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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Latest project - early period turned cup

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  • Colleen Vince
    Full on electric lathes are the only way to go if you only have room for one lathe. I have an eyebolt in the ceiling over my electric lathe. I hook up a bungy
    Message 1 of 29 , Dec 1, 2009
      Full on electric lathes are the only way to go if you only have room for one lathe. 

      I have an eyebolt in the ceiling over my electric lathe. I hook up a bungy cord to a rope, and that goes around the object to be turned and the on to a treadle on the floor. The centers on a modern lathe do the exact job as a lathe in the 1600's 

      I have no room for a pole lathe in the shop during the fall and winter. Spring and summer I can turn outside on my pole lathe.

      Hence the Frankenstein monster "Electric Pole Lathe"

      Cheers



      --
      Mary Ostler    
      Apprentice to Mistress Agnes Cresewyke
      www.maryostler.com
    • Bill McNutt
      Denser wood? From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of james Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 7:42 PM To:
      Message 2 of 29 , Dec 1, 2009

        Denser wood?

         

        From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of james
        Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 7:42 PM
        To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Latest project - early period turned cup

         

         

        I wonder how they kept in from seeping through the storage barrels back in the day.

        Cedric

        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...> wrote:

        >
        > I got hold of some Pusser's Naval Rum in a wooden flask one time that
        > managed to seep all the way through in less than three minutes.
        >
        >
        >
        > Will
        >
        >
        >
        > From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com]
        On Behalf Of James Winkler
        > Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:58 AM
        > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Latest project - early period turned cup
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Just a note... DON'T put something like... oh, say 'scotch' in it...
        >
        > A number of years ago I got into turning cups and bowls... thought it
        might
        > be nifty to wander around from party to party with my nifty cup... turns
        > out that the penetrating properties of higher level of alcohol has a less
        > than desirable effect on wooden cups... like excessive and uneven wood
        > swelling. Needless to say, the cup drank more than I did before requiring
        > a stunt double...
        >
        > Keep up the good work...
        >
        > Chas. Oakley
        >

      • leaking pen
        They used oak. oak will swell up, put its own pressure on itself, and then not really leak through. you get a bit of drying from the surface of the barrell
        Message 3 of 29 , Dec 1, 2009
          They used oak.  oak will swell up, put its own pressure on itself, and then not really leak through.  you get a bit of drying from the surface of the barrell (angel's share, it was known as) , but no leaking.

          On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 5:42 PM, james <jeason@...> wrote:
           

          I wonder how they kept in from seeping through the storage barrels back in the day.

          Cedric



          --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...> wrote:
          >
          > I got hold of some Pusser's Naval Rum in a wooden flask one time that
          > managed to seep all the way through in less than three minutes.
          >
          >
          >
          > Will
          >
          >
          >
          > From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
          > [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James Winkler
          > Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:58 AM
          > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Latest project - early period turned cup
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Just a note... DON'T put something like... oh, say 'scotch' in it...
          >
          > A number of years ago I got into turning cups and bowls... thought it might
          > be nifty to wander around from party to party with my nifty cup... turns
          > out that the penetrating properties of higher level of alcohol has a less
          > than desirable effect on wooden cups... like excessive and uneven wood
          > swelling. Needless to say, the cup drank more than I did before requiring
          > a stunt double...
          >
          > Keep up the good work...
          >
          > Chas. Oakley
          >


        • leaking pen
          Natural polymerized? So, old fashioned boiled, yes? as opposed to metal salt dryers added. and, if the blend is liquid at room temp, its not going to do the
          Message 4 of 29 , Dec 1, 2009
            Natural polymerized?  So, old fashioned boiled, yes?  as opposed to metal salt dryers added.

            and, if the blend is liquid at room temp, its not going to do the best job sealing the grain (that is, the beeswax isnt). 

            On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 5:43 PM, Eric <ewdysar@...> wrote:
             

            The cup has already been sealed with multiple rubbed coats of a natural polymerized linseed oil and beeswax blend. I'll warn the cup's recipient about the dangers of strong spirits, but as a prototype, I'm kind of interested how the cup will stand up to regular life.

            Thank you to everyone for the encouragement.

