I have written about Hormigo in the past when I made a striking bowl of mixed sapwood and heartwood.
At some point, and I don’t remember why exactly, I bought a set of at least 5 Hormigo bowl blanks, including one that was sold to me as Orange Agate, another name for Hormigo. I am certain this isn’t the last of the Hormigo in my wood stocks but it was a nice hefty set of bowls to work on.
My first experience of Hormigo was amazing given the sapwood and heartwood mix. If I ever find another blank like that I will snatch it up! These blanks were all heartwood and the color varies from quite dark reddish brown to a bright orange red, and Hormigo is well known to show this variability to the extent that different shades of Hormigo are often labelled differently to reflect the color range present in a given blank.
I enjoyed working with Hormigo although in some places the cross grain was incredibly difficult to sand out. I have unearthed old tools, bowl gouges to be exact, that I use to make the final light cuts in an effort to reduce sanding time. I think it helps but the problem with tools like bowl gouges is that you have to sharpen them frequently. I had a Tormec system for sharpening but I found it difficult to set up for no more sharpening that I did. I have hand powered sharpening tools but with bowl gouges it can be hard to manually sharpen them correctly due to the unique, and critical, angles of the cutting head.
I like the range of color in Hormigo and I wouldn’t object to working with it again, but there are so many woods out there that I haven’t tried yet that I am hesitant to go back to what I know, except in those cases where the wood is just too amazing to turn down (Black Mesquite and Camphor come to mind).
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 and Abranet 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!