I’m back! After plowing through over 70 bowls in two months, I took the month of May mostly off from the lathe but by June I was back in the shop working on the final cuts on a series of green turned Camphor pieces.
I’ve written about Camphor several times and the original article featured these same bowls in green format, rough turned about a year ago, sealed in Anchor Seal, and left to dry for a full year. I’d never green turned Camphor before so I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of degrees of warping. Camphor warped only moderately in the drying process and in most cases it was fairly easy to bring the blanks back into round.
The first step was to reverse mount the warped blanks so that I could recut the chuck divot. Once that was done, I ran up the tailstock and finish cut most of the back, up to the point allowed by the bumpers on the chuck. Forward mounting was in a Nova Chuck, usually the 100mm jaws since these pieces were large and quite heavy when wet. From this mounting I could final finish the reverse, albeit with some difficulty in angle and access, as well as cutting the hollow for the bowls and platters.
Camphor sands like a dream as the wood is fairly soft so that process was always fast. The final step, as always, was to reverse chuck and clean up the divot.
These pieces vary considerably in size, ranging from a very large 15″ x 4″ to a 10″ x 2″. The coloration also varied widely with the smaller pieces in particular showing a great deal of reddish streaking while the larger pieces were much plainer in color but which still features very nice figure including chatoyance.
I will miss working with Camphor, especially the overwhelming scent, but I have so much wood that I can’t justify buying more Camphor at this point. That said, I HIGHLY recommend Camphor to any wood turner of any skill level. I sourced my Camphor from Wood Turning Blanks 4u in Florida. Warning is fair, while the wood itself is reasonably priced, shipping charges are frankly more expensive than the wood. The outrageous cost of delivery is probably the primary reason I don’t purchase more Camphor but I still think it was worth it and I greatly enjoyed working with Camphor in quantity in this way.
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 Easy Wood Tools Easy Chuck with Big Easy Jaws and Extension. Sanding was with Gold and Green Wave sanding discs from Packard Woodworks.
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!