            Eirikr



            --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, leaking pen <itsatrap@...> wrote:
            >
            > beeswax sealing will do the trick, run the cup on the lathe at high speed,
            > and rub a piece of beeswax on the inside. the friction should melt it
            > enough to penetrate in, and will give a good seal.
            >


          • leaking pen
            I am interested in your ideas and would like to see your literature. that is, got any picks?
            Message 5 of 29 , Dec 1, 2009
              I am interested in your ideas and would like to see your literature.


              that is, got any picks?

              On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 6:53 PM, Colleen Vince <42vince@...> wrote:
               

              Full on electric lathes are the only way to go if you only have room for one lathe. 


              I have an eyebolt in the ceiling over my electric lathe. I hook up a bungy cord to a rope, and that goes around the object to be turned and the on to a treadle on the floor. The centers on a modern lathe do the exact job as a lathe in the 1600's 

              I have no room for a pole lathe in the shop during the fall and winter. Spring and summer I can turn outside on my pole lathe.

              Hence the Frankenstein monster "Electric Pole Lathe"

              Cheers



              --
              Mary Ostler    
              Apprentice to Mistress Agnes Cresewyke
              www.maryostler.com

            • Wm G
              Point. I have looked at turned cups in the museum in London and saw a metal insert (think copper freeze plug) in the center of the bottom of the cup - My
              Message 6 of 29 , Dec 1, 2009
                Point. I have looked at turned cups in the museum in London and saw a
                metal insert (think copper freeze plug) in the center of the bottom of
                the cup - My theory is it was to protect from the massive soak-in of
                liquids in the core wood (the cups were turned from limbs centered at
                the core). There was some sort of mark stamped in the copper coin as
                well, so it may have served as a makers mark.
                Riley G.
                On Tue, 2009-12-01 at 17:45 -0800, Alex Haugland wrote:
                >
                >
                > I suspect that the secret is to minimize contact with end grain...
                > Most moisture transfer happens through the end grain of the wood, so
                > barrels are built such that there is a minimum of end grain exposed
                > inside the barrel. Unfortunately, this is something you can't really
                > prevent in wood turning without laminating a segmented block to turn;
                > a practice that I'm pretty sure isn't period, but I could be wrong.
                >
                > --Alysaundre Weldon d'Ath
                > Barony of Adiantum, An Tir
                >
                > james wrote:
                > >
                > > I wonder how they kept in from seeping through the storage barrels
                > > back in the day.
                > >
                > > Cedric
                > >
                > > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...>
                > > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I got hold of some Pusser's Naval Rum in a wooden flask one time
                > > that
                > > > managed to seep all the way through in less than three minutes.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Will
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                > > > [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James
                > > Winkler
                > > > Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:58 AM
                > > > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                > > > Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Latest project - early period
                > > turned cup
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Just a note... DON'T put something like... oh, say 'scotch' in
                > > it...
                > > >
                > > > A number of years ago I got into turning cups and bowls... thought
                > > it might
                > > > be nifty to wander around from party to party with my nifty cup...
                > > turns
                > > > out that the penetrating properties of higher level of alcohol has
                > > a less
                > > > than desirable effect on wooden cups... like excessive and uneven
                > > wood
                > > > swelling. Needless to say, the cup drank more than I did before
                > > requiring
                > > > a stunt double...
                > > >
                > > > Keep up the good work...
                > > >
                > > > Chas. Oakley
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Liedtke Goetz
                Are you sure you weren t seeing the Queen s shilling? ... Goetz
                Message 7 of 29 , Dec 1, 2009
                  Are you sure you weren't seeing the Queen's shilling?

                  :-)

                  Goetz


                  --- On Tue, 12/1/09, Wm G <wagrot@...> wrote:

