Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Turning Bog Oak Handle
#1
This will be a bit of a slow burn thread, but starting early might help with a little feedback and keep my motivation going. I’ve been wanting to do this project for a while but limited time and supplies have been a bit of a challenge. I’ll be turning a replacement handle for one of my GEM Junior Bar lather catchers from bog wood/bog oak/morta wood. According to the supplier this block comes from a mill in Croatia that has dated their stocks to 5500 to 5600 years old. I’ve recently restocked my supply and decided to start with the block pictured below. It’s mostly black with very dark brown highlights, sometimes it’s an even dark, muddy black-brown depending on the light. If you’re not familiar with the wood it’s partially fossilized so it has a relatively high concentration of minerals resulting in an extremely hard, and brittle wood that, for me at least, has proven quite difficult to work with.
My main challenges will be keeping the piece whole throughout the turning process, settling on a suitable finish, and securing the threaded rod. In the past, small pieces with any amount of detail chip out so bad they end up as scrap. I’m not going to aim for a 1:1 recreation of the original handle, but I’d like to keep it in the same ball Park. Beside the tricky material, my sharpening skills are probably not up to par for the needs. I don’t think the pictures show it well but the wood is also quite porous. On the plus side, it is very resistant to rot, but I’m not completely sure how the bare wood will hold up to the water exposure a razor handle sees and all the pores are going to attract soap sum buildup like nothing else. I’m considering a decorative wax with a bronze or silver powder which will look nice and metallic in the pores followed with a light topcoat of some compatible sealer, or simply a non glossy sealant. As far as the threads, I don’t think there’s much I can do besides go slow and steady to drill out the hole for the rod to seat. The thin walls of the wood are going to chip off at the slightest provocation. If I can get at least one usable handle I’ll also attempt to make a decent ferrule on the mini lathe from either brass or aluminum.
   
   
I’ll have 4 chances for a handle from this block, I do have a few more if needed, but I also have some other projects slated where I’d like to just keep the losses to one block.
Any suggestions for how to approach this project, especially if they address any of my main concerns, will be appreciated.
Updates to this thread will come as they happen, likely not much movement for a while though as I work from a non heated garage and it’s still uncomfortably cold out with plenty of time for late winter/early spring blizzards to hit.
Andy
The following 3 users Like MrGuy's post:
  • GAW9576 (03-09-2021), Jayaruh (03-09-2021), twhite (03-09-2021)
Like Reply
#2
I had problems turning Black palm because of at least a few of the problems you mentioned with the bog oak.
I ended up cutting a piece out at a 45 degree angle to the grain. It made it so I wasn't catching the grain on it's sides all the time and I was able to turn it much easier. I made a rough shape then refined it the rest of the way with sand paper. The end result was stunning with the grain showing on the 45. Another thing I have read about and done is rough shape then apply a coat of the thinest CA glue let dry turn some more apply another coat of super thin CA glue turn some more ect. Ect. The super thin CA glue penetrates enough to stabilize a thin layer at a time. It also would seal up the one really good against water. I have a love-hate relationship with the weed CA finishes they can be a pain in the butt. However when you get them right there glass smooth beautiful finishes that are extremely durable.

I look forward to seeing updates on this thread and what you come up with. Good luck.
The following 1 user Likes GAW9576's post:
  • MrGuy (03-09-2021)
Like Reply
#3
(03-09-2021, 01:59 PM)GAW9576 Wrote: I had problems turning Black palm because of at least a few of the problems you mentioned with the bog oak.
I ended up cutting a piece out at a 45 degree angle to the grain. It made it so I wasn't catching the grain on it's sides all the time and I was able to turn it much easier. I made a rough shape then refined it the rest of the way with sand paper. The end result was stunning with the grain showing on the 45. Another thing I have read about and done is rough shape then apply a coat of the thinest CA glue let dry turn some more apply another coat of super thin CA glue turn some more ect. Ect. The super thin CA glue penetrates enough to stabilize a thin layer at a time. It also would seal up the one really good against water. I have a love-hate relationship with the weed CA finishes they can be a pain in the butt. However when you get them right there glass smooth beautiful finishes that are extremely durable.

I look forward to seeing updates on this thread and what you come up with. Good luck.

Awesome suggestions, thank you! I really like the idea of finding a 45 degree angle to work with. I’m going to have to go through all the blocks and see if any of them look suitable.
Andy
The following 1 user Likes MrGuy's post:
  • GAW9576 (03-09-2021)
Like Reply
#4
I know enough about wood turning to know that I know nothing of wood turning, however, I'm fascinated by it.
Looking forward to seeing the progress.
The following 3 users Like Ordinaryshaver's post:
  • Dave in KY (03-09-2021), GAW9576 (03-09-2021), MrGuy (03-09-2021)
Like Reply
#5
I will be keeping an eye here too. Carry on!!
Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time.
George S. Patton
The following 2 users Like Wchnu's post:
  • GAW9576 (03-09-2021), MrGuy (03-09-2021)
Like Reply
#6
(03-09-2021, 03:04 PM)MrGuy Wrote:
(03-09-2021, 01:59 PM)GAW9576 Wrote: I had problems turning Black palm because of at least a few of the problems you mentioned with the bog oak.
I ended up cutting a piece out at a 45 degree angle to the grain. It made it so I wasn't catching the grain on it's sides all the time and I was able to turn it much easier. I made a rough shape then refined it the rest of the way with sand paper. The end result was stunning with the grain showing on the 45. Another thing I have read about and done is rough shape then apply a coat of the thinest CA glue let dry turn some more apply another coat of super thin CA glue turn some more ect. Ect. The super thin CA glue penetrates enough to stabilize a thin layer at a time. It also would seal up the one really good against water. I have a love-hate relationship with the weed CA finishes they can be a pain in the butt. However when you get them right there glass smooth beautiful finishes that are extremely durable.

I look forward to seeing updates on this thread and what you come up with. Good luck.

Awesome suggestions, thank you! I really like the idea of finding a 45 degree angle to work with. I’m going to have to go through all the blocks and see if any of them look suitable.

(03-09-2021, 05:45 PM)twhite Wrote: They did not print as good as I hoped. The handle sucks and the head beads s bit of tuning. I will try again tonight. I also modified the handle so it will fit the head with a dowel pin. That way I will print handle upright.

Pics

Yeah I just cut the end of the blank at a 45 then cut the 4 sides to 90 degrees of that then cut the other end. Hope that makes sense. Basically I had to make a blank on a 45 from a much larger blank. It wouldn't even have to be a full 45 the blank you have picturesd would be plenty big enough.
Like Reply
#7
No actual update, but I think when the time comes I’ll cut just 2 blanks to start so that will leave me with enough stock to try out an angled version, assuming at least one works out. I looked over the other blocks I have and due to their size I don’t think I’ll be able to get any use of the waste material.
While we wait for anything meaningful to happen, we’re getting a late Winter blizzard that started yesterday morning and snow expected through Wednesday. We had just the right mix of fresh snow and dense cloud cover hovering over town to light up the sky all night long. For some reason I always enjoy that. Although the 5 year old was up every 30 minutes all night long upset she couldn’t get up to play because she thought the sun was coming up.
We’re usually on the edge of a 3 to 4 Bortle Scale sky, for those familiar with that, so it was definitely unusual. This was what things looked like just after midnight.
   
Andy
The following 5 users Like MrGuy's post:
  • Dave in KY (03-15-2021), GAW9576 (03-15-2021), mayer57619 (03-16-2021), twhite (03-15-2021), Wchnu (03-20-2021)
Like Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)