Old Balls? - Router Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Al
Posts: 49
 
Default Old Balls?

Hi to all,

I have been given a couple of lawn green bowls which I have always believed to be made from Lignum Vitae. They are wet damaged and scuffed so are no good as bowls any more.

My question is that I am not sure of the wood type beyond what I always thought.

Then a further question is if they are Lignum then what would it be useful for?

It seems a shame to just burn them so any info or ideas would be welcomed.

Thanks, Al

PS Hi to Mike, hope you get sorted with the problem.
bigalscorpio is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 05:14 PM
Moderation Team
 
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 14,945
 
Default

You can find quite a few websites on identifying wood if you google just exactly that. Here's one The Wood Database | Hardwood and Softwood Lumber Identification

I held some lignum vitae about 40 years ago. It was the heaviest wood I've ever seen and I really wasn't sure what I was holding was wood. It was very dark and slightly oily feeling. What it would be like after years of being outside I don't know. The old timer who showed it to me said he used a hacksaw to cut it, he said it was too hard on his wood cutting tools. Even back then it was very precious and getting hard to come by. If it hasn't become pinky and has retained any oiliness it would be good for bandsaw guides. Once you have cut into it you may decide other uses.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is online now  
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 10:11 AM
Registered User
 
Wood Chip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Country: United States
First Name: Gary
Posts: 167
 
Default

Lignum Vitae is one of the few woods you can make an anchor out of. No kidding!
Wood Chip is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Al
Posts: 49
 
Default

Thanks Guys, anyone need a small round anchor?

What would be the best approach as to using the wood?

All I can think is to try and split the ball along the grain, if I can find the grain, it looks so close! And kills tools according to the link Chuck left me.

Or do I just use the metal bandsaw I have and hope for the best?

Seriously I'm baffled about cutting up a ball, its way stranger than when someone gives me a chunk of 6 x 6 or a log. I know where to start on those.

Al

Last edited by bigalscorpio; 12-12-2013 at 12:11 PM.
bigalscorpio is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 12:20 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 111
 
Default

Not sure here if we are talking about bowls or balls!
Lignum Vitae was once in high demand for bearings in very large machines - like the shaft bearings on ocean going ships. My dad was on a destroyer in WWII that had lignum vitae bearings. I used to manage several very small hydroelectric plants that dated from about 1910 and they had lignum vitae bearings as well. It will not rot, holds oil well, and absorbs vibration much better than anything else. When we tried replacing the old wood bearings with their synthetic clones, the machines developed uncontrolled vibrations and we had to go back to wood. Super expensive even back in the 1980's.
It is reported to make great mallet heads and impact blocks for driving items into place and was once a staple in a mill wrights tool box. Not sure you can finish it as it is so dense nothing will likely penetrate the surface.
Have fun, a rare find.
senebraskaee is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-12-2013, 11:33 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Country: Australia
First Name: Jeff
Posts: 55
 
Default

I doubt that they would be lignum vitae if they are water damaged as the wood is naturally oily. If they were mine I would try to split them then make various mallets from them.

Regards Jeff
c3jrf is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-14-2013, 05:58 PM
Registered User
 
MAFoElffen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 2,369
 
Default

Are these balls or bowls? Photos please?

>> "scuffs and water damage"

And why would that make them unusable? So bad that it can't be refinished?

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."
MAFoElffen is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Al
Posts: 49
 
Default

Pics of the Bowls! When I said water damage I was probably wrong, one of these looks as if its been run over by a big rig or something that has done some damage.

Sorry the pics are late but we've had the family here and its been hectic.

Al
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050104_resize.JPG
Views:	45
Size:	148.8 KB
ID:	67740  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050105_resize.JPG
Views:	44
Size:	148.5 KB
ID:	67741  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050106_resize.JPG
Views:	43
Size:	120.4 KB
ID:	67742  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050107_resize.JPG
Views:	43
Size:	135.3 KB
ID:	67743  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1050108_resize.JPG
Views:	40
Size:	164.2 KB
ID:	67744  

bigalscorpio is offline  
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2013, 12:58 PM
Moderation Team
 
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 14,945
 
Default

I see why youcalled them bowls now. They were lawn bowling balls. The grain appears to run with the striations in the missing chips. I am not sure that is lignum vitae as what I remember was much darker but there may be variations that I never saw because I only saw some once. It is also possible that it is ebony. I've seen pictures recently that resemble that a bit. Apparently only about one ebony tree in 10 is totally black in color and the loggers in the countries where it grows have been leaving the other 9 after cutting them down and finding that they don't make the grade so there is a movement to stop demanding all black ebony now. Of course I'm sure that there are some other possibilities.

There is still a split next to the missing chip that you could pop off and try splitting. If you break it across the grain it will break jagged. If with the grain it will split much more smoothly.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is online now  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2014, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Country: United Kingdom
First Name: Al
Posts: 49
 
Default

Hi Chuck,

I have split some off and the splits are as you describe. However the grain is strange on the biggest piece I got off. On the outside the grain is running say 8 to 2 on the clock face and inside seems to be running 4 to 10 or so. Almost like plywood but without the ususal joints and voids. Can grain run like that?

Al
bigalscorpio is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Joke a Day bobj3 Lobby 3430 11-05-2019 11:51 PM
Would our academic members like to comment harrysin Lobby 2096 01-30-2015 02:54 PM
Room divider finished jigger Jiggers Gallery 17 09-27-2011 12:05 AM
Space Balls ccmnova Table-mounted Routing 7 10-30-2010 07:43 PM
Drilling balls??? Chipper Jigs and Fixtures 14 07-13-2006 07:44 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome