Having started to turn some Latin American woods without going through the preparation of planing and joining, I quickly discovered the value of such preparation. I gathered up woods from four different shelves of my stock and took it up to Dad’s shop for the joining and planing. All together we prepped 110 blanks! Among those were three more that did not have any identification, so they join the unknowns.
The first unknown is a rich chocolate brown color. It is relatively soft and cut very easily. It also cut surprisingly clean for a softer wood and it sanded out easily on the end grain sections. This wood had a very pronounced and distinct sweet and spicy fragrance, sort of like fresh baking oatmeal raisin cookies. That was a very enjoyable plus to working with this unknown wood. The wood took a finish nicely as well. The finished piece measures 6″ x 2″.
As this blank was unlabeled, it is technically an unknown wood, but based on my experiences I would bet a large amount on it being Bloodwood. The intense red color that displays some chatoyancy is a give away but I was more convinced once I started to work with the wood since it was splintery and prone to breakage as has been my experience of other Bloodwood bowl blanks. This piece broke along some check lines and I lost about an inch off the diameter before I was finished. This piece took a finish very nicely and the red color is quite pronounced. The finished piece measures 7″ x 2″.
Again, although this piece was unlabeled and is therefore technically an unknown, I would bet a large amount on it being either Panama or Honduras Rosewood. The coloration is right and the slight rose fragrance when freshly turned is there as well. Plus, I have a good sense of the woods I have in stock and I know I had a good amount of Rosewood. This wood turned beautifully and sanded quite easily. It has some distinctly rose pink and purple areas mixed in with the light purplish brown. The finished piece measures 7.5″ x 2″.
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. 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!