Category Archives: Banter

About “factory seconds”

Dogwood vase with worm trails

Dogwood vase with worm trails

All the pieces I turn get labeled as factory seconds because I find a flaw in all of them. Most are not obvious to those looking at the project. My neighbor gets a bit miffed when I point them out. Of course the flaws are what sets most pieces apart from assembly line stuff that comes out exactly like the one in front of it. So in a word flaw means character I guess. When I bought my Gibson 335 years ago it was listed as a factory second and the salesman offered to give me the guitar if I could find the flaw. I inspected that guitar for an hour because the offer of a free guitar was too good to pass up. I finally gave up and the salesman showed me some figure in the wood that was errant – I thought that was done purposely for character!

Sealing it’s fate

sealI needed to seal up the ends on the chunk of cherry fruit wood I had sitting out in the shop. Some people use Anchor Seal to do this but I elected to try a method I found on, I believe, Allen Tyler’s site. I always keep Elmer’s School Glue around because it is cheap, water based and dries totally clear. I mixed it about 70/30 with water and brushed it on the ends. This should keep the log from shrinking more in the longitudinal direction (the capillary route) and avoid the inevitable cracking that occurs when wood is drying.

Wood turning and science

08195A friend of my wife brought me a log from a cherry fruit tree. This log had just been cut and was throwing some serious moisture while I turned it. With wood this wet the bowl needs to be dried before final turning. I decided to try a new method I found on the web that turners are using with a pretty good success rate. I left the bowl thick and now have it soaking in some high concentrate dish detergent. This is supposed to replace the water in the bowl with a thicker substance to protect it from shrinking and cracking. I’ll keep you updated on how that works out. More Views and comments