When first starting off you will experience hardship in finding wood for turning, as there is so much to learn about wood/timber and how you will process it, but do not confuse yourself as I did keep it simple by while driving around look around for fallen down trees or maybe neighbours that have cut down trees, sides of the road are a number one, I seem to find more on the side of the road where people have cut a tree down or it has fallen and I pick them up, go to your nearest kitchen makers ask them as they usually have good cut offs of nice cedar, tasmanian oak...etc., I also go to a company in the industrial area and ask them, they will usually have a dump bin outside with cut offs full of it.
We call it free wood but its really not free because by the time your done with it, it is worth more than you think or can imagine, nothing you will turn is free wood:) just imagine all the driving around you are doing to find it and the time you put into it to make what it is you aim to make, also the electricity and your finishes on the item you make, now for most important how you will replace that wood you just turned.
You could always buy your blanks but then again it will cost you so much more and not all of us can afford to keep buying blanks. Imagine you want to turn a nice bowl but you just paid eg: $25.00 for a bowl blank, add your time and electricity your finishes ie: waxes, shellac or oils say it cost you $40.00 to have the finished product in your hand, then you have to think about how much you might be able to sell it for so keep it realistic. You will find it gets easier to find wood as you progress in your woodturning, things will be much easier to do just have faith in YOU and have fun with it enjoy what you are doing.
REMEMBER YOU DO WHAT YOU DO BECAUSE YOU ENJOY IT AND WANT TO DO IT, IT LOOKS GREAT BECAUSE IT IS MADE WITH LOVE OF WHAT YOU DO:)
Woodturning Projects by Ayshen Black
A woodturner is a individual person that uses a wood lathe and gouges to create an item such as a bowl, vase, candle holder, bottle stopper and what ever you can imagine with wood.
It is a rewarding hobby, in my case it is a type of meditation. Meditate? you may ask? well yes it is because if you visualise what it is you want to make that also is meditation. You are concentrating on making your own magic creation out of wood ie: logs, saps, blanks, cut offs such as left overs from cabinet makers etc. I have had old furniture donated to me that is no longer wanted, you will be amazed at what you can do with recycled wood. Or you may purchase bowl blanks, pen blanks and much more from suppliers, which I will be getting into later on, but right now lets concentrate on the turner. A woodturner has such grace in a way that opens the mind to such beautiful turnings, imagine a beautiful vase made of wood, even to see that in your minds eye is a gift, but to turn what you can see and have it physically in your hand is even more of a gift.
There are trees out there that are hundreds of years old, these trees at some time come down, it has been around way before you and I were born and even our grandparents were born, to be able to have a part of that history in your shed and to turn it into a vase with such grace and beauty, Wowww what a feeling!.
Woodturning is not just a matter of turning a big quantity of bowls or vases or pens just for the sake of it, it is in my point of view, something that comes from within and an expression of our individuality, the love we have for wood helps us to see the history behind that wood and though we might be preparing our blank for something else while we are turning it, it may turn out to be of another and not what we intended on making out of it, that is because the way the timber might be after we have roughed it out and made our blank, the wood tells us what it might be better off being.
Understanding, feeling and seeing with our minds eye helps us to do this, as I mentioned in my home page we can do what ever we put our mind to.
I started woodturning in August, 2011, so I am not a mastermind at this but I am sharing with you my own experience and want to take you on this learning journey with me from the eyes of a basic woodturner at the moment and hope to be an expert at it some day.
PYROGRAPHY:- Is in actual fact a word that is greek meaning "writing with fire" A large range of patterns, tones and shades can be achieved. Varying the type of tip used, the temperature, or the way the iron or wire is applied to the wood all create different effects. It is also known as poker work or wood burning. It Was my intention after many years of not touching my burner to commence pyrography again. I was shopping around for small bowls, egg cups, wooden spoons, cutting boards, door stoppers etc. etc. just so I could sketch on them and burn on them.
