Friday, December 18, 2009

Apple (wood) turning

I have finally got around to turning the apple tree that I had to cut down in my yard. These two bowls are both from crotches.
The trunk of the tree was too badly cracked to use for bowls but I have saved some for boxes and hollow forms.
The wood is typically fruit wood dense and hard - harder than cherry/plum/apricot woods. It cuts well when wet but smells pretty bad, a bit like swampy poplar.
The above bowls are about 12 inches and 10 inches (the bottom one) across. (diameter)
Interestingly the knots in the two bowls above dried quite differently. The upper bowl was dried just by leaving it sitting in the shop. As you can see the knot checked badly notwithstanding the thin walls of the bowl. The bottom bowl was dried inside a paper bag and the knot has not checked at all. This is quite a triumph for apple as it is very prone to check.
I have been at pains to try to get the wood turned quickly - into blanks at least - as it does not last long once cut, before it turns into checked firewood.
The figure in apple is nothing to rave about as it is quite bland. These pieces have some stress wood in them with curly grain but one has tolook carefully to even see it. Certainly not eye poppers. But the wood has a nice feel and should withstand heavy use since it is so hard.
I particularly like the way the wood has moved in the drying process leaving these bowls quite mishapen and warped.