I went up the beach a few days ago and picked up some drift wood of course it was wet so I set about turning some wood I had that was dry, the two smaller ones were very dry, the front one is rewa rewa while the one behind I am not sure about, the large platter on the right is matai, a piece of drift wood I picked up last year and has been drying undercover, its overall width is 310mm X 45mm high and all very exciting to turn.
I did cut into the wet drift I had picked up to see what was inside and decided to turn 2 pieces then give it a chance to dry before I finish it some time in the future from what I can tell the wood is a Totara and will polish up very nicely one day but is still very heavy with water.
The back piece will be a light stand, the lower portion will remain in its rough state, the front piece will be some sort of bowl and will eventually be deeper than it is right now there is a lot to do with them when I get started again.
So I went back to some dry wood and decided on a piece of kauri that someone had given to me, as I made the first cuts I was most surprised at the green tinge to the wood it is also very tight grain so a very slow growing tree I can see about 200 growth rings in this piece of wood so that is 200 years old, the bowl is about 220mm wide and given that these trees can be 2 and 3 meters wide the tree this bowl came from could be over 2000 years old.
I formed the outer shape of the bowl and sanded it then set about taking out the middle saving the inner piece for another bowl.
The wood was a pleasure to work with though there are a few hairline cracks in it but this is what happens with wood.
I still have the pleasure of making something out of the inner piece and may yet get a smaller one from inside that.
The bowl on the left is one I have had for a few years it was shop bought and has held a lot of fruit waiting to be eaten, what ever the coating was it had become dirty and dull looking, the bowl is also kauri and more to the colour that I know as kauri its grain is not as tight as the one on the right.
I put some time into finding a center and created a hollow in the bottom to hold it on my lathe, as I first ran the lathe it became obvious it was not round so using a chisel would have destroyed the bowl my only option was to sand it clean some turps was tried but had little effect, with time and lots of sandpaper I have a bowl better than when it was new and I am so pleased now I have made the effort.
Acacia is a hard wood to work with, this piece was a small piece but large enough to save the middle with my coring tool.
there were some voids in the wood so I dug out the soft wood and filled the hole with epoxy and black pepper corns the fun happened when I came to sand the cured epoxy and could smell the pepper.
I had finished the bowl before I decided to try putting the piece that came out of the bowl under it as a foot, I also wanted the insert a piece of something as a contrast, the contrast is not great the wood is I think tawa but as its first life was a weatherboard on a house I am not sure it would be tawa, all in all it was a pleasing project and a few things have been learnt along with turning experience gained.