Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Already!

I am so blessed to have a basement shop that is air conditioned! 

I have been immersed in all aspects of threading turned projects for the past year including learning, doing, writing and demonstrating. Now it is on to something else.  With my new Stihl chainsaw, it is considerably easier to prepare turning blanks than with my underpowered Poulon Wild Thing.  I did quickly discover that the Stihl is insistent on using a 1:50 oil gas mixture. It would not start using the leftover 1:40 gas mixture I had for my Poulon. 

So, I have been turning some larger bowls in the 14" - 16" diameter range. I have been mostly roughing out blanks, but I just did a turned once bowl from green wood. It was a sourwood tree. Not sure if  sourwood spalts but have a piece in the shade that I am going to try and spalt. What I find is though the process is the same as doing much smaller bowls, there are some differences:

First, managing log chunks 15" - 18" in diameter takes some work and a strong back. Big bowl blanks are prepared only with the chain saw. I just cut off the corners of the blank making it octagonal and skip the bandsaw stage of cutting round.
Secondly, it is a much bigger mess to sweep up and discard the shavings, both from the chainsaw work and the turning when working with larger stock. Because the tools do a lot more work, you have to sharpen them more often - a good habit to get into. 
Third, I find that large bowls are much less forgiving of sloppy tool work than bowls less than 8".  Safety becomes a larger issue since a large blank can really hurt you. Fortunately, I have learned this second hand. While I consider myself a kinesthetic learner, I don't see the need to get hurt to learn safety lessons like standing out of the line of fire, avoiding dangerous wood, wearing a face shield and keeping the speed down.  Pictures to follow.