                  > From: Wm G <wagrot@...>
                  > Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Re: Latest project - early period turned cup
                  > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 7:40 PM
                  > Point. I have looked at turned cups
                  > in the museum in London and saw a
                  > metal insert (think copper freeze plug) in the center of
                  > the bottom of
                  > the cup - My theory is it was to protect from the massive
                  > soak-in of
                  > liquids in the core wood (the cups were turned from limbs
                  > centered at
                  > the core). There was some sort of mark stamped in the
                  > copper coin as
                  > well, so it may have served as a makers mark.
                  > Riley G.
                  > On Tue, 2009-12-01 at 17:45 -0800, Alex Haugland wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > I suspect that the secret is to minimize contact with
                  > end grain...
                  > > Most moisture transfer happens through the end grain
                  > of the wood, so
                  > > barrels are built such that there is a minimum of end
                  > grain exposed
                  > > inside the barrel.  Unfortunately, this is
                  > something you can't really
                  > > prevent in wood turning without laminating a segmented
                  > block to turn;
                  > > a practice that I'm pretty sure isn't period, but I
                  > could be wrong.
                  > >
                  > > --Alysaundre Weldon d'Ath
                  > > Barony of Adiantum, An Tir
                  > >
                  > > james wrote:
                  > > >   
                  > > > I wonder how they kept in from seeping through
                  > the storage barrels
                  > > > back in the day.
                  > > >
                  > > > Cedric
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com,
                  > "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...>
                  > > > wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I got hold of some Pusser's Naval Rum in a
                  > wooden flask one time
                  > > > that
                  > > > > managed to seep all the way through in less
                  > than three minutes.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Will
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com]
                  > On Behalf Of James
                  > > > Winkler
                  > > > > Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:58 AM
                  > > > > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
                  > > > > Subject: RE: [MedievalSawdust] Latest
                  > project - early period
                  > > > turned cup
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Just a note... DON'T put something like...
                  > oh, say 'scotch' in
                  > > > it...
                  > > > >
                  > > > > A number of years ago I got into turning
                  > cups and bowls... thought
                  > > > it might
                  > > > > be nifty to wander around from party to
                  > party with my nifty cup...
                  > > > turns
                  > > > > out that the penetrating properties of
                  > higher level of alcohol has
                  > > > a less
                  > > > > than desirable effect on wooden cups... like
                  > excessive and uneven
                  > > > wood
                  > > > > swelling. Needless to say, the cup drank
                  > more than I did before
                  > > > requiring
                  > > > > a stunt double...
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Keep up the good work...
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Chas. Oakley
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >     medievalsawdust-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • n7bsn
                  ... Something I do is treat the inside of any drinking vessel with a two-part finish called Envirotec Not remotely period, but it works Ralg AnTir
                  Message 8 of 29 , Dec 19, 2009
                    --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, James Winkler <jrwinkler@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Just a note... DON'T put something like... oh, say 'scotch' in it...
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > A number of years ago I got into turning cups and bowls... thought it might be nifty to wander around from party to party with my nifty cup... turns out that the penetrating properties of higher level of alcohol has a less than desirable effect on wooden cups... like excessive and uneven wood swelling. Needless to say, the cup drank more than I did before requiring a stunt double...
                    >
                    >
                    Something I do is treat the inside of any drinking vessel with a two-part finish called Envirotec

                    Not remotely period, but it works

                    Ralg
                    AnTir
                  • n7bsn
                    ... That makes a certain amount of sense. Traditional Scandinavian bowl turning is end-grain not face. We don t really know for certain how far back that goes,
                    Message 9 of 29 , Dec 19, 2009
                      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Wm G <wagrot@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Point. I have looked at turned cups in the museum in London and saw a
                      > metal insert (think copper freeze plug) in the center of the bottom of
                      > the cup - My theory is it was to protect from the massive soak-in of
                      > liquids in the core wood (the cups were turned from limbs centered at
                      > the core). There was some sort of mark stamped in the copper coin as
                      > well, so it may have served as a makers mark.
                      >

                      That makes a certain amount of sense. Traditional Scandinavian bowl turning is end-grain not face. We don't really know for certain how far back that goes, or how extensive an area that tradition covered. It's certainly possible it covered Yorvik and Anglo-Saxon England.

                      Using a plug would would make a great certain both stop the end-grain leaking and remove the "pith" that is so often the source of cracking.

                      One more point, it unlikely that they were actually using limb wood. The stresses in limb wood cause large sections of "reaction" wood, that is one side of the limb as a different density then the other side, thus reacting differently.

                      TTFN
                      Ralg
                      AnTir
                    • Eric
                      Ralg, Do you remember which Enviro-Tex product that you use? The company has a number of similar but different 2-part, clear polymer coatings. Thanks, Eirkir
                      Message 10 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                        Ralg,

                        Do you remember which Enviro-Tex product that you use? The company has a number of similar but different 2-part, clear polymer coatings.

