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StoneFlyTyer

Any woodturners on here

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Hi All,

It's nice to see this subject on here.  I used to do spindle turning years ago.  I recently took turning back up.  Turned some pens from small scraggly Manzanita branches that my brother gave me.  The photo progression below is from raw stick to pen blank to a few different types of pens.  

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20220329_135428.jpg

20220329_132507.jpg

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On 5/30/2022 at 5:41 PM, mikechell said:

Good looking pens.

Thanks. I think they came out alright for starting with a couple sticks

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Great looking pens.  I like the soft colors and gentle grain pattern.  Reminds me of Lilac.  

 

Curious as to what you use to finish the pens?

 

Michael

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Hi Michael;

Thanks for the comment.  The colors are what I like about the wood.  Except for the part near the clip the top pen is also Manzanita. Blank is from heartwood while the rest are from sap.  It's hard to imagine that such a small limb could have heartwood.  I don't know if you ever worked with Manzanita but for me it seems fairly hard.  It can be brittle too.  I've got some more that I stabilized with Cactus Juice.  We'll see how that comes out.

I'm trying out different finishes at present.  These were finished using only boiled linseed oil.  I did some with CA that came out ok but feel plasitc.  These have a more natural feel to them.  I'm going to try some with lacquer.  I think it will stand up to use more than shellac.

 

Jim

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Good evening Jim,

Interesting that you have tried CA as a finish.  I’ve found it a love/hate finish amongst some circles.  One finish that has gained a lot of traction in our woodworking circles over here is Rubio Monocoat.  It has the feel of an oil finish but the hardness of a flooring finish.  Be forewarned that it is expensive, however it is amazing.  
 

I have not worked with Manzanita, however I can honestly say I have never heard of it.  I’ll bounce the question back at you, have you ever worked with Lilac?  Hard, brittle and a joy to turn.

Michael 

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Hi Michael,

I've heard of the Monocoat before but never used it.  Do you use it on items that will be handled a lot?

Never worked with Lilac. Always willing to give it a try if I run across some.  I have a tree trimming/removal contractor contact here in town.  He's let me know that I can come get whatever I want from his yard.  It reduces the material he needs to dispose of.  Just got a bunch of silk oak, lace elm, and olive from one of his jobs.  

Also living here in the central valley there are lots of fruit and nut trees.  I've been turning some almond wood.  Another very hard wood but fantastic grain patterns  It looks almost like marble.

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I am involved with a group "Bangor Woodworkers Association". We have a few heavy hitter in the group. Some have been shown at the Masser Gallery, couple have been published in Fine Woosworkers magazine. I feel like I'm the donkey in a thorough bread race.

I have seen and touched a few custom dining table, a couple of coffee tables and a couple buffet tables that have been finished with Rubio Monocoat.

 It has a great feel and I have been told it is exceptional for table tops.

Might be worth the expence to give it a try. I have seen the application in person. Super simple. Bruce Greybill at Siders Woodcrafting (on Tiktok and Instagram) has a couple quick videos applying it.

Michael

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A couple Almond wood taper candlestick holders.  Turned from some firewood. The pics show the before and after of one the holders.  I really like the grain patterns on this wood.  Never know what you're going to find inside a piece of wood.  Finish is wipe on poly. 

Candle_Sticks_2.jpg

Candle_Sticks_1.jpg

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On 6/15/2022 at 8:14 PM, cencalfly said:

A couple Almond wood taper candlestick holders.  Turned from some firewood. The pics show the before and after of one the holders.  I really like the grain patterns on this wood.  Never know what you're going to find inside a piece of wood.  Finish is wipe on poly. 

 

Candle_Sticks_1.jpg

 

 

It appears as though you have an insert of some type to put the candle in.  Am I seeing that correctly?  If I am, what did you use?

 

Michael

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It's black widow season here so we have a pest control person spray our area and my shop once a month. I hate spiders. Especially black widows.

Today I noticed the pest control guy spraying a pile of wood rounds I have outside to season. I also have another pile in my shop that he sprayed. I asked about the toxicity of the spray and told him how the wood is used; cutting, turning, and sanding. He recommended I wear a respirator because the dust can carry the pesticide. Never gave it much thought but it makes sense. I do wear a cartridge style mask so I'm good to go.

However, I use a lot of orchard wood for my turning stock.  This got me to thinking how much pesticide, chemical fertilizer, and herbicides are used in these orchards over the life of the tree.  The dust is bad enough but the inclusion of some of these chemicals can be a hazard to woodworkers IMHO.

Might be something to consider when working with these kinds of materials.

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cencalfly,

Very late to your latest post.  I am with you and your thinking about the pesticides.  In the northers climates our growth rings are different from those from the warmer climates.  Our hard woods tend to have much more defined rings due to the winter dormancy of the tree.  These rings tend to be (not in all occasions) much smaller due to our shorter growing season.  In your warmer and longer growth season, I would think the pesticides have the potential to collect deep into the wood layers as the tree grows.

That being said, my curious question would be, can you find a contact within the CalState system that could either tell you about or test a piece for chemicals found in pesticides?  I know here we have a huge Forestry department in our UMaine system.  

 

Cheers,

Michael

 

 

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Hi Michael,

I may pose a question to UC Davis.  Fresno State University (Go Dogs) may be a bit biased or conservative in their opinion.  Fresno County has 318,237 acres of just almond and pistachio orchards.  That doesn't include other woods I may use (walnuts, cherries, and olives).  Nor does it include citrus.  It's around $3 billion a year (2017 data).  The University is very ag centered. 

With that I have a lot of access to nut and fruit wood.  Didn't even mention fruit wood like peaches and such.

From my research it seems that most pesticides have a short lifespan.  But some used in this area do use petroleum products as a carrier.  Which prolongs its presence.  We get so little rain that it does get washed away much.  Irrigation water just percolates the stuff into the ground.   I know the ground water is loaded with nitrates and arsenic amongst other things.   There is a significant hardpan creating a perched aquifer.  This aquifer holds most of the nasties. 

I'll post something here if I ask UC Davis.   

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