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Willow Vase - Finished at Last

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brianhabby

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I decided to have a go with some of the willow that I cut last week. Started with this:



After a bit of trimming with a bow saw to try and get somewhere reasonably flat to mount the face plate:



After a couple of hours today I had this:





I though I was going to make a bowl but I discovered there was a vase in there :eek: I think it looks quite promising especially with the spalting.

I can see why people use a chain saw after struggling with that rusty old bow saw :(

I've left it with fairly thick sides and put it in a bag with the shavings to dry out for a few weeks. Then I'll have a go at finishing it. Not sure how long to leave it, any suggestions?

I got it as balanced as I could but when I switched the lathe on I thought it was going for a walk. It was vibrating quite a bit. It soon calmed down once I had been working on it for a short while but a bit scary to start with. I realise I should start something like this on a very slow speed but my Draper has a minimum speed of 500 rpm. :(

regards

Brian
 

Alli

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looks like its going to be a really nice, I would love to see the finished piece.

Cheers
David
 

CHJ

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I suspect you have a cracking piece there Gromit, fingers crossed you don't, but with that thickness of walls I have definite visions of something with a split personality emerging from its cocoon.
 

Bodrighy

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CHJ":2exs2pl7 said:
I suspect you have a cracking piece there Gromit, fingers crossed you don't, but with that thickness of walls I have definite visions of something with a split personality emerging from its cocoon.
Glad you saw it as well Chas LOL. Also willow is notoriously bad for splitting being so wet to start with. I don't use it at all now even though I have access to as much as I want and I am not one to turn down free wood as you know LOL.

Pete
 

gus3049

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Willow looks a bit like Fig. Splits aplenty it seems. However, if it turns out well, you'll be as pleased as I am with the result. Shame is that i've just been given another piece of fig but its been left outside and is split already. Bit of a risk to turn as it might explode.

Mine has moved even more since this pic was taken. Having trouble accepting the offers as I like it so much. This is supposed to be for the money too!!

Look forward to seeing the results of yours.
 

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brianhabby

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Thanks for the comments,

I guess I'll just leave it and see what becomes of it. It hasn't cost me anything other than a bit of time and it's an interesting exercise whatever the result. I'll definitely keep you good folks updated whatever happens.

Pete (Bodrighy) said in my thread about green wood that willow can take up to 10 years to dry! Hope I don't have to wait that long :(

regards

Brian
 

gregmcateer

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Brian,
Good luck with it - Please do post up the results when you're done.
I've got a load of Black Poplar, which I am lead to believe behaves a bit like willow, so will have to see what happens to it.
Greg
 

brianhabby

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Well, it's been a couple of months since the last post so time for an update.

I read somewhere, probably on here, that the way to check if the piece has stopped loosing water is to weight it regularly, so that is what I did. When I started back in June it weighed 935 grams and has been loosing weight regularly until last Saturday (11 Aug 12) when it weighed in at just 625 grams. I weighed it again this morning and it was still at 625 grams so I figured it might be time to finish it.

I was quite surprised that it lost a third of its weight :eek:

These pics show where I am up to now:









Wall thickness is about a quarter of an inch - I am trying to decide if I should try to make it any thinner :?

The other issue I have is getting deep inside it. All my chisels are straight making it difficult to get to the bottom sides of the vase without it snagging - any suggestions?

Also - how should I finish it?

regards

Brian
 

KimG

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Well I really like that, I can't offer any advice though, I think I would be asking the same questions. I have not turned any White Willow (Salix Alba) I am assuming that is what this is, I have turned common Goat willow in the past, it looked pretty off the lathe, a sort of shell pink, but turned very brown quite quickly, and it was quite stringy and furry, difficult to finish.
This looks quite white and clean, be interesting to know how it turns out a month or two after completion.
 

Tazmaniandevil

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That is really lovely. I think I'd be too much of a coward to try hollowing any more & would switch to taking very light passes at the outside instead.

Good luck in any case.
 

woodyturner

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If you have a large long scrapper you could grind the left side so that it will cut on the end and the side I always finish my vases with a good quality Teak oil then if it needs to be used for fresh flowers all you need to do is put a container for water inside of it and if any spills over it wont effect the finish but it may darken the wood slightly
 

brianhabby

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I have finally finished this vase and here's the proof:





I did as woodyturner suggested and ground the side of a long scraper to get as deep inside as possible. I still had a bit of an issue with it catching on the bottom because I can't get my toolrest close enough - I'm eyeing up those curved rests from Sorby :)

Finish is with a coat of sanding sealer followed by several coats of melamine lacquer - it's quite a pleasing finish.

Overall, I am really pleased with how this turned out given that it was basically just a lump of firewood.

regards

Brian
 

brianhabby

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Just remembered - the wall thickness is still about a quarter inch but I narrowed the very edge to give the illusion of being quite thin and I think it works - safer anyway :)

regards

Brian
 

KimG

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That's a tricky piece of turning you managed there, nice going!
 

gregmcateer

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Brian,
That looks very nice - and neat trick with thinning the top more than the rest of it.
Out of interest, what are the dimensions of the whole thing?

And all you need to do is make one bigger and one smaller - and you've got your three identical weed vases for the challenge !! :roll:

Cheers
Greg
 

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