Man this wood is great to work with see the bowl attached. One of the first gifts i am bringing back to SA when we visit. I will try and send you a small sliver or beer coaster made of Huon Div when i get a chance. I will bring one over in July. The picture attached will never be able to show how small the pine graines are on this bowl. " apparently" this tree is the oldest growing tree in greater Australasia. The Aussies like to boast! I made wooden beades for my wife the other day and the piece i cut on the lathe had 4 growth rings within a milimetre no jokes i used a magnifying glass. I will send you a piece of it. Can i send the photo to an email to get the bigger Size?
I had a slack day in the shop recently whilst waiting for materials to arrive. I also had 2 almost book matching boards of Hard Pear that has been continually and persistently watching me from a corner of the shop for quite some time….
Hard Pear (Olinea ventosa) is indigenous to South Africa and grows in the Cape Province. The tree can grow to impressive proportions under the right conditions, reaching heights in excess of 25 m. Due to the uneven, wavy grain it is not an easy timber to work with but the striking grain pattern makes it worth it. Unfortunately the timber is scarce in supply.
What to make with just 2 short boards? I decided to pay tribute to George Nakashima by making a small version of his famous Minguren design. I recently read his book: The soul of a tree. The little table measures 760 long x 580 wide x 430 high, too small to be a coffee table so let’s call it a side table. Off course I had to add the well known butterfly key! Mine was done with Candlewood.
The size of the table was determined by the size of the boards and proportions happened as I went along. Again, no drawings. Don’t I ever learn? In retrospect I think the vertical piece just looks too high/square.
My current client approached me with the request to make him kitchen countertops out of Boekenhout which he would supply. When he said that the timber had been sawn on his farm in Limpopo, I became more interested, especially when he said the timber had an orangey brown colour. I thought Boekenhout only grows in the Southern Cape and is the colour of, well, Boekenhout. When the timber arrived, it didn’t look like any Boekenhout I had ever seen and I thought he probably made a mistake.
Some research later and I could identify it as Transvaal Boekenhout, Faurea saligna and a member of the Protea family. The grain pattern is rather similar to Boekenhout or Cape beech, Rapanea melanophloeos. There is also a hint of Terblans in some pieces, which explains the Protea connection.
Its working qualities are unusual. The jointer doesn’t produce shavings, it looks more like sawdust. I don’t know if the batch I got is just exceptionally dry but machining it produces an incredible amount of dust. Just making one cut on the table saw fills the air with a very fine dust. It saws easily but I get sparks off the blade! Huh? Not all the time but occasionally. Explain that to me! Anyway, Transvaal Boekenhout hand planes reasonably well and sands easily. It looks like it will finish very well. I will know next week when I varnish.
It is a beautiful wood and I am glad for having the opportunity to work it. Lots of offcuts available if any one is interested.
Sculpt Cabinet is one of the pieces I made for exhibition at Flambé Fine Art gallery in Stellenbosch. I used clear Monterrey Pine for the case work and doors while the wooden hinges were made from Tambotie. Although the photo does not show it very clearly, there is not a single flat surface on the whole cabinet. Well, apart from the shelves and inside. The wavy, curvy surfaces were created with a grinder, spoke shave and rasp, followed by MANY hours of sanding. The piece is 1280 high, 550 wide, 360 deep. Finish is Woodoc Antique wax.
The Trapezoid table was done in African mahogany with Purple heart detail. All the parts of this little occasional table are of trapezoid shape in different sizes, hence the name. Although not clearly visible in the photograph, the top is also glued up with pieces of the same shape, resulting in an interesting grain pattern. I laid in a few strips of Purple heart as well. The piece was inspired by a pile of off cuts I had. Some time ago I had a job to make treads for a spiral staircase, which left a heap of machined trapezoid shaped pieces.
I had to do something with it!
The Fruit Bowl is ebonized Poplar on European Beech. Much sanding to get that curvy hollow piece done!
I bought a small lot of white beech (wit boekenhout ) at the indigenous timber auctions . Anyone know of it ? Apparently it is very dense.