Sunday, December 12, 2010

Norfolk Island Pine

A neighbour had a Norfolk Island Pine cut down about 7 months ago not to large a tree about 25, 30ft high. I was lucky enough to receive quite a lot of the cut pieces, saving the tree lopper taking it to the tip and paying the tip fee's.

I passed on to a few friends some of the pieces saving myself 3 or 4 different sizes. I had taken a piece out to the Ornamental Turners club so Darrell Smith could do a demonstration. The wood was still very wet and spalted, the knots from the branches well placed.

Darrell is the busiest bloke there, so I decided to get stuck in and turn it myself recently, Darrell lent me his Rolly Munroe tool. With advice from many and having seen some amazing works done at the Hawaii Woodturners site I set about having a go.

Only having access to the lathe at the club once a week made it difficult, shrinkage the biggest problem. Whilst still roughing the shape it spat out of the chuck, due also to the new shape of the Power Grip jaws from Nova, which are now Dovetail not true straight sided. So I had to take it home and mount the blank on the Jet mini and re-shape the dovetail base.
Lesson learned check chuck constantly when doing wet wood as it dries it shrinks and depending on the day faster than you think.

Deep hollowing is fun and with even the basic tools a lot can be achieved, with special tools like the Rolly shaping the interior takes some mastering.

 I worked it as far as I could on the Nova at the club and finally brought it home to complete, turning it on the Jet mini was heart stopping at times as space is at a premium. The Jet handled it well, can't say the same for me especially when the top 1/4" of the lip had damage, no idea how so I had to turn that away which changed the shape somewhat. During the turning process at home I used Organ Oils Hard Burnishing Oil which helped reduce tear out and gave a smoother cut.


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