Boxelder & Brass

Recently I turned a box out of spalted Boxelder wood. It had some knots in it and I wanted to try something new …

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So I took some brass tubing and sanded it with a disc sander. I took the resulting brass dust, along with some super glue, and put it in the knots of the wood!

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{Click images for larger view!!}

It turned out beautifully. It’s super smooth to the touch and it simply glows. I love the extra pizzazz. I am keeping this particular box, but will definitely use this new brass technique again for sale pieces!

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Ebony

Recently my uncle gave me some Ebony wood!

It’s very rare to have a whole log of Ebony, most of the time you have to buy it in small pieces.

Ebony is a very dense hardwood. It’s so heavy that it sinks in water!

Traditionally, piano keys and the black pieces in chess sets were made out of ebony, while the white pieces were made out of ivory.

Tip: The log had a few small cracks in it, so I used melted candle wax to seal it. I had to use wax because I wasn’t at home, and didn’t have my end-grain sealer that I normally use. This was the only thing I could think of to keep it from cracking more. It seemed to work well.

A few weeks ago, I cut up the log into manageable pieces. I’ll have to plan and use them very carefully! I’m very excited to be able to use such a special kind of wood.

AAW Symposium

Recently I went to the AAW (which stands for the American Association of Woodturners) 25th Annual Symposium in St. Paul, MN. I learned an enormous amount of information from professionals from around the world. They had classes from 8 a.m. until around 5 p.m. three days in a row. I went to workshops by Michael Hosaluk, Alan Lacer and David Elssworth among others. And I saw Stuart Batty  and Jimmy Clewes in the Trade Show. Stuart Batty was doing demonstrations and videoing the sessions. He had six video cameras and tv’s set up, so people could see exactly what he was doing.

These guys are some of the best wood turners in America. I had seen a lot of their DVD’s, so it was really amazing to meet them in person!

I also went to Rex Burningham on making pens. One of the many things I learned at the symposium was how to make these mini pens! I use the same kit as I use for making normal pens, but Rex told us how to modify them. Basically you take the ink cartridge and cut it so it is shorter. You also have to use smaller pieces of wood. These mini pens are great for carrying around!

I learned a lot of other cool techniques for making pens which I will be trying in the near future!