorite of mine. The different patterns and shapes are only limited by your imagination. I like to use exotic wood with different colors like Purple Heart, Padauk, Wenge, Yellow Heart, Hard White Maple and many other species. Using these species of wood creates a very distinctive art that are very attractive when displayed.
There are always the usual requests for cutting boards, shelves, cabinets and repairs of broken furniture.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Nicholson is a retired Forester and is a dedicated wood turner. His wood turnings are for his family and he also sells his projects in a gift shop and by word of mouth. He also owns and operates a website http;//wwwyourwoodturningtools.com that sells wood turning tools. Please stop by and browse the tools he also has a very interesting blog.