While I have made pens and stoppers with Bloodwood, I had not yet turned a bowl with it and now I have two of them so far.
I admit that I was nervous about working with the Bloodwood because I had read that it was very splintery so I was expecting something like Wenge, or worse (can it get worse than Wenge?) so I was pleasantly surprised that while the Bloodwood was a bit chippy around the edges it wasn’t difficult at all to work with in that respect.
What was difficult was cutting the blanks round on the band saw. I have a relatively new and high quality blade but Bloodwood is quite hard and is known to dull cutters, like blades and turning tools, so I now need to change my bandsaw blade AGAIN and I rotated my carbide cutters on the Easy Wood Tools to expose fresh cutting surfaces as well. This improved performance quite a bit.
Once the tools are right the rest flowed easily. For the most part, Bloodwood cut cleanly although the cross grain areas were a bit difficult and in the larger bowl I had to lock the lathe and do some focused touch up sanding to get a truly clean surface. Once properly surfaced, Bloodwood takes an incredible shine with areas of chatoyance that really enhance the overall look of the finished piece.
Now that I am more familiar with Bloodwood, I look forward to continuing to work with it, and I think I can recommend it to other woodturners as well. It isn’t in the league of my favorites such as Redheart or Mesquite, but Bloodwood is a good wood with which to work and I am happy to have more of it in the shop to look forward to working with as I move forward.
All cuts were made using the Easy Wood Tool system on my Robust American Beauty lathe. 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. 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!