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Resin and spalted beech

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Dave Siddle

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Hi, I.m new to both woodturning and this forum, so please be patient with me...
I've recently got into bowl turning and have been working with a beautiful piece of spalted beech I bought on a certain auction site. After turning the outside, i noticed one or two cracks had formed over the few days that had passed since I last looked at it. I was hoping to Dremel the crack out a little to allow me to fill them with some kind of resin, which I wanted to perhaps colour and maybe add some sparkle. I've had a Google around, but this has just made me more confused. Would I be better with Epoxy, to help bond the wood together, or something else? Ideally I'd like to be able to polish it up to a high shine.

I'm also getting into pen making, and aim to experiment with kitless pens and making my own blanks and perhaps even stabilising wood to produce hybrid blanks. I do have some background in engineering and work as an Arborist, so have a steady supply of wood, but this is all new to me, but has grabbed my interest ever since a customer gave me her husbands old Record lathe!

Many thanks for any help and advice.
 

marcros

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Not an expert, but if cracks have formed I. The last few days, it suggests to me that it is still drying. More cracks will form, so don't resin fill yet. Others will be along to tell you how to slow the drying.

On kitless pens, I would start out with something simple. If you can get some, Ebonite is a good starting material. You can also use cast (not extruded) acrylic, and some of the other resins like alumilite. Start simply with some cheap taps and and does, don't get drawn into triple thread taps yet. Kitless pens are a real challenge but a whole new subject in themself.
 

Inspector

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When the bowl has completely dried fill with a casting epoxy. Don't use polyester resin as it shrinks some as it cures.
If you are making kit less fountain pens Beaufort Ink have a range of Bock nibs and the proprietary taps to go with them.

Pete
 

Dave Siddle

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Thanks for the tips people. I have come across Baufort inks, and have ordered a couple of their pen kits to have a little play with as I have some nice Afzelia xylocarpa burr i'd like to put to use. I already have one or two taps and dies that may be of use in my tool collection, but I was shocked at the price of the triple start tools!
 

Dave Siddle

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Inspector":oicbf2tt said:
When the bowl has completely dried fill with a casting epoxy. Don't use polyester resin as it shrinks some as it cures.

Pete
Do you mean fill the bowl completely, and then turn it again? At the moment I have only turned the external surface. I am worried that if I try to turn the inside, I might risk pulling the thing apart as the wall thickness reduces.
 

Chris152

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Dave Siddle":2l89s2ml said:
Inspector":2l89s2ml said:
When the bowl has completely dried fill with a casting epoxy. Don't use polyester resin as it shrinks some as it cures.

Pete
Do you mean fill the bowl completely, and then turn it again? At the moment I have only turned the external surface. I am worried that if I try to turn the inside, I might risk pulling the thing apart as the wall thickness reduces.
The thing I learned early on was to turn a bowl all in one go - don't turn the outside then leave for a few days as the freshly turned outside will start to dry / release tension more rapidly than the inside of the blank and this'll cause cracks.

If the wood's still quite wet (you need a moisture meter) I'd turn some out of the centre leaving wall thickness at about 10% of the diameter and then leave it wrapped in newspaper and in a cardboard box in a cool place until it's dry. Then you can second turn it (search methods for green turning?) and then push resin into the cracks, and then finish once cured. That assumes the cracks haven't got so bad that it's dangerous to turn.
 

OxonTurner

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You could fill the outside with some milliput to stabilise and then part turn the inside and let dry, it sounds like you may get some more cracking. The milliput polishes up but don't think you can get clear resin.
 

CHJ

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As said previously, if the wood is not dry down to 12-15% moisture, (can take several years in log form) then rough turn in one session and allow to slowly dry off suitably protected.

Small cracks can be filled with dry (or instant) coffee grounds and Thin CA glue. If cracks are large fill in layers and drip glue in, wait for heat to dissipate before adding more. Works well with something like spalted Beech as dark fills blend with existing markings.

A few comments on handling green logs.

The reason for leaving the rough turned form wall (and Base) thickness at 10% or there about of the intended finished diameter is because the green bowl will distort to oval whilst drying, you should be able to get a completed circle out of the distorted blank given the thickness to work on.
 

Dalboy

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You could even finish the outside and put butterflies over the crack which will hold it an make a feature of it. The turn the bowl around and do the inside.
This is a bowl I did quite a while ago. The small one on the bottom right was filled with coffee grounds and CA glue

DSCF0615 (800x621).jpg
 

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Dave Siddle

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Dalboy said:
You could even finish the outside and put butterflies over the crack which will hold it an make a feature of it. The turn the bowl around and do the inside.
This is a bowl I did quite a while ago. The small one on the bottom right was filled with coffee grounds and CA glue


That's an interesting idea, looks great. Many thanks,
 

Dave Siddle

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The reason I hadn't finished turning the piece was down to my impatience i'm afraid; I started it on a face plate and as I said, i'm new to this turning lark and was waiting for a chuck to be delivered. I couldn't help having a play while I waited for it.

Still, thanks again for the tips, i'll know better next time-live and learn. Still interested in any thought regarding the use of resin.

How essential or otherwise is pressure casting kit to prevent bubbles forming? Is there any alternative?
 

Lazurus

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I have done a lot of spheres and hybrid burrs with polyester resin - I use both vacuum and pressure pots for the blanks - its not essential but does give a superior result with no bubbles at all - doesnt have to be expensive to set up I made my pressure pot from a chinese paint pot - plenty on You Tube about the conversion. Best of luck.
https://arbtalk.co.uk/forums/topic/8636 ... nt-1646552
 

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