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Welcome to Woodturners Unlimited !!
Sand in wood? Fact or Fiction?
Note: this is a slightly tweaked encore (think summer re-run) of a 2010 Wood Spin article
At various points in my ten years of woodturning experience, I have encountered the following statements:
“this wood is full of sand and will dull your saw and tools quickly”
“since that tree was growing in sandy soil, it will be filled with sand”
“trees suck up sand”
“osage orange is full of sand and that is why it is so hard to cut”
Plus, at least a dozen variations on these statements, all authoritatively stating that wood which is hard to cut, and which quickly dulls tools, is wood with a high sand or “silica” content. Please recognize, on the front end, that sand is not synonymous with silica.
Mike Foster of Vermont first conceived and developed the techniques for turning a wooden construct that he calls a “Scherk Tower”. He is also the first turner to complete the turning of a Scherk Tower.
The Scherk Tower is based upon Scherk’s Second Surface which is defined as a “surface that looks globally like two orthogonal planes whose intersection consists of a sequence of tunnels in alternating directions. Its intersections with horizontal planes consists of alternating hyperbolas” which looks something like this.
Making a Chinese Ball
with Jean-Claude Charpignon at the Escoulen School of Woodturning
Part I: Turning a sphere
The first step in making a Chinese Ball is to have a perfect sphere with which to work. Jean-Claude taught us a simple way of turning a very accurate ball by hand. It is the method taught by Plumier in the ‘Manual for Turners’ from 1749.
WTU CRITIQUE #32; Bob Rotche
Woodturners to Know 2