I recently sawed up some mahogany bowl blanks from some reclaimed fire door frames, when i checked what price they would have been on eBay i saw that the blanks I had where of to much value to be used for practice pieces. I needed to find some cheap timber to make some practice blanks with
I checked the wood shed to see what cuttings of pine planks I had and discovered that I had 2 large planks the builders left behind after the renovations to my house the planks where 8" x 1 1/2" . On examination one plank had a long crack running along the grain and was not suitable for bowl blanks but could be resawn for spindle work. the second plank had a slight split at one end but was sound enough to mark out 9 8" squares.
When marking out the plank I tried to avoid knots and lost a few inches of limber to avoid heavily knotted parts of the plan, the center point of each square was also marked.
Using a pencil compass circles where marked on each square so the blanks could be roughly rounded on the band saw.
So for about 20 minutes of marking and sawing I had 9 pine blanks I can practice my turning on rather than wasting any of the few mahogany blanks I am lucky to have.
The pine blanks where mounted on the face plate with wood screws so the blank could be squared and either a tenon or recess cut s the piece can then be mounted on the nova chuck.
As far as wood goes these blanks are not the most pleasant wood I have ever worked it tends to tear and required allot of sanding to get a good finish, but then I need the practice. So far I have used the blanks for practice work on both turning and staining and finishing. I am making some mistakes but then this is how I will learn.
I have successfully turned a plate, the finish could have been better but this should improve as I become more experienced. I also turned the base for a plain box with turned lid, the base was of simple design but was stained before finishing.
While turning the lid I had a nasty catch on a knot that toook a chunk out of the lip of the lid and the piece became destined for the wood stove, but then this was not a worry because they are cheap practice blanks and are for the purpose of learning through trial and error.
Thanks for looking I hope you find the idea useful.