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Project Information

Small vessel in mountain mahogany. Probably the hardest wood I've ever turned. Black gesso interior, carved, burned and wire brushed accent band.

Comments welcome

(at some folks request, I took a close-up of the lower section. If you look at the grain, you'll notice how tight the rings are. This tree was likely only 10" in diameter and 200+ years old! The guy who I traded with told me it was cut at 9000' in Northern Nevada, but mountain mahogany is indigenous throughout the Western US. You can google it for pictures and lots of other botanical info…)

Gallery

Comments

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14,490 Posts
looks great … never heard of mountain mahogany … can you tell more about it ?
 

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355 Posts
Grows in Nevada at altitude is what I was told. If that's true, it's likely some kind of conifer (best guess). It must grow very slowly, because this piece has probably 200 growth rings in iit, and it's only 5" tall.

Cutting with sharp tools lieave a mirror like surface. you cannot turn it agressively- the wood is so hard that it simply doesn't cut. Also very difficult to burn with a MAPP torch. I didn't even cover the surrounding areas and they didn't darken at all. There was some minor pitch bubbling that went away with 320 grit.
 

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4,866 Posts
Cool looking wood and an interesting project. I like the band. Is it balancing on a round bottom? Careful….............
 

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very cool vessel, i love the shape and the carvings, how big is the foot? nice piece, keep them comin.
 

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118,619 Posts
neat vessel I'm with Dan it's a new wood to me too.
 

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Very nice! I'm intrigued about this wood. Can we see a closeup of the grain? I'd love to see the interior too if possible.
 

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3,537 Posts
Very nice turning. Interesting wood. Got any more pics please?

Scrappy
 

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Very impressive species of wood! I really want to feel this with my hands, not just my eyes!
 

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Nice looking bowl. The outer band is a nice touch.
 

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3 Posts
I cut a bunch of Mountain Mahogany Thursday. Dead wood is alwas full of worm holes so this time I cut green wood. What is a good way to season it so id does not check. Where I cut it is on private land and the deer elk and mountain sheep realy like it.
 

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The trees can be up to 35 ft. tall. Best cut while the sap is down, like right now. Coat the cut ends with wax or Anchor sealant, Store for 1 year per inch of thickness. Do not cut in spring, summer or early fall. When dry, it is extremely stable and takes a beautiful polish. We just put up 1700 pounds of it. Turns more like plastic than wood, with long ribbons turninig off the piece, rather than chips. It is not a conifer, but a member of the rose family. We use it to make musical instruments.
 

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Tedley
Thanks for the response. II spent part opf today cutting a bit in another area. And yes it is a member of the rose family and grows fron North of Helena Montana into Mexico. I was not familiar with it until a couple of years ago. My wife is from Wyoming and she has buged me about it for about 30 years. Her son gave me a nice dark chunk that came from the Laramie plateau.

Every one aroud this are has sait it is not worth messing with. The secret must be cutting at the right time of the year. Thanks again.
 

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It must be cut when dormant. I seal the ends immediately, quarter saw the logs and then cut 1.5" square billets as long as the logs. I bury the cut pieces insawdust for at least a year, then set the billets on racks and stickers to finish drying. The largest logs are up to 12" in diameter by around 24" in length of the straightest pieces. As almost all my timber is for turning musical instrument parts, I have not tried drying it in larger pieces. I also only select the longest and straightest logs to take home from where I harvest. The trees are around 30 ft. tall where I harvest in Oregon. I get a very high yield of useable timber.
 

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Thanks for the additional information.
Tedley
Are you the one that makes the Guitars from Oregon wood?
If so thay are very nice.
 
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