Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 287: The African Queen

I got an email this morning from a woman that said she had an African Sumac tree that had been cut down and wanted to know if wanted any of the wood in return for a finished piece.  I gave her a call this afternoon to talk it to see if I could get an idea how much wood there was and if it was big enough to make it worth my while.  She told me that the tree had been at least 2 stories tall with very large branches and was about 14" diameter.  Knowing how often people under or over estimate the size of wood I expected the pieces to be either 10-12" diameter or 16-18" diameter.  Long story short, myself and 2 other turners drove to her house to find a whole pile of wood, from 1" branches all the way up to the crotch shown here.  It should produce a bowl 19-20" diameter.  The 3 of us did some serious damage to the pile but there's still a ton left, including several pieces in the 12"-14" range.

African Sumac happens to be one of my favorite woods.  It's pale pink when fresh cut but takes on a gorgeous red color after exposure to UV light.  A couple days in direct sunlight.  I don't believe that the wood we got tonight will have the curl that this platter has, but it should still be very nice when finished. 

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