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Forum topic by richgreer posted 07-17-2011 10:24 PM 1227 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3556 days

07-17-2011 10:24 PM

There is a young 13 year old girl at our church who is a friend and, in some regards, a fan of the work I do.

She was volunteering with the clean up after a storm ravaged a near-by town. She got an idea. She decided to bring me a piece or wood that was cut from a downed tree and ask me to “make something”. The wood is poplar. It is about 6” in diameter and about 2’ long. Of course, it is green. In my opinion, after it dries some, the best use for this wood is as firewood. Still, I don’t want to let this girl down.

I also suspect that she does not want to wait for this wood to dry. 13 year old people are not known to be very patient.

Does anyone have a thought on what I could do? I am a turner and a bowl comes to mind, but this is not a very good piece for a conventionally turned bowl.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

9 replies so far

View lew's profile


12841 posts in 4237 days

#1 posted 07-17-2011 10:55 PM

How about a nice big soup spoon or if she’s a fan- a Harry Potter magic wand.

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

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 3541 days

#2 posted 07-17-2011 11:39 PM

Well, split out the pith, turn a couple of Nostepinnes, they’re nice for a young girl to keep her string in shape, and maybe a nice french rolling pin about 18” long, Then maybe a couple of small tea lights, small circles, use a forstner for a small hole, and put in a small votive light, Then maybe buy a cheap metal whisk and replace the wire handle with a nice poplar one, turn a small cylinder and put a split ring in one end and you have a nice little key ring, Or, howabout a small wooden egg? Maybe some little tiny mushrooms to go on a little girls vanity or shelf? Maybe a honey dipper, or maybe a set of chopsticks? Or, my personal favorite, a cylinder about 1.5 – 2” in diameter about 12 inches long, turned with large rings and it becomes a foot roller (massager) for her dad and mom. Finally, light pulls for the chains on a ceiling fan. That’s all I’ve got. Good luck with it!

-- Les, Missouri,

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Les Casteel

160 posts in 3541 days

#3 posted 07-17-2011 11:40 PM

Oh, maybe one more, a little weed pot, especially if you color the poplar with a nice green aniline dye.

-- Les, Missouri,

View Mark's profile


1817 posts in 3756 days

#4 posted 07-17-2011 11:48 PM

make something for the church/community? or make a birdhouse out of it so the birds who lost their nests can live in a new one?

-- M.K.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3172 days

#5 posted 07-18-2011 03:48 AM

Bandsaw a birdhouse. Leave the bark on and the wrens willmove in soon [if you have wrens!]. I have 2 of these under the eves of my shop and they were in use days after I made them. Look online to see what size holes different birds prefer. I think she’ll enjoy the build and then watching the birds raise their families outside her window.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3556 days

#6 posted 07-18-2011 02:23 PM

WOW! Thanks for some great ideas. I have enough wood that I can pursue more than one of these ideas. I particularly like the bandsaw birdhouse idea. I never would have thought of that. Yes, we have wrens in this area.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3465 days

#7 posted 07-18-2011 02:33 PM

Or maybe even a band saw box to put her ear rings in. Girls that age are into jewelry.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3559 days

#8 posted 07-18-2011 02:34 PM

I got to say I like the bird house idea as well….. Very cool thought….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Arch_E's profile


48 posts in 3004 days

#9 posted 07-18-2011 02:53 PM

Small to medium size pieces can be put in the microwave (be sure there’s no metal embedded) and quickly dried. One of our club members does this regularly. Only once did he damage the microwave—left it going 15’ on high. No fire, just broke. Guess he was lucky. Now he mics pieces for 5 mins at a time—no more! YMMV so be careful.

BTW, I think lidded boxes would be memorable keepsakes. Check out the pagoda approach of Jimmy Clewes, which uses two rather small squares to create the boxed bowl with an offsetting boxed lid.

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