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Set of elm bowls !

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paulm

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A neighbour of mine kindly brought round a big old lump of oak in his wheelbarrow a few weeks ago. It had been in his house for the last twenty years or so being used as a plant stand ! He'd picked it up from a stately home somewhere he happened to be when they were cutting up a large windblown tree and asked them for a lump to take away, but now he was just wanting shot of it as it was in the way.

It was very cracked and split, about 14" wide by 8" deep and about 30" long. Wasn't sure I would get anything much usable from it because of all the big cracks and splits, but as he was going to cut it up for firewood if I didn't want it (he know's I do a bit of turning), I thought I would give it a go.

Managed to cut a decent size blank from the least damaged part of the lump, about 13" x 6", still with some splits and knots, but thought it worth a go anyway, and used the McNaughton coring system to take out a couple of further blanks from the main one.

Didn't think to take any WIP pic's unfortunately, but here are some of the finished bowls. Not entirely happy with them technically, never am really (!), but pleased to have been able to rescue something worthwhile from the soon to be firewood, and will give them back to my neighbour as a nice surprise hopefully and lasting memento of his old plant stand !

Largest bowl is 12" x 5", and all finished with loads of danish oil that the really dry oak soaked up like nobodies business, and then a couple of coats of wax to give some sheen. Will have to clean the excess wax from some of the knots that I never really noticed before but shows up a lot in the pictures now that I'm looking at them !















Cheers, Paul
 

adidat

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Look great to me paul, i bet he will be chuffed to bits!

Adidat
 

Dieseldog

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Stunning work..i always like the look of Oak bowls and they are very nice
think your neighbour will be more then happy with them
 

CHJ

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That's a worthwhile rescue Paul, complimentary sets always look attractive, yes the unexpected handing back of a finished item always goes down well.
Old dry oak not the easiest of subjects to play on with the corer.

As you said that it soaked up the oil like a sponge, may be worth mentioning to the recipient to take care for a few months with where they place them without a coaster under them, have seen a glossy surface marked by a bowl when the sun warmed it up and released some uncured solvents.
 

jumps

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proper elm bowls :)

the wood, scale and form all look 'just right'
 

paulm

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That's a good point about the oil Chas, applied the coats over a couple of weeks so hopefully allowed time to cure reasonably well inbetween, but will mention anyway or else I might be unpopular !

I actually found this to be the easiest coring session ever, very surprisingly I have to say, as like yourself I thought it would be hard going.

I think a number of reasons for that possibly, one being the use of your stem collar :D on the toolpost which made it easy to keep the tool at precisely the right height. The tools are high and narrow in section, say 1" tall by 1/4" wide, so need to be kept at centre height otherwise they bind in the curvature of the cut.

Secondly, I cut the smallest bowl out first this time and worked up to the largest, rather than the other way round. This allowed a lot more control and visibility of the depth that I was cutting to and helped avoid the worry of going too deep and through the base of the largest blank, which I have managed before :oops:

The third thing is that I think the tool may actually be better suited to dry timber as the shavings clear out of the kerf much more readily, whereas on the unseasoned walnut the dampness made the shavings and sawdust heavy and clump together, causing a lot of binding and jamming and more wastage with having to enlarge the kerf.

The coring only took about 45 minutes in all, which is a new record for me !

Now the best bit is that I took the bowls over to the neighbour this morning, but they were out, so left them with their son-in-law and got chatting, and turns out he is a tree surgeon and is taking down a large yew tree somewhere next week and is going to save some for me \:D/

Gave him some tips on not cutting it into firewood rings and keeping it as large as possible, so fingers crossed and we'll see if anything comes of it !

Cheers, Paul
 

Chrispy

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Nice work Paul, but are you sure that's Oak, looks just like Elm on my screen?

Regards.
 

paulm

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It does a bit Chris, I agree. Smells nice and oaky when cut though so pretty sure. Haven't worked any elm before but if I remember right it smells quite distinctive (bad!) ?

Cheers, Paul
 

cornucopia

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Chrispy":2t6ogzxe said:
Nice work Paul, but are you sure that's Oak, looks just like Elm on my screen?

Regards.

I was just about to say the same thing- are there any medular rays Paul?

whether its elm or oak there a great set =D>
 

paulm

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You put doubts in my mind Chris, so I've been out to the workshop to cut up the remainder of the bits, and I'm not so sure it smells of oak after all, quite a faint aroma and not hugely distinctive, so ignoring the smell as a factor thought I would take some more pics of the bare wood as below.

You're right too George that there were no medullary rays present on the quartercut pieces.

It was given to me as oak and I thought I knew my timbers fairly well, but really not so sure now after all :-k :lol:









Never used elm before so would be great if it was elm, happy either way really, the good thing is I've managed to salvage another couple of 6" and one 8" blanks out of the fairly unpromising remainder so pretty happy with that and will save these ones for myself :lol:

Cheers, Paul
 

CHJ

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paulm":30fzz1gq said:
.......I actually found this to be the easiest coring session ever, very surprisingly I have to say, as like yourself I thought it would be hard going.

...
Paul, on further study of the grain and especially after the above comment I suspect the shouts for Elm have some merit. I have some home cured Elm here at the moment and it cuts like butter, nothing like as hard as the stuff we used to have around the farm for 'repairs' that came as off-cuts from the local coffin maker, that needed a pre-drilled hole before it could be nailed.
 

CHJ

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Pulled my eyes away from the rugby long enough to look at your later images which I missed and would say the title change is a definite Paul.
 

paulm

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CHJ":a9j5cihy said:
paulm":a9j5cihy said:
.......I actually found this to be the easiest coring session ever, very surprisingly I have to say, as like yourself I thought it would be hard going.

...
Paul, on further study of the grain and especially after the above comment I suspect the shouts for Elm have some merit. I have some home cured Elm here at the moment and it cuts like butter, nothing like as hard as the stuff we used to have around the farm for 'repairs' that came as off-cuts from the local coffin maker, that needed a pre-drilled hole before it could be nailed.
That's exactly the same Chas, literally cut like butter, should have made me suspicious it wasn't oak all along !

Neighbor popped over earlier this evening to say thank you, was most impressed and ever so slightly emotional as they may be moving away later this year after thirty or more years in the village, and thought it would be a lovely memento, albeit a tad surprised to find out it was elm after all this time thinking it was oak :D

Cheers, Paul
 

gregmcateer

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They are lovely, Paul. And great to recycle something that was in effect already re-used.

Out of interest - when you use a corer, how do you go about refining and finishing the inside? as I assume the bottom is just a dome?

Please explain, someone! #-o

Cheers,

Greg

PS Just had another look at the photos - Do you core it, reverse it onto eg Cole jaws, add a foot then reverse chuck it to do the inside? (Or even simpler, do you finish the inside completely before coring? Oh, now I have even confused myself (hammer)
 
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