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Surprises Under the Bark

Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
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Location
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Well, I decided to make a bigger shop mallet out of a nice oak log so I wouldn't use up my precious black walnut. The outside of the log looked fine
Oak Log.jpg
As I was starting to shape a handle, I started running into these "sponge tentacles" for lack of a better description. I managed to yank them all out with needle-nose pliers, and then blew out/cleaned out the voids with DNA and pipe-cleaners. I'm assuming they're a fungus of some sort. I feel like Forrest Gump with his box of chocolates-"you never know what you're going to get" lol. I'm thinking about filling the voids with black epoxy, taping them up and then finishing it that way. I'd hate to think I made all those shavings for nothing!
Oak Mallet with Fungus Voids.jpg
I'm assuming you more experienced turners have see many surprises under the bark-I'd be interested to see some if you have pics. Aaron
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
2,993
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848
Location
Cleveland, Tennessee
Have heard of all kinds of surprised.
BTW, Forrest Gump never thought of sticking his finger in the bottom of the candy to check contents.;)
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
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Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
No pics, but nothing worse than some nails and a bullet for me......but, if you've forgotten where you've parked the Falcon, I think I've found it! :D

-----odie-----
1617397120845.png
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
211
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100
Location
Millington, TN
More likely that is just solidified frass (wood dust/excrement left over from a boring wood grub). Not too unusual in wood that’s dead and been left outside for awhile.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
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Cleveland, Tennessee
I remember the first time frass was defined at Woodcraft.
odie, looking at the Falcon...looks like the steering wheel is in the back seat and the reas wheels are missing which given no traction. Good advertisement for drinking and driving.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
5,613
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2,358
Location
Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
odie, looking at the Falcon...looks like the steering wheel is in the back seat and the reas wheels are missing which given no traction. Good advertisement for drinking and driving.
external-content.duckduckgo (2).jpg
 

brian horais

Beta Tester
Beta Tester
Joined
Dec 20, 2014
Messages
142
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952
Location
Knoxville, TN
Website
www.horais.com
Aaron, surprises under the bark are what keeps the exploration process interesting and sometimes exciting. I'm always amazed when I 'uncover' some unusual spalting or dramatic grain patterns. Using the different colors exhibited between the sapwood and heart wood can result in unusual and dramatic grain and color patterns. John Jordan is very good at this and gave a talk to our local club once explaining how to cut the log to feature the sapwood at the top of a turning. On the other hand, sometimes the interior of the wood is a real letdown, similar to what you have shown in your images. There are methods to sometimes recover from punky and soft wood. I taught a class a few years ago on twisted turning and provided some blanks of Douglas fir for turning. It proved to be on the soft side and difficult to turn. After I apologized to the class one of the students said 'not to worry'. Just wire brush away the softer wood and you will be left with some very dramatic and beautiful deep grain patterns. It reminds me of the joke that includes the line 'there's a pony in there somewhere...'. Here's an image of a twisted vase I turned from that Douglas fir with a wire-brushed exterior surface. Keep exploring and looking for the pony!
 

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Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
248
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131
Location
Gainesville, VA
I ruined 2 chains on a log segment with an imbedded horse or mule shoe. I was not in a picture taking mood when I finally figured out what was vexing me. The only good thing about that circumstance was...thank goodness I didn't have to discover the shoe at the bandsaw.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
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Location
Roulette, PA
Just had my own contribution to that today .. turning a fresh (I attended the tree's funeral and got the wood within minutes after it was cut down) piece of apple (Experimenting with a square bowl) and my gouge managed to find a small piece of steel embedded in the heartwood... Cussed up a storm and quit turning that project.. I'll try again on another piece... after sharpening up of course.. (I should have been more suspicious of that big black stain in the heartwood..) - I edited the photos to add red arrows pointing out the metal bit that is still in there.. bowl was nearly done.. and was just taking it down to thickness (I stopped at 3/8 inch thick).. Think I will let it dry some and see if it cracks or anything.. I might slap some finish on it and sell it as-is (unique?) but if it cracks or distorts I'll dig out that metal and see if I can figure out what it is or where it came from.. :)
 

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Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
828
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619
Location
Ponsford, MN
foundinside.JPG
The piece on the left is a souvenir from a large walnut that was removed from the MN Landscape arboretum to make room for a new building, the center area is where a top hat steel bracket was completely grown over. The chain saw cuts on either side were the first attempt to dig it out of the way so I could continue to mill the log (with a fresh blade). The piece on the right with the burn is from a white pine that had been hit by lightning, which completely blew off the top about 20 feet up.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
880
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343
Location
Evanston, IL USA
Maple tree tap holes long ago grown over and healed, maple tree tap holes with the aluminum tap still embedded and grown over, and a lead bullet slug--- lead bullets are soft and easy to turn.
 
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