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Redwood stands part 2

My next job was to drill the redwood blocks for the lower leg sections. These also are nicely rippled, but noticeably denser and less dry than the other blocks. The drilling went a little easier than before as the blocks are much shorter at about 290mm. The purpose of the hole is to accommodate a steel drawbar during final assembly.

Then the leg blanks were ready for turning. I started with the lower leg sections. I mounted them in the spindle lathe using a counterbore centre at the headstock end. Any component with a hole down the middle is best turned on the hole, that is with the lathe centres in the hole. This ensures that the blank runs true and the hole remains axial. I turned the blank down nearly to diameter, trued one end, then marked the finished length, in this case 273mm, and turned away the surplus, making sure the ends were flat, not convex. Then I turned the cylinder to just over finished size, 108mm, ready for sanding. I tried a wide square chisel, hoping it would give the best finish, but flakes of wood broke away in a couple of places because of the complex grain. Chisels give a great finish, but work best on straight grain. So I sharpened the shallow roughing gouge again and used that. The finish was not quite as good, but at least the grain did not pick out. Here are some of the leg sections after sanding. You can see the ripple grain.

Turned redwood cylinders
Some of the leg sections ready for finishing

I had forgotten that pine contains resin. I don’t know how old this wood is, but there was at least one pocket of liquid resin in it. I discovered some of it stuck in the little hairs on my arm. It’s like glue, it doesn’t wash off. I had to cut it out before it hardened and I became like a fly stuck in amber!

To be continued…..

 

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