Bradford Pear - YUMMY!! - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default Bradford Pear - YUMMY!!

A couple of months ago, I saw a few guys cutting down perfectly healthy Bradford Pear trees in a neighbor's backyard. Being the "Free Wood Hoarder" that I am, I asked them if I could please have a piece about 2 feet long, and from the largest above the stump portion. They obliged, and even loaded it into the back of my truck, as I still had my arm in a sling (from serious rotator cuff repair surgery). I got it home and rolled it off the truck bed onto the driveway, and immediately painted the ends with thick latex paint.

A month later (during our 110 degree heat wave) I got out the electric chainsaw (HF variety - $30 new - 20" cut) and halved the log. I had intended to cut out the pith (2" swatch down the center) but the darned saw was so slow, I decided against that. I was going to go to the TAW (Tn Assoc. of Woodturners) Saturday Turn & Learn the following weekend, but it got cancelled due to HEAT. So I asked my Mentor if I could please come by his house the next weekend and try to preform a bowl. He said "Yes", but the morning I was supposed to go, my shoulder was telling me not to try that just yet. So, I waited another month, and asked him again, and last weekend I cut this gem. It measures about 12.75" diameter x 4.5" tall, and it is heavy and thick - or as I say "Fat & Functional - like me".

I have to say that cutting this wood was a joy, especially compared to the 350 year old Burr Oak I have tried in the past. I knew it was still green, and softer, but it has remained fairly stable so far. A couple tiny cracks did appear almost immediately after coming home - right where the remaining pith is still contained in the bowl. I did hand sand it and saved the dust, and mixed it with Medium Viscosity CA glue to seal the cracks, and it is working so far. The bowl now has about 10 coats of Super Blonde Flake Shellac (dissolved in denatured alcohol) and 3 coats with French polish technique (olive oil on the dauber) as a final coating. Looking nice but still needs a bit more elbow grease. I hope you enjoy - and go get some free Bradford Pear wood to turn - It's a JOY.

Bradford Pear - YUMMY!!-pear-bowl-top.jpg
Bradford Pear - YUMMY!!-pear-bowl-top-2.jpg
Bradford Pear - YUMMY!!-pear-bowl-side.jpg
Bradford Pear - YUMMY!!-pear-bowl-bottom.jpg

Mark Greenbaum
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 05:57 PM
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Great result, Mark. Free is always good.....

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 06:06 PM
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The bowl and wood look great!. When I read Bradford Pear-Yummy! I thought of my wife's late Grandma's Bradford pear cobler-Yummy!

Galatians 5:13
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 08:49 PM
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Great looking bowl. Free wood is good wood. I think your thickness in good on the bowl. Thin bowls don't make very good utiltiy bowls.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Great looking bowl. Free wood is good wood. I think your thickness in good on the bowl. Thin bowls don't make very good utiltiy bowls.
Bernie:

Coming from you, I appreciate the compliment. I have seen your works here, as well as others, and that's why I want to post here and get feedback. The average wall thickness is about 5/8" - 3/4", a little thicker at the bottom of the Ogee curve. I was trying to get rid of the bark of a former crotch, and that's why I went with the compound curve. I seem never to do just ordinary, although still not very graceful. I did manage to get rid of almost all of the bark area, and that made me happy enough. This thing is heavy though. If it gets dropped it will shatter tiles.

I still had the other half of the log piece, so yesterday I cut off about a 10" long piece and cut it into 3 strips, and got more practice making cylinders and a tool handle. It is so nice to get long curls.

Thanks for viewing. And your comments.

Mark Greenbaum
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 10:01 PM
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Mark you have a great start. Most of my bowls are for utility purposes and are finished with 3 coats of walnut oil. I generally make the walls a uniform thickness of 1/4" to 3/8" thick. One thing you will find that the bottom should be slightly thinner than the walls. I learned and found that if you have 1/2" walls your bottom should be 1/2" or slightly thinner. I generally don't have a foot on my bowls but that is just my personal preference. I would date and sign date it. Keep it.

As far as dropping the bowl and cracking into pieces I have found that the use of soft woods. I like cottonwood like Mike Mahoney, cherry, soft maple, and will use willow sometimes. Most people hate cottonwood and willow because they are soft and stringy. Sharp tools and a little higher speed.

I have turned a couple of pieces of bradford pear and yes it is a joy to turn but can get a little cracky. I generally turn my bowl walls to 10% of the diameter. So if it is a 13" bowl I would leave the walls about 1 1/4" thick. Coat the whole bowl with anchorseal. Put it a cool, dry place with little if any air movement and I place them on the floor. I don't stack them much more than 2 ft high. I have around 70 to 80 bowls in varies states of drying so I always have bowlls ready. When I return one to finish it I will rough out 2 to 3 more to replace it. That way I always have blanks ready.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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I was going to rough this bowl, but knowing how often I have access to a decent steady lathe, I decided to finish it. My lathe is a Shopsmith, and anything even slightly off balance of any size over 6" diameter, and at the slowest speed of 700 rpms is a disaster waiting to happen. Someday, when we sell this house and get into a location where I can have a shop, I'll acquire a better sole purpose lathe. But for now, I will make do.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 09:52 AM
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That's one beautiful bowl. I like that it's a natural finish.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 12:51 PM
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It is also a joy looking at your delightful bowls.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgdesigns View Post
A couple of months ago, I saw a few guys cutting down perfectly healthy Bradford Pear trees in a neighbor's backyard. Being the "Free Wood Hoarder" that I am, I asked them if I could please have a piece about 2 feet long, and from the largest above the stump portion. They obliged, and even loaded it into the back of my truck, as I still had my arm in a sling (from serious rotator cuff repair surgery). I got it home and rolled it off the truck bed onto the driveway, and immediately painted the ends with thick latex paint.

A month later (during our 110 degree heat wave) I got out the electric chainsaw (HF variety - $30 new - 20" cut) and halved the log. I had intended to cut out the pith (2" swatch down the center) but the darned saw was so slow, I decided against that. I was going to go to the TAW (Tn Assoc. of Woodturners) Saturday Turn & Learn the following weekend, but it got cancelled due to HEAT. So I asked my Mentor if I could please come by his house the next weekend and try to preform a bowl. He said "Yes", but the morning I was supposed to go, my shoulder was telling me not to try that just yet. So, I waited another month, and asked him again, and last weekend I cut this gem. It measures about 12.75" diameter x 4.5" tall, and it is heavy and thick - or as I say "Fat & Functional - like me".

I have to say that cutting this wood was a joy, especially compared to the 350 year old Burr Oak I have tried in the past. I knew it was still green, and softer, but it has remained fairly stable so far. A couple tiny cracks did appear almost immediately after coming home - right where the remaining pith is still contained in the bowl. I did hand sand it and saved the dust, and mixed it with Medium Viscosity CA glue to seal the cracks, and it is working so far. The bowl now has about 10 coats of Super Blonde Flake Shellac (dissolved in denatured alcohol) and 3 coats with French polish technique (olive oil on the dauber) as a final coating. Looking nice but still needs a bit more elbow grease. I hope you enjoy - and go get some free Bradford Pear wood to turn - It's a JOY.

Attachment 54134
Attachment 54135
Attachment 54136
Attachment 54137
very nice work, I personally hate the way that very nice turning timber just gets chipped, so well done for saving that wood and also for turning it into suck a nice bowl, I hope that there is some more wood left over for a few more bowls as recording the tree's life that way is very worthy, giving it's wood such a new life when it was going to be chipped is a woodturner's duty. NGM
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