WYSIWYG is an old computer term that stands for What You See Is What You Get and Wood is what I usually work in. What it means is, I don't generally do custom woodwork. I make what I want, when I want as materials and the mood strikes. If you like what you see, you canEmail Me and we can discuss what I have or go to my For Sale items. If you have a neat idea for something and want me to make it, I might - if it strikes my fancy and fits into my plans.
I have a day job that pays fairly well. I sit in an office with a bunch of servers and PC's all day long. I work hard, but when the day is done I have nothing to show for my labors. I go home to the family and my shop. There I relax by making a variety of items out of wood and sometimes metal. Some is used around our house and some is given away as gifts. The remainder I sell. It is obviously not a huge business, just a way to get the hobby to pay for itself.
I don't just turn wood, although lately that has been mostly what I seem to be doing. You can findmore_bowls here. I also do other_turned_items & other_projects off the lathe entirely. If you're interested in how I finish bowls, you can go to these links. I have a page with current For Sale items. Get a general idea here & then email me for availability.
People often ask me how I make the bowls. I generally like to use 'found' wood, preferably green. Besides the fairly quick thrill that I get from making a bowl, green wood is very interesting because it needs to be dried and the results can change during that process.
This bowl started out as round as anything that comes off the lathe, but when I dried it, it shrunk up in some very interesting ways. The wood is Dogwood and it was green when I turned it. I tried for a shape and thickness that would deform as the knots won't shrink as much as the clear wood surrounding it.
I find a tree down and pick out a log or two. I try to get interesting pieces with knots, burls and other imperfections. I then bring it home and cut it up to fit on the lathe. After that, each bowl can vary in a lot of ways.
There are two basic orientations to turn the wood. A tree grows upward with the grain running vertically. When a piece is mounted on the lathe with the grain running parallel to the bed of the lathe and I bore into the end to form a bowl, that is an 'end grain' bowl.
While I prefer green wood, sometimes I get logs that have sat around for a while. I recently took that to a new level by cutting some walnut and putting it into plastic trash bags in the shop for about a year. I checked on it and occasionally added a bit of water. When I judged the time was right, I turned the log on the end grain.
The other orientation of the wood is if I split the log in half and mount the flat split on the lathe. Then the grain is perpendicular to the bed of the lathe. This is the more traditional way that bowls are formed. This method is the grain direction you get when you glue two boards together, like this one, made from Walnut and Poplar.
I must use this orientation when I'm making a natural edge bowl. A 'natural edge' is formed by the outside of the log, sometimes with the bark, if you can get to the tree while the wood is green enough AND if the bark is tough enough to stay on. The outside of the bowl is formed and then you bore in through the bark toward the center of the tree to get to form the inside of the bowl.
This is a bowl made of Osage Orange. The wood was too old to keep the bark, but in any case, this wood doesn't have a bark that is very good for keeping. It's too light and flaky.
Different woods prefer different orientations, depending on the finish, too. A good finishing job can make almost anything look good, but sometimes you can't use just any finish. Personal preference & use can dictate which finish I'll use. I like a wax finish, but Osage Orange doesn't 'shine' with a wax finish unless it was turned with the grain parallel to the bed of the lathe. From the same tree, turned about the same time, the bowl on the left is much smoother & prettier.
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