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Jan

4

Walnut Salad Bowl Set (finished)

By Jim

After a very long delay, I finished the set of walnut salad bowls for Andy and Danielle.  It wasn’t quite in time to be a wedding gift, but it was only a couple of days late for a house-warming gift.

It turns out the walnut logs from my uncle weren’t properly dried and had severe checking.  At least 5 bowls exploded on me.  I ended up buying a 8/4 kiln dried walnut board for the bowls.  I was able to get the serving bowl out of one of the logs though.  You can see how much better the figure is in wood and how much deeper the color is (it’s the one with the natural edge).

They’re finished with three coats Behlen’s Salad Bowl Finish so I don’t poison my friends with the heavy metal driers in other finishes.

Now I can move on to other projects guilt free!

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Jun

17

Walnut Bowl Set – Part 1

By Jim

I started working a walnut salad bowl set for a wedding present for my close friends Andy & Danielle. My Uncle Charlie gave me a couple of walnut log sections he’s had air drying for a decade or so. There’s a bit of end checking as you can see, but with careful layout, I should have enough good wood to make 6 or 8 bowls.

Jan

18

Mechanical Marvels 1 & 2

By Jim

I bought a book a while back called Making Mechanical Marvels in Wood and I finally got around to actually building some of them. I’ve made the first two – the cam & follower and the eccentric drive.  They’re quick to make, you can use scraps and people love to play with them.  I also finally got to start using the fifteen pound box of hardwood scraps I got from Eisenbran’s.

The bases are red oak.  The cam is purpleheart.  The follower is ebony (I think).  The pillow block is maple burl (again, I think).  On the eccentric drive, the disc is kingwood.  The ring is lacewood.  The piston and crank handle are chakte-kok.  The rotating pillow block at the top is, um, uh, I don’t know.

These projects call for a lot of dowels – some as small as 1/8″.  So, I remembered hearing about how to make your own dowels on the cheap.  I took a piece of scratch stock (sheet metal) and drilled a hole for each size dowel I wanted to make.  Leave the burr on the exit side, as this will be used to cut the dowel.  Cut a strip of wood square slightly larger than the diameter of the dowel.  Chuck up the square in your hand drill and push the stick through the hole while rotating it with the drill.  You can hold some sandpaper on the dowel while spinning it in the drill to make it a bit smoother.  I did turn some of the larger diameter pieces on my lathe, but the smaller ones were quick to make with the method described above.

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