                        Thanks,
                        Eirkir

                        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "n7bsn" <n7bsn@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Something I do is treat the inside of any drinking vessel with a two-part finish called Envirotec
                        >
                        > Not remotely period, but it works
                        >
                        > Ralg
                        > AnTir
                        >
                      • n7bsn
                        ... Lite as I recall, available at most Craft stores Ralg AnTir
                        Message 11 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                          --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Eric" <ewdysar@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Ralg,
                          >
                          > Do you remember which Enviro-Tex product that you use? The company has a number of similar but different 2-part, clear polymer coatings.
                          >
                          >
                          Lite as I recall, available at most Craft stores

                          Ralg
                          AnTir
                        • conradh@efn.org
                          ... Easy enough to tell. Has anyone thought to check those conical waste cores from the turner s shop at Jorvik? Using a plug would would make a great certain
                          Message 12 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                            On Sat, December 19, 2009 7:49 pm, n7bsn wrote:

                            >
                            > That makes a certain amount of sense. Traditional Scandinavian bowl
                            > turning is end-grain not face. We don't really know for certain how far
                            > back that goes, or how extensive an area that tradition covered. It's
                            > certainly possible it covered Yorvik and Anglo-Saxon England.
                            >
                            >
                            Easy enough to tell. Has anyone thought to check those conical waste
                            cores from the turner's shop at Jorvik?


                            Using a plug would would make a great certain both stop the end-grain
                            > leaking and remove the "pith" that is so often the source of cracking.
                            >
                            > One more point, it unlikely that they were actually using limb wood. The
                            > stresses in limb wood cause large sections of "reaction" wood, that is
                            > one side of the limb as a different density then the other side, thus
                            > reacting differently.

                            Not too sure that one is true. I know all the books here say that, but
                            then all the books here also say you shouldn't use end grain turning! How
                            much of this is "natural law" (the wood simply won't work that way) and
                            how much is simple "everybody knows" lemming behavior? I ask this because
                            when I first started turning, I had no instructor. I used _mostly_ limb
                            wood, from tree prunings, and some of the pieces came out just fine!

                            I certainly have seen asymmetrical seasoning in "reaction wood", but also
                            seen it in main-trunk wood, especially in wood from lumberyards.
                            Remember, when you didn't cut the tree yourself, you have no way of
                            knowing whether that piece of lumber came from a tree that had leaned 20
                            degrees, grown resisting the pressure of strong prevailing winds (there
                            are places in Oregon where the trees only have branches on one side from
                            the wind!), or whether the trunk was stressed by having all its branches
                            growing toward the light on the edge of a clearing. I'm not saying that
                            "reaction wood" can't be a problem, but rather that it's a problem not
                            confined to limbwood, and that quite often the resulting products are
                            _still usable_.

                            If every face-turned bowl or cup were made from a perfect, riven slab,
                            this might be more of an issue. In the real world today, most of them are
                            made from slash-sawn planks from a largely automated sawmill run by a
                            company that doesn't give a damn. When we buy, we can look at the grain
                            and surface knots, but especially in thicker pieces we may be looking at
                            almost as much of a crapshoot as the limb-turner faces--and the limbs are
                            available at firewood prices, or free for the taking!

                            Today it can make sense to cut limbs into blanks, do a very quick and
                            rough hollowing, and set them aside to dry. The ones that come out OK get
                            fancy finishing efforts and can be lovely pieces; the ones that warp badly
                            or crack go right back to the firewood pile from whence they came. IMHO
                            it's worth considering whether period woodworkers may have done the same.

                            Another bit of evidence that prejudice against reaction wood is far from
                            universal--look at the traditional craftsmen who deliberately seek or
                            create it. Boatbuilders valued pasture oaks for the "grown knees" that
                            could be sawn out where large curved limbs joined the trunk. This wood
                            was used for some of the most important structural parts of boats and
                            ships, where quality was important and tight fits essential. Handle
                            makers all over central Europe, and occasionally elsewhere, would tie
                            saplings or limbs into curves and leave them that way, coming back several
                            years later to cut custom-curved handle wood. I'm sure that such wood
                            reacts and moves as it dries--but I strongly suspect that these people had
                            _skilled knowledge_ of the wood's behavior. That the reactions were
                            largely predictable, to someone who had been doing this work
                            professionally for many years, perhaps?

