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I was getting some turning practice with a couple of pieces of American Elm I had stashed away, and these are the results. I just wiped a 2nd coat of BLO on them before taking the photo… not sure what the final finish will be.
So true, Monte. I just wish I had more of it and bigger pieces of it. I grabbed a couple of small logs (about 3' by 12" diameter) when they were cutting down a tree. I also have a tiny burl that will become a pen someday.
CD, thanks for the tip about elm being unstable. If these warp or crack, it's no big deal…. wood was free and these were just for practice. Given what you say, I'll probably avoid elm for making larger or more complex pieces.
Thanks Jeff, Jim, Charlie… I do like the look of the stuff.
Ted, Those are very nice. I too feel elm is overlooked. I have just discovered that a light stain really brings out the detail in the twisted interlocking grain. My boxes and tables have behaved well with no cupping or twisting. But I know nothing about turning.
I've used several different stains but MinWax Gunstock and Cherry have worked well for my projects. Just wipe it on and keep wiping til it feels almost dry. Don't let it sit for 15 minutes like the directions say.
Your turnings look great ted and the Elm is beautiful too. Elm has long been a favorite for UK turners. I seem to remember that U.S. Elm had some disease problems and that there isn't much available. Its a good idea to rough turn it first with hefty, but evenly thick (sides and bottom) and then put it in a sealed paper bag and place in a cool dry place for 3 months to dry out slowly. Then you can finish turn it safely down to final thickness without it cracking.
Thanks for all the comments, everybody. I can't take too much credit as all I did is chuck the pieces on the lath and see what "turns" out.
Andy, "Just wipe it on and keep wiping til it feels almost dry…" I'll be sure and try that on my next piece.
Mike, Dutch Elm Disease (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_elm_disease) was devastating in US and, from my understanding, Europe as well. Here in Chicago, we had an abundance of American Elm, which were mostly wiped out from the disease. Fortunately, Elm is a hearty tree which is relatively fast growing-the old growth is gone for good, but there are plenty of new Elms, and many of them quite large.
As for pre-turning and storing, I would like to do that some day. It's not practical at this time, as I'm working off the cuff, so to speak. I do plan to set aside some time (and wood) to pre-turn a bunch of stock so I can begin rotating it. But that's a long term plan.
Candy, you may be kidding about the "table" but you gave me an idea. New project coming soon!