As a child I have always loved wood, the feel of wood and the smell of wood, I remember once..well more than once...as a child watching a family friend make pine cabinets, I used to grab a pine bit and chew on it...yesss chew on it lol. At home I would deliberately cut up pine just to smell it for some reason it made me want to chew on it and yes it still does:)) and when I tell people this they look at me like I am a crazy person, but anyone that loves timber knows what I'm talking about.
I started doing pyrography at high school and then the next time I ever touched a pyrography machine was when I was 33 years of age. Now years later I decided to start it up again, but....I suddenly realised I had more to learn because I wanted to make the things I wanted to do pyrography on. So I thought I would look up google to see and learn a bit about woodturning. It has always been something I wanted to learn but thought I would never be able to do it due to my everyday responsibilities, work, family, housework, studies etc etc...
In April this year I started visiting websites and googled up so many sites and watched people like Carl Jacobson which inspired me so much I just couldn't resist so when financially possible after months of watching and learning about it all, I went out and purchased my first lathe MC900 to which I found out off many of fellow wood turners that it is the sort of lathe people like myself would buy to learn on, to start off on and have the feel for a lathe.
I have also joined Woodworking Australia, which is a forum for many talents, which was and still is very helpful, they are a wonderful bunch of people that don't hold back information and we all help each other to learn and understand what we are doing. I have added a link to the forum in my LINKS, so feel free to check it out. Then I was introduced to Cumberland Woodworkers Inc. by Wheelinround so I could get the hands on experience, which I joined and now am a member of and attend every Friday night to which I also have in my LINKS, Much thanks to Wheelinround aka:Ray.
So from wanting to start phyrography again, I have ended up owning a lathe and woodturning, to be honest I am enjoying the woodturning so much that I seem to be putting my pyrography last at the moment.
Be very careful of what you are going to turn, as there are woods/timbers out there that are harmful. You may not have problems at first but in time you will suffer with side effects, such as sneezing, coughing, skin allergies such as rashes and whelts, sore and or itchy eyes, may cause dizzyness, nausia and much more.
Woods like MDF - Medium Density Fiberboard which is very small particles glued with heat and pressure to make this board. When MDF is cut a large quantity of dust particles are released into the air. When burned it releases toxins this is why we do not use it in pyrography.
Treated Pine is also another one we must avoid the two most frequently used preparations for treating pine against rot (fungus) and insects are Copper Chrome Arsenic (CCA), and Light Organic Solvent Preservation (LOSP).
So stay away from any treated timbers/woods. Your health and safety comes first!
Whether your turning or burning beware of what type of wood/timber it is.
The first thing we do is make sure our face shield is on before we operate our lathe or machinery. Long hair must be tied back or even up in a plat and bun in such a way that it will not catch into the lathe while turning, it only takes a half a second to get in trouble.
Make sure your workplace is clear of any rubbish on the floor and no cables on the floor, as you may trip on them but most of all in time the cord will be weakened and will be a danger. Always make sure your lathe is set to the lowest speed before turning off and make sure it is on lowest speed when turning on.
When you have mounted a blank on your lathe make sure to have it secured properly as it can shoot out of the chuck at a speed that you will not even see and before you know it you will be hit...IT HURTS!!!
When turning your lathe on move away from firing line so as the blank flies off you are not in the way. Do not have anything over hanging onto your lathe.
Always have a mask on when sanding and your dust extractor ON while sanding.
Do not overload your power points and have too many extensions, make sure to run your lathe from a wall socket instead of a extension cable, it is heavy duty.
Do Not Have any machinery running while a Electrical storm and always have your lathe unplugged from the socket while an electrical storm, you will be suprised at what can happen, these are things we never really think about.
Have the correct shoes or work boots on, do not wear loose clothes and long unbuttoned shirts,
Make sure floors are not slippery or wet...you may slip and get hurt REMEMBER your working with electrical machinery and if your floor is wet you are the one between the water and electricity YOU ARE THE CONDUCTOR...especially if you have a damaged cable.
Do not walk away from any machine that is still running, make sure it has come to a halt before walking away.
When you have mounted a wood on your lathe do your last minute checks before turning lathe on.
Always follow manufacturers guidelines and make sure your machinery is up to date with services.
NOW HAVE FUN!