Monday 9 July 2018
One of the major ways of getting the most from your wood is by bowl saving or coring. There are many ways to do this and it is a very efficient way of getting extra useable blanks from the wood you are working with. This, of course, depends on the size of blank you are using, but a blank of about 200mm (8in) diameter and a minimum of 75-100mm (3-4in) deep is an ideal candidate for coring – even more so if the wood is a highly prized exotic timber, figured or burr piece. Think of the money that ends up on the floor in shavings; this method saves money.
The simplest and cheapest method is to use a straight slicing blade. Create a clearance cut the further you go in to prevent binding of the blade. Depending on the holding method, the blade can be entered from the tailstock or headstock end. Use the tailstock for blank support and make sure you clear the shavings regularly
Another option for coring is to buy special coring tools which consist of curved blades that fit in holders, which in turn can be fed into the wood to create different shapes. They can create semi-circular forms or a variety of shapes, depending on the presentation angle of the blade to the wood. Depending on the make, you may need to make a slight clearance cut to prevent binding. Aim to have as even a wall thickness as you can to speed up the drying, but also to minimise cracking
As mentioned, keep the wall thickness even to speed up the drying, but this will also minimise the risk of splitting and cracking. To help with this, seal the end grain of the blanks – especially with wet wood – or wrap them to minimise the risk of splitting whilst they dry
There are two other timber saving methods. One is where a cut – with a lance – is made from the side of the blank into the centre to form a shallow dish and platter of the same diameter. The second method is to cut in from the base and the side to create a ring of timber from the waste section of the base area to make a bowl and picture frame blank