There is something about this time of year. Cold, damp and gloomy almost all the time. I’ve been finding it hard to write articles for the blog for a couple of weeks now. I thought I’d post on a short simple subject to try and break my blog block and my chosen subject is blanks and bowls.
I’ve made a few Ash bowls before and while they have a very distinctive grain which looks quite good they can be very tough to turn and very fluffy across the end grain which makes it difficult to achieve a good tooled finish. I would tend to choose a different wood but in this case I’ve been ask to make six bowls, I hesitate to say a set that might be a little bit too ambitious, with Ash.
I’m using some ash left over from spindle turning, it’s nice and straight but its a bit dry for spindles. I’m hoping the centre of the log is still ok for bowls and no cracks. Interesting tree ring pattern, starting off with quite wide rings and then becoming narrower until they are tiny. Any ideas what this indicates? It was difficult to split, I had to use a wedge and that kept bouncing out! But to my surprise it seems to turn ok – providing your tool is sharp enough.
Perhaps you noticed my new toy cunningly acting as a backdrop for the bowls in the photo? I don’t have room for a large circular saw, which has always prevented my from buying one. That and the fact that big ones don’t come cheap. But this one was on its way to the skip as part of a local shed clearance until it accidentally ended up in my shed, where of course I don’t have room for it! It’s not new but seems to be in good condition with a TCT blade. It’s been doing a lot of work since it landed in the shed and as it’s been raining all day I tried roughing out a bowl blank on it instead of using the chainsaw. Went quite well, and I still have enough fingers left to type with which is a bonus.