                            Just a thought--we may be seeing craft-revival books that are echoing the
                            prejudices and working rules of precision cabinetmakers and joiners when
                            they suggest avoiding limb wood. Green woodworkers in period may have had
                            an entirely different set of priorities.

                            Ulfhedinn
                          • James Winkler
                            There is a great deal of information and analysis of extant artifacts relating to bowl/cup turning in The Archaeology of York: Small Finds book. Morris,
                            Message 13 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                              There is a great deal of information and analysis of extant artifacts relating to bowl/cup turning in "The Archaeology of York: Small Finds" book.
                               
                              Morris, Carole A
                              The Archaeology of York
                              Vol. 17 The Small Finds
                              Fasc. 13 Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Wood and Woodworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York

                              York: Council for British Archaeology, 2000
                              xiii, 379 p., ill., bib., ISBN: 1902771109 
                               
                              Excellent source that might answer a lot of your questions.  (Lot of good information on other Anglo/Scandinavian wood working as well plus a great discussion on lathes...)
                               
                              Chas.
                               
                            • n7bsn
                              ... and worth the investment, great work. But I m not recalling any reference to the grain orientation in the cores. BTW, visiting the dig is a little like
                              Message 14 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                                --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, James Winkler <jrwinkler@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > There is a great deal of information and analysis of extant artifacts relating to bowl/cup turning in "The Archaeology of York: Small Finds" book.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Morris, Carole A
                                > The Archaeology of York
                                > Vol. 17 The Small Finds
                                > Fasc. 13 Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Wood and Woodworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York
                                > York: Council for British Archaeology, 2000
                                > xiii, 379 p., ill., bib., ISBN: 1902771109
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Excellent source that might answer a lot of your questions. (Lot of good information on other Anglo/Scandinavian wood working as well plus a great discussion on lathes...)
                                >
                                >
                                and worth the investment, great work. But I'm not recalling any reference to the grain orientation in the cores.

                                BTW, visiting the dig is a little like visiting Disney does Jorvik. Although the live demo's after the "action ride" were better.

                                If you are interested in pottery, they have a great book on that too (gave one to our local pottery laurel and I thought she would die of happy)

                                Ralg
                                AnTir
                              • leaking pen
                                They do ? (the tying of weights) I have a piece of eucalyptus (limb wood) that I made a cup out of once, that had had a heavy weight (bird feeder) that had
                                Message 15 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                                  They do ?  (the tying of weights)  I have a piece of eucalyptus (limb wood) that I made a cup out of once, that had had a heavy weight (bird feeder) that had caused the wood to turn becuase of the way it was tied on, slowly through the years.  I wish i still had it, it turned out gorgeously, with a curved grain.   I always thought about doing that artificially myself.  Soon as I own property with trees on it.

                                  On Sun, Dec 20, 2009 at 4:04 PM, <conradh@...> wrote:
                                   

                                  On Sat, December 19, 2009 7:49 pm, n7bsn wrote:

                                  >
                                  > That makes a certain amount of sense. Traditional Scandinavian bowl
                                  > turning is end-grain not face. We don't really know for certain how far
                                  > back that goes, or how extensive an area that tradition covered. It's
                                  > certainly possible it covered Yorvik and Anglo-Saxon England.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  Easy enough to tell. Has anyone thought to check those conical waste
                                  cores from the turner's shop at Jorvik?

                                  Using a plug would would make a great certain both stop the end-grain
                                  > leaking and remove the "pith" that is so often the source of cracking.
                                  >
                                  > One more point, it unlikely that they were actually using limb wood. The
                                  > stresses in limb wood cause large sections of "reaction" wood, that is
                                  > one side of the limb as a different density then the other side, thus
                                  > reacting differently.

                                  Not too sure that one is true. I know all the books here say that, but
                                  then all the books here also say you shouldn't use end grain turning! How
                                  much of this is "natural law" (the wood simply won't work that way) and
                                  how much is simple "everybody knows" lemming behavior? I ask this because
                                  when I first started turning, I had no instructor. I used _mostly_ limb
                                  wood, from tree prunings, and some of the pieces came out just fine!

