Sometimes Things Just Go Wrong

I’ve made a lot of mistakes learning how to do this, but sometimes the wood itself is just – just weird and things go wrong no matter what I do, and that’s what happened here. There was no sign of cracking or anything at all odd about this block of wood when I started turning it, but for some reason it ended up with cracks all over. It was reasonably dry, well under 15% moisture. The wood itself seemed reasonably stable, with nice grain. But by the time I got it turned into a rough shape it started cracking. I took it off the lathe and let it sit for a few days and this is what it looks like now.

I seem to collect wood like some people collect baseball cards.

I suppose I could try to salvage something from this piece. I could seal up the cracks with CA or cast it in resin but, well, why? It would still look like a badly cracked bit of wood. This one will get chucked into the burn pile, I think. Won’t be the first time I’ve had to do that. And it isn’t like I have a wood shortage around here. I have dozens of blanks of various sizes and species sitting on the shelf in varying stages of drying, quite a few probably ready to turn.

I don’t just do wood turning, of course. I do everything from rough framing to furniture.

This a blanket chest and it is on the agenda for tomorrow. It was kicking around the shop for ages and finally MrsGF put her foot down and told me to just finish the dopy thing, so I got the lid done and a few other things finished up and now it needs finish sanding and some of the glue joints to be cleaned up and I need to get some handles for it and this will be ready to go out the door. It looks rather pale now but once the finish is on the inlay will really pop and the black walnut edges will really show.

Author: grouchyfarmer

Yes, I'm a former farmer. Sort of. I'm also an amateur radio operator, amateur astronomer, gardener, maker of furniture, photographer.

4 thoughts on “Sometimes Things Just Go Wrong”

    1. Embedding it in resin would certainly give me something useable but I’d want something where the resin is shown off more. Just filling the cracks wouldn’t be, oh, dramatic enough? You’ve given me an idea though. πŸ™‚ If I sliced it up, cut out the cracked bits and fill in the gaps in the wood with resin it might be interesting. I’m going to slice it up and see if that might work

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  1. Frank Howarth on youtube often takes the cracks as a way to make art. He cuts the bowl where the cracks are, the glues in some contrast wood and then turns it as normal. I’m not explaining it well but always looks amazing.

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    1. I know the kind of thing you mean and you’re right, the end results can look very good indeed. I’ll scrounge around the shop and see if here is a nice contrasting piece of wood that might look good to replace the cracked bits. πŸ™‚

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