Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy accident

I had 2 more pieces of Madrone left, one that was burl and one that was mostly straight grain.  Tonight I decided to tackle both of them.

The first one was going to be an hourglass shaped vase but I had a small catch while hollowing and the piece broke in half both latitudinally and longitudinally.  I threw the top half in the microwave not knowing what would happen.  What happened was a pleasant surprise, the piece curled in on itself to form a spiral.  A light went off in my head.

My last piece was glued to a waste block, turned to a cylinder, and the inside was hollowed to a uniform thickness before the tube was parted off of the waste block.

I then used a pneumatic body saw (http://www.harborfreight.com/high-speed-metal-saw-91753.html) to cut straight down one side.  I was a bit surprised to see the cut open up so much immediately.  I was worried that it wouldn't act like the other piece, that it might unfold rather than curl tighter.

It turns out that my fears were unfounded. A couple of minutes in the microwave had the piece curled up like the sample piece.

Looks to be about 540 degrees, I think it would have curled more if it had been thinner.  I'm now thinking I might try to make some more of these with some other woods, not sure how much I have that's still green though.

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