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From a Log to a Bowl in one day

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I just took up the hobby of woodturning and as a beginner I don’t have a lot of patience yet. I want to see result NOW.

I have spent the last couple of week of weeks watching almost every YOUTUBE video I could find on the subject and now I am an EXPERT. No, really, I am the most basic of basic wood turner you can be but I am having FUN.


 
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Step 1: SAFETY FIRST

With any hobby you need to follow all safety precaution. This is especially true with woodturning. You are using a lathe that is spinning a piece of wood at high revolutions. You are yielding turning tools with sharp edges (sharp tools make safer turning). And add to that the chips of wood flying thru the air and you have it all.

The recommended personal safety equipment should include a full-face shield, ear protection and some type of respirator (this is especially true for the finish sanding).

As far as the tools go, follow the manufacture’s safety guidelines.
ioanr2 days ago

I agree with you. I must often force myself to do other things instead of woodturning.

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sdbigguy (author)  ioanr2 days ago

I just ended up boxing up a bunch of bowls, plates and other things and sent them to my sister. She loves anything that I make so now I have more room on my shelves to turn out some more. What items do you enjoy turning?

I don’t know what tools you have, but if you have a sawzall, it works just fine for cutting up logs, rather than buying a chainsaw. It's safer too, in my opinion, but it does limit you to areas near electricity.
that being said, I sure love my chainsaw.
sdbigguy (author)  Mugsy Knuckles7 months ago
I ended up getting an electric chainsaw. I built a small log caddy to make cutting easier. I found a source of local logs at one of the country clubs in the area and I have gotten to play with eucalyptus, pine, California Pepper and some generic "firewood"(not sure what it is but very pretty turned and makes a great looking pen as well. I hope everyone is getting ready for a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season.
sdbigguy (author) 8 months ago
I like turning green wood and I ever like a little warping and movement in the finished piece. Gives it a hands on feel. I recently was able to get a couple of eucalyptus logs. They had a lot of big cracks but a worked around the crack and have turned a couple of things. Very heavy for its size but pretty grain. Check out my mortar and pestle
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ecmscm9 months ago
Great post, we tray to do it, thanks a lot.
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jdonato9 months ago
An electric chainsaw is nice as you can use it inside and you really can live with the difference in horsepower.
sdbigguy (author)  jdonato9 months ago
I have my eye on one right now. I would like to get some of the larger logs down to a workable size and also split a log and try making a real bowl and maybe a natural edge bowl.
Potypeanut9 months ago
I use a microwave also I put paper towels in with the wood to soak up the water off the steam
sdbigguy (author)  Potypeanut9 months ago
I was really surprised at how quickly and how much water weight it lost. I let it rest in between the nuking on the gas grill grate. let air get to it from all sides. seemed to help the water/steam dissipate easily.
bob30309 months ago
Nice job! I always enjoy seeing wood turned into a useful and/or artistic item instead of firewood! Thanks for posting.
sdbigguy (author)  bob30309 months ago
I would like to say that I plan to turn out useful items but I think my first couple with lean towards the artistic with a hint of useful. I have made a couple of tops and those are just fun.
Purocuyu9 months ago
How is the pepper wood? In Mexico, we have a song about pepperwood, being pretty much useless. I have only known of one other person to use this wood. Did the wood have any scent? was it oily? I'm asking because there are often people cutting these trees down in my neighborhood, and I would be willing to give it a try.
sdbigguy (author)  Purocuyu9 months ago
California Pepper Tree was the first log that I was given so I don't have a lot to compare it to. The wood has a sappy out layer just under the bark. its about 1/4 to 1/2 inch think and once I turned that off the wood was fine. No real scent or odor. The wood does seem to tend to crack and check but I look forward to woorking with some of the larger logs.
SlickSqueegie9 months ago
Very nice... Welcome to the turning vortex!
ecmscm9 months ago
Great post, fagnific, thanks a lot.
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rimar20009 months ago
I agree with you. I must often force myself to do other things instead of woodturning.

Nice bowls. I checked it is much less time and work to make bowls with staves than from a solid piece of wood.
sdbigguy (author)  rimar20009 months ago
Right now my glue joint are a little sloppy and weak. I do keep looking at segmented turning though... Opens all kinds of design options.
bgunville9 months ago
Yes it's nice looking piece
sdbigguy (author)  bgunville9 months ago
Thanks, I plan to get better. Practice, practice, practice
bgunville9 months ago
Wife says why not in oven or a food dryer? I thought it is was reasonable kinda like lumber company using large kilns to dry.
sdbigguy (author)  bgunville9 months ago
From what I understand you are trying to turn the water in the wood into steam and get it out gently. I think that with the thickness of the wood the dehydrator would take a lot longer than you think and the oven might take more power than the microwave to accomplish the task. After every minute in the microwave I would take the bowl out and weight it, wait a minute to two and then microwave it again. It would come out of the microwave steaming and even loose more weight during the short cool down periods.
It's beautiful!
sdbigguy (author)  emilyvanleemput9 months ago
Thank you for the kind words. I have only been turning for a VERY short time but everyone gets easier and better.