                                  I certainly have seen asymmetrical seasoning in "reaction wood", but also
                                  seen it in main-trunk wood, especially in wood from lumberyards.
                                  Remember, when you didn't cut the tree yourself, you have no way of
                                  knowing whether that piece of lumber came from a tree that had leaned 20
                                  degrees, grown resisting the pressure of strong prevailing winds (there
                                  are places in Oregon where the trees only have branches on one side from
                                  the wind!), or whether the trunk was stressed by having all its branches
                                  growing toward the light on the edge of a clearing. I'm not saying that
                                  "reaction wood" can't be a problem, but rather that it's a problem not
                                  confined to limbwood, and that quite often the resulting products are
                                  _still usable_.

                                  If every face-turned bowl or cup were made from a perfect, riven slab,
                                  this might be more of an issue. In the real world today, most of them are
                                  made from slash-sawn planks from a largely automated sawmill run by a
                                  company that doesn't give a damn. When we buy, we can look at the grain
                                  and surface knots, but especially in thicker pieces we may be looking at
                                  almost as much of a crapshoot as the limb-turner faces--and the limbs are
                                  available at firewood prices, or free for the taking!

                                  Today it can make sense to cut limbs into blanks, do a very quick and
                                  rough hollowing, and set them aside to dry. The ones that come out OK get
                                  fancy finishing efforts and can be lovely pieces; the ones that warp badly
                                  or crack go right back to the firewood pile from whence they came. IMHO
                                  it's worth considering whether period woodworkers may have done the same.

                                  Another bit of evidence that prejudice against reaction wood is far from
                                  universal--look at the traditional craftsmen who deliberately seek or
                                  create it. Boatbuilders valued pasture oaks for the "grown knees" that
                                  could be sawn out where large curved limbs joined the trunk. This wood
                                  was used for some of the most important structural parts of boats and
                                  ships, where quality was important and tight fits essential. Handle
                                  makers all over central Europe, and occasionally elsewhere, would tie
                                  saplings or limbs into curves and leave them that way, coming back several
                                  years later to cut custom-curved handle wood. I'm sure that such wood
                                  reacts and moves as it dries--but I strongly suspect that these people had
                                  _skilled knowledge_ of the wood's behavior. That the reactions were
                                  largely predictable, to someone who had been doing this work
                                  professionally for many years, perhaps?

                                  Just a thought--we may be seeing craft-revival books that are echoing the
                                  prejudices and working rules of precision cabinetmakers and joiners when
                                  they suggest avoiding limb wood. Green woodworkers in period may have had
                                  an entirely different set of priorities.

                                  Ulfhedinn


                                • Brian Starke
                                  Eucalyptus always twists as it dries. Because eucalyptus grows very fast, in California there are large woods of eucalyptus planted for the purpose of making
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                                    Eucalyptus always twists as it dries.  Because eucalyptus grows very fast, in California there are large woods of eucalyptus planted for the purpose of making railroad ties.  Unfortunately, when the trees were cut the resulting ties twisted so badly that they were useless.  So the eucalyptus trees were abandoned where they grew.

                                    So my brother-in-law told me, and I will continue to believe him until someone gives me contrary information.
                                    -------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Geoffrey Featherstonehaugh
                                    known in the modern world as Brian E. Starke

                                  • Eric
                                    Ralg, I reference the woodworking book often and it does indeed discuss which finds are end grain and which are face turned. In addition to the pottery book,
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Dec 20, 2009
                                      Ralg,

                                      I reference the woodworking book often and it does indeed discuss which finds are end grain and which are face turned.

                                      In addition to the pottery book, they also have books on the iron work finds, the non-ferrous metal finds and leatherwork, amongst other titles.

                                      I should apologize, I'm on vacation in Kailua/Kona, away from my books so I can't cite each of these books properly.

