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Wooden pears

I don’t usually make wooden fruit. In fact I have never made wooden fruit. But today I started work on some wooden pears made of pear wood as a commission for a client who brought me some from a tree that he felled in his garden. I have already made some bowls from it for him. The tricky bit with pears is shaping the ends, because that’s where the lathe centres grip the wood.

Most of the turned pears I see are not very like the fruit in shape. The shape of Conference pears is pointy. You can’t really call them ‘pear shaped’. But the tree was a Conference variety so I shall go for that.

I had a delivery of timber today, a stack of MDF sheets. I spent quite a lot of time trying to fit it into the workshop. It is a great mistake to store materials in the workspace. Someone said that there are four things that a workshop must contain – the tools, the materials, the project and the turner – and that no workshop ever has room for more than three of those. But the days when I had a choice are gone, there’s not enough room outside either.

The cheap PVA I mentioned a couple of days ago seems fine. It looks like normal PVA, though thinner. I can’t break apart the joints I made with it then – I laminated the boards face to face, so lots of glue area and not much strain on the joint. Not sure I would use it where strength is more critical.

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PVA as adhesive and as cement additive.

I ran out of glue yesterday. I can’t help noticing that shops sell PVA both for gluing and for mixing with cement. On the glue bottles it says you can also use it for cement, and on the cement bottles it says you can also use it as glue. The price in glue bottles is about six times what it is in the cement bottles. So I bought a gallon of the cement stuff. I don’t know yet if it is as good for gluing as the other stuff. It seems thinner than what I normally use. In any case, the purpose I want it for doesn’t need great strength.

Today I turned some of my wooden mice out of reclaimed wood mahogany. The turning bit is easy, it’s putting in their ears that is tricky. I have to drill the little holes to the right depth, in the right place, and at the right angle. I use a hand held drill. The mice don’t like it, and are hard to hold still for the drilling. Then the leather ears are glued in. I don’t use PVA of either type for that. I use Evostik ‘Serious Glue’, which seems tough stuff.