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Going to try Bloodwood, have a couple of questions

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Joe Sheble, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. Joe Sheble

    Joe Sheble

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    Location (City & State):
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    I've only been turning a little over 2 years, mostly glue-ups using poplar, or kiln dried blanks I've purchased from online distributors (mostly maple and/or ash). A friend of mine gave me a 8x3 square blank of Bloodwood, asking me if I could do something with it. I'm thinking a bowl.

    But this wood is so much heavier, and much more dense than any other wood I've cut thus far. Or I assume it is just because of how heavy it is compared to other blanks I've cut. My questions are, since the wood is so damned heavy should I use a bigger tenon/mortise than I usually do? (I actually prefer a mortise, just a personal preference but if a tenon would be better for something this heavy, I'm fine with that). I have the EasyChuck with 2 set of jaws, not counting the BigEasy jaws for reverse chucking.

    My smallest set of jaws optimal tenon size is 1.38", with 2" for a mortise, or the next set of jaws the optimal tenon size is 2.38" or 3" for the mortise. Which would you choose?

    And any other tips for shaping Bloodwood? I know, sharp tools will be essential, got that covered already :)
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Design should be your decider.

    the foot can be made inside the tenon leaving no trace of how the bowl was mounted.

    using a mortise leaves a big hole in the bottom to deal with. You can turn away all the surrounding wood to have a small foot. Many people incorporate the hole I the finished piece. Sometimes it looks ok often it look forced.

    if the wood is going to be twice turned - definitely use a tenon - so much easier to true up for remounting when dry.

    I would use a 2” tenon
    2.5” or 2.3 :) tenon for twice turned
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  3. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    It has been many years since I turned Bloodwood. It is a fine-grained and fairly hard and takes a nice finish - all the pieces I had turned were dry. Take lighter cuts and enjoy the process....this won't be like turning wet maple. :D
     
  4. Steve Nix

    Steve Nix

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    10B34AB8-E18D-4D36-8B5B-6CF1E7C96B35.jpeg I turned my first piece of Bloodwood recently , very interesting blank, but fun to turn. 5.5”x 1.75” box with a 3.5” black ebony finial ..
     
  5. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    When I want to maximize a nice piece of wood I use a glue block to give me wood for a tenon on one or both sides without cutting into the nice wood for that purpose. I just use poplar, cherry scraps, or maple, match the grain direction, and glue with titebond (I made a bunch of curly maple/bloodwood laminated pepper mills and they've held up just fine, with a really oily tropical you might need to glue with epoxy and/or carefully clean the surface with solvent first). At the end when you reverse chuck you can turn the support block away and make the foot whatever shape you want.
     
  6. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, haven't turned Blood Wood, but I would expect that a 1/8 inch deep recess would be plenty. Personally, I would be thinking about making boxes from it as a bowl would waste a lot of wood. 3 inch thick is a bit thin for getting more than one bowl core out of it.

    robo hippy
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  7. Joe Sheble

    Joe Sheble

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    I haven't gotten around to trying a box yet, been having too much fun with bowls for now. Yeah, a bowl certainly wastes a lot, but I'm pretty happy with my results.

    image.jpeg
     
  8. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker

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    Very nice design - and beautiful finish.
     
  9. odie

    odie

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    ----------> Beware! o_O <--------

    After turning several bowls from Bloodwood in the past, I've decided not to purchase any more. That beautiful red coloring will eventually turn to a very unappealing muddy brown. :( This color change is apparently not caused by sunlight, because it's going to happen, even if the bowl is kept in a dark storage spot.

    This isn't a reason not to try Bloodwood. It turns and finishes well.....just don't expect that beautiful red color to last forever......:mad:

    Here's an interesting article about color change in woods:
    https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/preventing-color-changes-in-exotic-woods/

    -----odie-----
     
  10. Joe Sheble

    Joe Sheble

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    Thank you Odie, that was very interesting... I'll admit, it was indeed the color that fascinated me initially. Now I'm bummed it will eventually fade and darken. Oh well, I can at least say I've done it. :)
     
  11. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Don't be too bummed out! I have some some small pieces in 4/4, 8/4, and one block of 12/4 in my basement shop for over twenty years. They are all about the same color (even if other blocks were stacked on top) and I don't believe they have gotten too much darker than when originally purchased. I just bandsawed a 1/4" slice off the end grain to compare color and didn't see any difference. My pieces aren't nearly as bright red as your bowl (could be the photo?), but are lighter in color than Steve's box above.
     
  12. Bob Sheppard

    Bob Sheppard

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    Yeah, but your basement is like a time vault. Maybe that's what keeps your bloodwood stable. lol
     
    Tom Gall likes this.
  13. odie

    odie

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    The last bowl I made from Bloodwood was stored in a dark storage area for about 5-6 months, before it was sold. I was shocked that it transitioned from a very nice glowing red, to a muddy brown in that time. I opted to refund my customer, and took it to work, where I gave it to one of the secretaries......she was happy, but never saw the "before" pic! :rolleyes:

    I think maybe the key here, is "hermetically sealed" as described in the article......which means "air tight", which my bowl was not. ;)

    -----odie-----
     
  14. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Depending on where you display your items, you can do a lot with different color spectrums of light bulbs to high-light different colors in the display item. Looking at a turned work piece in your shop changes dramatically when you look at it in the natural sun-light. Past years many wood turners have worked under fluorescent, HID and Incandescent lighting, each of these lighting sources vary quite a bit in their color rendering. Most lighting sources have a "CRI" Color Rendering Index, the higher the number the more accurate the color rendering of the light source. Each of these light sources also carries a "CCT" Color Correlated Temperature" measured in Kelvin Scale which determines the Color/Temperature of the bulb shifting from red spectrum through white ending in the blue spectrum.(Cool White, Warm White, etc.) By using certain color spectrum light sources you can accentuate colors in the work piece being displayed. Most of the newer LED light bulbs are available in a variety of CRI and CCT ratings. You can also use a black light UV-A light source on display pieces that can bring hidden colors out of the item that the eye does not see under full spectrum lighting. Many retailers, museums, interior decorators and architects will use a light box with multiple light sources controlled by a selector switch to quickly test color samples and determine acceptable lighting systems for use in various areas in a building. You can use different colored spot lights or flood lights to illuminate an individual item in your display area, If you move the item you can quickly swap the lamp source in the new location with any color desired. The MR-16 lamps and luminaires are a popular lighting system that is used to display individual items or areas, the MR16 lamps are available in the newer LED technology and allows you to change your CRI and CCT needs quickly at each fixture and display location. The MR16 lamps are available in Flood or Spot light design in a variety of illumination beam angles as narrow as 10 degrees, you can high-light one item on a shelf or project a color rendering over a large area as needed.
     
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