Friday, November 28, 2008

Turning Burl

I know, it's been a while since I posted. But life gets in the way sometimes.

Here's my first successful shot at turning a burl pen. The one in the photos is box elder burl with an imperfect but cool green dye job.

I started with three burl blanks. I tried to use them for Sierra pens. Big mistake. The wood is too thin on the tubes for my ham-handed tool control. So the other two blanks, one purple and one blue, were destroyed. I figured out the bad choice a Sierra is for me, so I switched to a euro for the last one.

I also changed my technique. Instead of my 1" gouge like I usually use and finishing with a skew, I used strictly a round nose scraper once the blank was turned round. The finishing cuts were made using the scraper as a skew. It took the finest threads of material I've seen and didn't catch at all. With a skew I have to get at least one catch per pen. That usually keeps my heart rate nice and high.

I also soaked CA into the pen after every few passes to help hold it together. I finished with 4 coats of medium CA and polished it up.

The burl took longer to turn than a "normal" pen, but the results are worth it!

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