Turning American Sycamore

Turning American Sycamore

Post by Gerald Ros » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 01:16:22



Anyone turned any sycamore?  How well does it behave as far as warping
and cracking?

My nephew brought be a section of a trunk 37" long and 27" diameter.
I cut it into two sections and got 9 bowl blanks out of one before it
got too hot to work outside.  Roughed out two bowls.  So far it is
easy to work and mostly pink in color.  The last pink wood I turned
was eucalyptus and that was a lesson in futility. Every bowl cracked
and warped into a pretzel.  Maybe this will turned out better.
--
Gerald Ross

In just two days, tomorrow will be
yesterday.

 
 
 

Turning American Sycamore

Post by Dr. De » Wed, 03 Aug 2011 06:01:46


Quote:

> Anyone turned any sycamore?  How well does it behave as far as warping
> and cracking?

> My nephew brought be a section of a trunk 37" long and 27" diameter.
> I cut it into two sections and got 9 bowl blanks out of one before it
> got too hot to work outside.  Roughed out two bowls.  So far it is
> easy to work and mostly pink in color.  The last pink wood I turned
> was eucalyptus and that was a lesson in futility. Every bowl cracked
> and warped into a pretzel.  Maybe this will turned out better.

I have only turned one piece, but the other section I have has shown no
signs of checking.  Its still in the log (about 6" in diameter).  

The other piece I turned down the log and made a urn out of it.  It turns
very well, does tend to fuzz  a bit on you though.  However, don't let that
put you off, just continue to sand through 320 and you will like what you
have.  Also, the finish will be flat, rather than have the sheen a lot of
wood sanded to 320 has.  That being said, Deft and a good buff gives you a
very nice satin finish.   The urn was actually a trial piece to see just how
deep and cleanly I could turn without a dedicated set of deep vessel tools.  
It has shown no signs of warping or checking and the wall thickness is about
1/4".  The lid has a finial, all part of the same piece, and shows no signs
of doing anything "***."

Bottom line, if I had a source, I would turn more of it.  But since I am
backed up on blanks, I am not looking. :-)

Deb

 
 
 

Turning American Sycamore

Post by Al Holstei » Sun, 07 Aug 2011 08:04:06



Quote:

> > Anyone turned any sycamore? ?How well does it behave as far as warping
> > and cracking?

> > My nephew brought be a section of a trunk 37" long and 27" diameter.
> > I cut it into two sections and got 9 bowl blanks out of one before it
> > got too hot to work outside. ?Roughed out two bowls. ?So far it is
> > easy to work and mostly pink in color. ?The last pink wood I turned
> > was eucalyptus and that was a lesson in futility. Every bowl cracked
> > and warped into a pretzel. ?Maybe this will turned out better.

> I have only turned one piece, but the other section I have has shown no
> signs of checking. ?Its still in the log (about 6" in diameter). ?

> The other piece I turned down the log and made a urn out of it. ?It turns
> very well, does tend to fuzz ?a bit on you though. ?However, don't let that
> put you off, just continue to sand through 320 and you will like what you
> have. ?Also, the finish will be flat, rather than have the sheen a lot of
> wood sanded to 320 has. ?That being said, Deft and a good buff gives you a
> very nice satin finish. ? The urn was actually a trial piece to see just how
> deep and cleanly I could turn without a dedicated set of deep vessel tools. ?
> It has shown no signs of warping or checking and the wall thickness is about
> 1/4". ?The lid has a finial, all part of the same piece, and shows no signs
> of doing anything "***."

> Bottom line, if I had a source, I would turn more of it. ?But since I am
> backed up on blanks, I am not looking. :-)

> Deb

I have turned some rough bowls from very green sycamore, and let them
dry for 6 months in a paper bag with the shavings. There was a lot of
shrinking in the width probably about 10% relative to the length
grain. But I didn't have any problem with cracking. My advice is to
leave the walls pretty thick or turn in thing and let it warp as it
wants to if you don't care about being round.

Al

 
 
 

Turning American Sycamore

Post by Gerald Ros » Sun, 07 Aug 2011 08:15:25


Quote:



>>  >  Anyone turned any sycamore?  How well does it behave as far as warping
>>  >  and cracking?

>>  >  My nephew brought be a section of a trunk 37" long and 27" diameter.
>>  >  I cut it into two sections and got 9 bowl blanks out of one before it
>>  >  got too hot to work outside.  Roughed out two bowls.  So far it is
>>  >  easy to work and mostly pink in color.  The last pink wood I turned
>>  >  was eucalyptus and that was a lesson in futility. Every bowl cracked
>>  >  and warped into a pretzel.  Maybe this will turned out better.

>>  I have only turned one piece, but the other section I have has shown no
>>  signs of checking.  Its still in the log (about 6" in diameter).

>>  The other piece I turned down the log and made a urn out of it.  It turns
>>  very well, does tend to fuzz  a bit on you though.  However, don't let that
>>  put you off, just continue to sand through 320 and you will like what you
>>  have.  Also, the finish will be flat, rather than have the sheen a lot of
>>  wood sanded to 320 has.  That being said, Deft and a good buff gives you a
>>  very nice satin finish.   The urn was actually a trial piece to see just how
>>  deep and cleanly I could turn without a dedicated set of deep vessel tools.
>>  It has shown no signs of warping or checking and the wall thickness is about
>>  1/4".  The lid has a finial, all part of the same piece, and shows no signs
>>  of doing anything "***."

>>  Bottom line, if I had a source, I would turn more of it.  But since I am
>>  backed up on blanks, I am not looking. :-)

>>  Deb

> I have turned some rough bowls from very green sycamore, and let them
> dry for 6 months in a paper bag with the shavings. There was a lot of
> shrinking in the width probably about 10% relative to the length
> grain. But I didn't have any problem with cracking. My advice is to
> leave the walls pretty thick or turn in thing and let it warp as it
> wants to if you don't care about being round.

> Al

Thanks, that is what I was wondering about.  I am turning the sides thick.

--
Gerald Ross

A relationship is like a shark. It has
to keep moving forward or it dies.