Umělecké soustružení DŘEVA

Extra large hollow form from fresh oak wood (33 by 5.5 inches)

March 12, 2020

I would like to share my experience from turning this beautiful fresh oak wood and show the process of making a extra large hollow form in this video. The wood comes from an old oak tree that had been lying in the wood for 3 years having been uprooted. The piece of wood is 30 by 5.5 inches big and weighs around 145 pounds, which is quite heavy.

I had already turned three smaller pieces from the same log and one is still waiting to be turned but it is 8 inches thick and too heavy so I will have to make it smaller.

I had to use two lathes of the same kind, one as a lathe and the other as a tool rest because the outboard diameter is only 22 inches. I anchored the lathe in the floor as the centrifugal force, the weight and the peripheral speed were to be much greater than they are with smaller pieces of wood. The revs were between 150 – 300.

I worked with two bowl gouges and the hollowing tool Brother System 2.

I recommend wetting wood during turning because it loses its moisture and there is still tension in the wood so that cracks are avoided.

I used the biggest face plate with the central screw and 16 holes. The face plate was fixed with 8 screws and I want to point out that the central screw is very important to prevent uneven strain on the fixing screws. The face plate must be secured with bolts to the spindle as the kinetic energy of the wood is different than the one of the spindle. There is a big danger that the face plate gets loose and screwed out of the spindle. My face plate has two secure bolts so I was able to use reverse revs to turn from the other side. The same applies for the chuck. If either of them does not have securing bolts the wood has to be slowed down by using e.g. a cloth.

There was a superficial crack on the hollow form and I hope it will stay just superficial. The drying process should be slow and should start in a dark and cold place.

When fresh oak wood gets in contact with metals both gets black so that all equipment should be thoroughly cleaned. Fresh oak wood gives a particular sweet and vinegarish scent that is quite pleasant but I recommend wearing a mask if the exposure to it is too long.

It was quite a difficult but challenging job. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you for watching!