After a 2 week trip to Ireland, I am ready to get back to the shop. Hoped to find some wood turning over there, but was disappointed. Maybe I should set up over there?
I hadn’t done a totally segmented piece for some time. I have had a tonne of old maple counter top sitting in my shop for 25 years and this is the perfect kind of project to start using that up. Each piece in the counter top was 2″ x 2″ which dictates the size of the segments a bit but I only used about 1 1/2 ” for the height of each. The grain figure is very pronounced and the cherry accents it very well. The cherry has been out there even longer as I had a few boards left from when I fabricated cherry trim for my family room 30 years ago.
I had a great time at the the tour and met a lot of very interesting folks. The weather was gorgeous after anticipating hurricane conditions. I was also able to sell 20% of my inventory on hand, so I have been working hard to replace the items I sold to have plenty for the holiday season. I often get on a theme and keep it up so I used up some more of my spalted wood stash to go back to my “honeypot” design from a couple of years ago. This piece is spalted oak with sapele top and bottom and would be perfect for holding tea bags or anything else you may have in mind.
Getting ready to work the Oxford Artists’ Studio Tour on Sunday, from noon to 4 PM in Oxford, MD. Will be sharing space with Sean Wells who is a fantastic painter! Hopefully it will be a learning experience for me in more than a few ways. I am delighted to move some inventory from the shop — more than 30 pieces. Some have been shown here, some not.
This maple blank was painted with white lacquer and has a teak top (which has been hanging around my shop for about 25 years). I have to say that I hate working with teak. It dulls tools quickly and smells awful but it sure is pretty when finished. Only one more white blank sitting on the bench after this one — I have special plans for it.
Since I have been turning a lot of black items I wanted to stretch a bit and do white. I had tried to achieve a transparent white in the past and was very disappointed so this time I went in a different direction. I got some white spray lacquer and used that. What i found was that certain areas of the wood wouldn’t take the lacquer which seemed odd. So this piece I ended up using spray paint. I did figure out that sealing the wood first with a coat of shellac solves the adhesion problem and have several other white projects in progress on the bench.
This piece of cedar was just too “cedary” for an urn like this so I decided to go the limit and ebonize it. This was done with black lacquer in a spray can (after a lot of careful taping). I had added the foot and rim before deciding to blacken the project but wanted to leave those natural. That did add a lot of time to the project. Plus trying to achieve a perfect finish in gloss black is a nightmare. I got about a 98% perfect finish — the best I could hope for. The top was done with white spray lacquer just for the dramatic contrast.
I had a small piece of maple that just looked horrible and it had some checks in it. It is too hot for a fire these days so I decided to use it up. I also had a few pieces of cherry on my bench that needed to be moved out so I glued them on as a foot and a rim. after turning the shape I wanted I tried filling the checks with CA glue but that didn’t make the cracks look any better I decided to use black lacquer but to make sure they didn’t show up I spun two coats of CA on it to bridge any remnants of the cracks – fail. After spraying on the black the evidence was still there. That’s when I put the acrylic on it. The cracks still show but are really hard to find unless you are looking for them.
I sometimes get into the groove and create multiples of a technique. This helps improve the technique and come up with better ways to do it. This piece is some spalted oak with cherry base and rim with the glass top like I posted a few projects ago. I have very little spalted wood around and pieces with this much black need to be mellowed out by a contrasting wood.
There is something very satisfying about chucking up something headed for the bin and turning it into something beautiful. The maple burl was just a wedge I got when squaring off a log. I was able to get a nice size piece about 4′ round and 2″ tall. The sapele was not scrap but I needed the dramatic contrast for the piece. The lid is cherry and walnut.