Burma Padauk

Burma Padauk

I had cut the usual divot for an expansion chuck but apparently it was too thin because in short order a small catch busted out the rim from the chuck and at first I tossed the piece in the trash because at least an inch would have to be trimmed from the bottom to rescue the piece.  I was sad and a bit angry as this was my only piece of Burma Padauk but I moved on.  However, that piece continued to nag at me, so I took it out of the trash and asked myself, “What would Dad do?”

I knew he wouldn’t just give up so I though about what I might do.  I’d been clearing the middle of the bowl using the tail stock to stabilize it so I had a column of sorts in the center.  It was the perfect size to be gripped by a 50mm chuck in compression mode!  I tried mounting it that was to clean up the bottom and recreate a divot but it flew off the lathe again!  Back in the trash it went but still I couldn’t let it go.  Next I used the column with the 50mm chuck in compression mode AND used the tail stock to hold it stable.  Now I could cut off the damage, and since the tail stock was in use, I ended up with another nib of material, a nib of the perfect size to grip in another, smaller chuck.  The regular 35mm was too small and the 50mm was too large, but I happened to have a set of 35mm spigot jaws I don’t think I have ever used and those fight perfectly and they really gripped tight!  I was now easily able to cut the center clear then reverse the piece to cut off the nib.  I don’t normally use the jaws for compression but it really saved the day today!

I am pleased with the resulting bowl of Burma Paduak, but if you gave me the wood and didn’t tell me what it was, I would guess Bubinga.  The color is the same, and there is distinct figure including chatoyancy that is common in Bubinga but not common in Padauk.  The texture, the color, the figure all told me Bubinga but it was labelled from the vendor as Burma Padauk and unless they made a mistake in their labeling and marketing, it really was Burma Padauk.  The feature that decided the issue was the scent.  Bubinga is reported to have an unpleasant scent when cut green but no scent when cut dry.  Burma Padauk is known to have a very pleasant scent on cutting and that was my experience.  So, I’m holding with the vendor’s identification.

All of the work on the Burma Padauk was done on my Robust American Beauty lathe using Easy Wood Tools cutters.  Sanding was with Gold and Green Wave discs from Packard WoodworkingNova chucks and jaws were used for holding the piece while working the interior. The platter was reversed on to a Cole Jaws set from Nova.  The Padauk bowl was beautifully finished using 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!