Rough Turning #1: It's Wet

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Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 03-07-2019 07:54 PM 580 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Wet is not something we’re all that accustomed to, around here, you know. But, over the last few months, we’ve gotten an enormous amount of rain. So much, in point of fact, that, according to what I’ve heard, we’ve had more rain in the opening months of this year than we’ve had in the last fifteen years combined. As a consequence, it’s really very wet around here. Meaning, my woodpiles contain wet wood.

I haven’t turned a wet piece of wood in, at least, a couple years. I’d forgotten what it’s like.

This morning, I came into the Dungeon needing to do something. I walked out back and picked up the first bit of wet wood I saw. A very small log – Podacarpus (read: Oleander), about 5” long and, maybe, 4” diameter, already shaped somewhat like a bowl, in it’s oblongness. No photo of the log. I wish I had, but, I was just aiming to make some shavings, with no other goal in mind to speak of. But, when my very sharp tool started cutting very nicely, and shavings started flying, I thought,

Hey, I can do something I see lots of people in videos doing. I can “rough turn” a bowl, and set it on a shelf, for later treatment.

This is not a terribly pretty species, this Podacarpus, so it may not ever come to anything, in the end. Be that as it may, this morning, I rough-turned a small bowl – 4” x 2-1/2”. It was quick (less than thirty minutes), and, I had some fun doing it.

I had begun by boring a worm screw hole in the fatter side of the log. And, naturally, when I drove it onto the screw and it hove to, the screw simply started auguring the very wet wood out of the hole. So, I stuck it between centers and went at it that way.

Now, while all this wood is wet, I want to do more. I’ll need some shelf space, I think.

Very elementary stuff, really. I’m almost embarrassed to pollute my Beloved Buddies’ heads with it. But, you know what? A little bit of practice doesn’t hurt, much. Does it? I got some pleasurable practice in this. I made a nice, live-edge, bowl, with a clean lip, and a consistent wall thickness. And (this is big, for me) I didn’t blow out the bottom. Also, I managed not to twist the foot right off of it, because I had the foresight that sometimes escapes me, in squirting some CA around the foot before putting it in the chuck.

I think I’m done, now.

Thank you.And, I apologize.

-- Mark

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


13088 posts in 4496 days

#1 posted 03-07-2019 09:55 PM

Lookin’ Good! That is some lovely wood. Like the shape,too.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View leafherder's profile


1954 posts in 2693 days

#2 posted 03-08-2019 11:59 PM

I have no experience turning wet wood so I cannot offer advice, but I would like to add a comment (or two).

Nice to see a non-traditional wood – never knew oleander was a woody plant – around here it is a very tender sort-of-perennial (it survives from year to if the winters ae not too cold). From the looks of your rough turning it appears that it has some nice grain patterns and a variety of colors in the wood. I look forward to the finished product.

-- Leafherder

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2813 posts in 1804 days

#3 posted 03-09-2019 12:43 AM

John, it is a shrub. But, it’s a really big shrub. They’re planted along highways and medians and in gore points. Often, one sees them along train tracks. Just like the Camphor – a Laurel tree – the one in my back yard from which I’ve gotten many a goblet, for instance, they get huge. Speaking of Camphor trees: I recently photographed a full-grown one over in Paramount. Waiit here a minute. I’ll see if I can find it…

Here you go.

And, the little bit of local history I discovered that day.

And, some more Camphor trees, lining a parking lot. A little more juvenile, in appearance.

Now, what were we talking about?

-- Mark

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4075 days

#4 posted 03-17-2019 04:40 PM

Nice turning and nice wood too. Always great to see those thin strips of wood coming off of wet wood.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Grumpy's profile


26332 posts in 4592 days

#5 posted 04-01-2019 12:29 AM

Great result mate.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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