As I mentioned in a previous post about Argentine Osage Orange, I had a good stock of small bowl blank sizes that I purchased on clearance from West Penn Hardwoods some years ago. I finally got around to turning those these past weeks and I am pleased to have accomplished that goal.
These pieces were all clearly “B” grade due to cracks, knots, sapwood, and/or spalt but for the most part they turned out alright.
From top to bottom the bowls measure: 4.5″ x 3″, 5.5″ x 3″, and 5.5″ x 2″. I would have been happier to work with larger pieces but these were what I had on hand at the time.
As I noted before, and as is true of American Osage Orange, which is very closely related, Argentine Osage Orange turns nicely. It doesn’t cut as cleanly as the American version but it isn’t terrible either. I didn’t like the 3″ depth on such small pieces as it is impossible to get a tool rest into such a small and deep space which leads to catches and bowls flying about the room, but that only happened a couple of times. The more I turn the more I gain clear ideas about the types of materials I would prefer to work with and larger pieces are better and if the piece is small than being 2″ thick trumps being 3″ thick.
All major cuts were made using the Easy Wood Tool system on my Robust American Beauty lathe, although I do use Robert Sorby bowl gouges for light final passes before sanding. Forward chucking was in a Nova Chuck, while reverse chucking was done using a Nova Chuck with Cole Jaws. Sanding was with Gold and Green Wave sanding discs from Packard Woodworks as well as Abranet sanding screens from Craft Supplies USA. Final finish is Shellawax.
As always, I wish all my readers a great experience in whatever your wood working interests happen to be and to those who like working with lathes especially, do a good turn today!