I have worked with Canarywood before in small sizes so this was my first time with large pieces. WOW! It worked beautifully and I have a new favorite wood.
It stunned me how easily and how cleanly these 13″ x 2″ platter blanks cut. I literally zipped right through it shaping the piece and had only light and easy sanding to do to finish. I finished both of these platters in about 2 hours of work and there was some equipment set up in that time as well.
Platter number one is much more colorful with the wide red streak that runs from side to side and good reddish highlights elsewhere in the piece. This piece does, however, have two insect holes that are very prominent and through and through (i.e. you can see light through them). For some folks this is a deal breaker and I admit I was surprised and disappointed. This sort of damage is common in Ambrosia Maple and wood turners expect it, but it isn’t really what you expect to see in Canarywood. The damage was also not visible from the exterior so I have no idea how the critter got in there in the first place. But with wood these things happen and I don’t consider it a flaw. A flaw is a mistake that I make whereas the wood just is what it is. For me these types of things increase the value of the piece because they remind you that wood is a natural product with unique and surprising characteristics.
Platter number two is deal plainer although it does have two small knots for interest and some interesting shooting star figure on one side. If you look closely there is a decent amount of red streaking along the grain as well.
I can’t overstate how easy and fun Canarywood was to work with. I liked it so much that I just bought the remaining four platter blanks that they guys at Got Wood? had for sale. It is days of turning like this that keep me interested and motivated with the hobby.
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. Final finish is Shellawax. Note that this time I applied and buffed a coat of Shellawax EEE Ultra Shine as an under layer before applying the Shellawax. EEE Ultra Shine is a shellac/wax in its own right but it contains microabrasives (tripoli powder or rotten stone) as well. It is applied and the excess cleaned off and with the same rag and the lathe on it is buffed to a decent shine. This prepares the surface for the final Shellawax incredibly well. The mirror like finish was like none I have achieved before and I am extremely pleased with the result.
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!