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Punky Wood- More MIS-Adventures into Woodturning-5

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Blog entry by MrWolfe posted 06-13-2021 04:00 PM 584 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are some recent pieces that are “works in progress”.
I say that but the two that have finish on them are, well, finished.

The unfinished bowl is very smooth and no cracks. I am learning to take more time with sanding and going through the grits. This was a fun and trouble free project (so far).

This second bowl is from the same tree but I found some bug holes while turning and tried to chase them down. I finally stopped when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to turn them out. I used a five minute epoxy to fill the holes and I did a couple of burned grooves. I consider it a learning experience.

This is one from yesterday. It is a different tree. It is beautiful in its spalting but it also has some punky (soft) areas. This is the first piece I’ve tried to turn with the soft rot/punky parts. I was very happy with it but towards the end I started getting tear out from the punky parts. I saturated those parts with C.A. glue but was very unhappy with the results. It also had some wormy parts that I used the epoxy to fill.

I finished it with a wood sealer, sanded through the grits, more shellac and sanding followed by Howards’ Feed and Wax. I am not entirely happy with the finish.

So I have a question and I hope to get some replies here for solutions that work for you.

How do you prep/treat and then turn punky wood? What kind of finish do you use on punky wood?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
As usual, comments and criticisms are welcome.



5 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7935 posts in 1736 days


#1 posted 06-13-2021 04:18 PM

I’ve been setting aside the punky wood. I’ll stabilize it with Cactus Juice and then turn it, and all will be well.

Still don’t have my stabilizing rig set up yet, but that’s getting closer to the top of the list, and I’ve got enough wood queued up that I’ll probably fill my 6 quart pot and have two or three batches to cook in the toaster oven.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile

pottz

18610 posts in 2138 days


#2 posted 06-13-2021 04:40 PM

i agree on the finish jon but still pretty damn nice.punky wood can be a pita to work with but the results usually are worth it.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View MrWolfe's profile

MrWolfe

1642 posts in 1277 days


#3 posted 06-13-2021 07:58 PM

Thanks Dave and Pottz,
Here is some great advice from Al Hockenbery from another site.

“Each punky piece is different.
I first test with a flat screwdriver if the tip presses in easily to a 1/4” I don’t bother turning it.

I work through a progression of remedies.
sharp tools, light cuts
wetting with water will often stiffen fibers in slightly punky wood to give a clean cut.
thin shellac (with twice the alcohol ) will stiffen fibers more

sharp tools, light cuts
scraping rarely works on punky wood.
pull cut usually work better than push cuts.”

and another turner recommended Minwax Wood Hardener Professional Strength.

Dave, I might look into cactus juice and all the equipment to use it.
Thanks and keep the replies coming if your method hasn’t been mentioned.

View pottz's profile

pottz

18610 posts in 2138 days


#4 posted 06-13-2021 11:15 PM



Thanks Dave and Pottz,
Here is some great advice from Al Hockenbery from another site.

“Each punky piece is different.
I first test with a flat screwdriver if the tip presses in easily to a 1/4” I don’t bother turning it.

I work through a progression of remedies.
sharp tools, light cuts
wetting with water will often stiffen fibers in slightly punky wood to give a clean cut.
thin shellac (with twice the alcohol ) will stiffen fibers more

sharp tools, light cuts
scraping rarely works on punky wood.
pull cut usually work better than push cuts.”

and another turner recommended Minwax Wood Hardener Professional Strength.

Dave, I might look into cactus juice and all the equipment to use it.
Thanks and keep the replies coming if your method hasn t been mentioned.

- MrWolfe


yeah i gotta look into the catus juice myself,but then i gotta get a vac setup,more money spent.jon i gotta warn ya about dave he’ll take you into his world before you even realize what hit ya man. but it’s a fun world :-)

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7935 posts in 1736 days


#5 posted 06-14-2021 12:24 PM

For what it’s worth, I wrote a blog series on wood stabilizing which might be helpful. If nothing else, it’s a place to ask questions specific to stabilizing with resin.

Once I’m back up and running again here in NM, I’ve been pondering stabilizing as a service. Wouldn’t be cheap (I plan to set the pricing high enough that it won’t interfere with my other hobbies), but if you have a special piece that needs to be more solid, maybe it’ll be worth it.

I’ve used MinWax Wood Hardener too. For my money, Cactus Juice is the bomb. The Wood Hardener works, but without baking all the moisture out, then pulling a vacuum to get full penetration of the resin, it’s tough to get great results all the way through a piece. Might take a few days for a larger chunk, and for bowl-turning blanks, there’s going to be a fair bit of waste, stabilizing wood that’s just going to end up on the shop floor, but I’ve almost always been happy with the results. Plus there’s the possibilities of colors, which I still need to experiment with more.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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