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Another Afternoon in the Shop
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:24 PM
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gitano gitano is offline
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Default Another Afternoon in the Shop

I 'practice' a lot. First, to improve my existing skills, second, to test out new equipment or materials, and third, to develop new skills.

I mentioned here (http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums...ad.php?t=20654) that the tallest spruce tree on my property had blown down in last spring's windstorms, and that I had salvaged it. I also mentioned that I had aged it and would post the age after I gave everyone a chance to age it on their own from the supplied picture. Since no one did, the age is 153. At about 15" in diameter - 7.5" radius - that has average growth at about 20 years per inch. While that is the average growth rate over its entire life, there are a few decades in its early life with growth rates of more than 30 years per inch. That's slow! Nevertheless, slow growth, especially in softwoods, means denser, more stable lumber.

While my intended use for this tree isn't in turnings, I had some time while I was waiting for glue to dry, and I thought I would see how it turned and 'shaped'. Also, I wanted to know how it would 'finish'. To that end, I turned a little box. Here are some pictures.

This is the box from an angle, showing both the top and side.


Here's the side.


And here's just the top.


You can count the rings well from that last picture. There are just about exactly 150 growth rings in this, as the piece of wood extended from almost the tree's heart, out to almost the outer edge.

It finished "ok" with shellac and wax. Nothing too exciting, but not 'bad' looking. I only used shellac, which is dissolved in alcohol. According to the 'experts' - ptooey - alcohol is not supposed to 1) 'raise' the grain, or 2) cause the wood to swell. Wrong on both counts. There was significant swelling of the bottom and lid due to the alcohol wetting. Nevertheless, it's not a 'bad' piece. I'll give it to my granddaughter for her to put 'stuff' in.

If you can't tell from the pictures, it's an inch-and-a-quarter high and five-and-an-eighth in diameter.

I won't be using the spruce for turned pieces, except maybe as a part of a 'feature ring' in a segmented turning.

Paul
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