                                      In Service to the Dream,
                                      Eirikr Mjoksiglandi
                                      Ashgrove, Barony of Angels, Caid

                                      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "n7bsn" <n7bsn@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > and worth the investment, great work. But I'm not recalling any reference to the grain orientation in the cores.
                                      >
                                      > BTW, visiting the dig is a little like visiting Disney does Jorvik. Although the live demo's after the "action ride" were better.
                                      >
                                      > If you are interested in pottery, they have a great book on that too (gave one to our local pottery laurel and I thought she would die of happy)
                                      >
                                      > Ralg
                                      > AnTir
                                      >
                                    • n7bsn
                                      ... If you check the following photo, you will see something like what you describe
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Dec 22, 2009
                                        --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Wm G <wagrot@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Point. I have looked at turned cups in the museum in London and saw a
                                        > metal insert (think copper freeze plug) in the center of the bottom of
                                        > the cup - My theory is it was to protect from the massive soak-in of
                                        > liquids in the core wood (the cups were turned from limbs centered at
                                        > the core). There was some sort of mark stamped in the copper coin as
                                        > well, so it may have served as a makers mark.
                                        > Riley G.

                                        If you check the following photo, you will see something like what you describe
                                        http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dMeLSAcoyho/SvGdy06Ib6I/AAAAAAAABek/9_K1X7dWulI/s1600-h/11-individual.jpg

                                        Since it's burl, I don't think we can give any real idea of wood-grain direction, but that certainly looks like a metal plug in the center

                                        Photo from Robin Wood's blog, where he states it's a 13th C mazer from Canterbury

                                        TTFN
                                        Ralg
                                        AnTir
                                      • Jeff
                                        I m thinking that this is a communion cup, and that s probably Jesus on the disk. Jeff/Geoff
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Dec 23, 2009
                                          I'm thinking that this is a communion cup, and that's probably Jesus on the disk.

                                          Jeff/Geoff

                                          > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Wm G <wagrot@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Point. I have looked at turned cups in the museum in London and saw a
                                          > > metal insert (think copper freeze plug) in the center of the bottom of
                                          > > the cup - My theory is it was to protect from the massive soak-in of
                                          > > liquids in the core wood (the cups were turned from limbs centered at
                                          > > the core). There was some sort of mark stamped in the copper coin as
                                          > > well, so it may have served as a makers mark.
                                          > > Riley G.
                                          >
                                          > If you check the following photo, you will see something like what you describe
                                          > http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dMeLSAcoyho/SvGdy06Ib6I/AAAAAAAABek/9_K1X7dWulI/s1600-h/11-individual.jpg
                                          >
                                          > Since it's burl, I don't think we can give any real idea of wood-grain direction, but that certainly looks like a metal plug in the center
                                          >
                                          > Photo from Robin Wood's blog, where he states it's a 13th C mazer from Canterbury
                                          >
                                          > TTFN
                                          > Ralg
                                          > AnTir
                                          >
                                        • Jeff
                                          Or for baptism, and it s John. Me again. I really ought stop talking to myself....
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Dec 23, 2009
                                            Or for baptism, and it's John.

                                            Me again. I really ought stop talking to myself....

                                            --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff" <jljonsn@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > I'm thinking that this is a communion cup, and that's probably Jesus on the disk.
                                            >
                                            > Jeff/Geoff
                                            >
                                            > > --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Wm G <wagrot@> wrote:
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Point. I have looked at turned cups in the museum in London and saw a
                                            > > > metal insert (think copper freeze plug) in the center of the bottom of
                                            > > > the cup - My theory is it was to protect from the massive soak-in of
                                            > > > liquids in the core wood (the cups were turned from limbs centered at
                                            > > > the core). There was some sort of mark stamped in the copper coin as
                                            > > > well, so it may have served as a makers mark.
                                            > > > Riley G.
                                            > >
                                            > > If you check the following photo, you will see something like what you describe
                                            > > http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dMeLSAcoyho/SvGdy06Ib6I/AAAAAAAABek/9_K1X7dWulI/s1600-h/11-individual.jpg
                                            > >
                                            > > Since it's burl, I don't think we can give any real idea of wood-grain direction, but that certainly looks like a metal plug in the center
                                            > >
                                            > > Photo from Robin Wood's blog, where he states it's a 13th C mazer from Canterbury
                                            > >
                                            > > TTFN
                                            > > Ralg
                                            > > AnTir
                                            > >
                                            >
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