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Colored, and laminated woods have been on the market in one form or another for quite a number of years. They are often used by wood turners for making high quality colorful pens, wine stoppers, pool ques and other smaller items. If you think of colored plywood, that is what would describe colored laminated woods. The difference is what is used to laminate them together and there are a few products, some of these lamination or glues allow much of the natural characteristics of the wood to remain unchanged. This means these laminated pices are water resistant, but not really water proof. If you submerge them in water, the wood laminates will absorb water, expand and essentially come apart. Other version use more water-proof methods that means the woods are more water proof, but there is always the element that we are dealing with wood and even the best coatings are still covering wood that can absorb water ... eventually. I was excited to get stated on this project, something I have wanted to do for a long time and when my order arrived from webbwood.com I was all ready to go.
Because these laminate woods are similar to plywoods they are not ideal for those of us who prefer to use flat wood, as in cabinet, box, chair, shelf, table and similar kinds of flat, square projects. These laminate woods look best when they can be integrated into curved, rounded or coved kinds of cuts. It is only in this way that the true colors and laminations can be seen an appreciate, not unlike what wood turners do when they make round things on their lathes. For some time I have wanted to see what kinds of projects can be made that we can use to as features or other elements in our flat wood projects. Things like door handles, door knobes, hinges, design elements in chairs and tables, curved edge in fronts and other similar ideas.
Having never worked with this kind of wood today, naturally I jumped into something I have never done before - make a knife handle ...
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Woodworking on it's own is a joy, but when you can work with different kinds of woods, it makes the woodworking even more pleasurable. There are all sorts of different kinds of "figured woods" available like burl, tiger and curly woods, swirls from knots and branches, fiddle back and quilting, birds-eye and much more. Typically these woods are much more expensive than plain wood because they are much more rare so they are used on smaller pieces like special boxes for keepsakes and jewelry, musical instruments like guitars and banjos as well as for around picture frames and other smaller type wooden objects.
Another kind of ornamental wood is something called spalted wood which occurs when the wood is allowed to become wet for a somewhat long period of time and fungus invades the wood and begins a rotting process. In this rotting process the the wood and the fungus combine to often make different colorations inside the wood that is called spalting. In it's early stages the spalting can produce an amazing color with the wood, in it's later stages the fungus can affect the wood so much it that it can become too far rotted and unusable.
In this video we have left the logs to dry slowly for several months and now that they are down to 14% moisture content it's time to cut them into usable planks and let them finish their drying process ...
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I'm not sure if anyone really knows where or how winding sticks came into being, but I would be willing to bet it was in ancient boat building. Boat builders use all sorts of tricks to figure out the best angles, curves and lines on boats and to do this they need to start with straight lines, which is where winding sticks would be helpful.
Winding sticks are used to help show where boards are warped or twisted and the way they work is simply to set them up on a board which is lying on a flat surface, then sight down the tops of the 2 sticks. If they line up perfectly, the board is flat, if the sticks are uneven, then the board is warped.
Oddly enough, it is boards that are only slightly warped that are the hardest to determine and this is where winding sticks really shine. Boards that are wildly warped are pretty easy to see, it's the ones that "look" flat that can be challenging ones to work with.
In the past winging sticks were useful to a woodworker or carpenter who was hand planing boards to make them flat, and that really hasn't changed, only now we often use machinery to make boards flat, and winding sticks are still useful in ...
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One of the joys of woodworking is being able to work with all sorts of different woods, and with woods that have different figures within them. I never get tired of looking at all the different designs and shapes that are comprised of different figured woods. It's almost like looking at clouds, they are all different, the beauty of wood, is they don't change like clouds do, they remain constant.
One of my favorite woods to work with is SPALTED wood. This kind of figure can occur in any wood and is basically caused by a fungus that invades the inner tree and in so doing leaves a path of lines and color changes that can bring out a very unique beauty to woods. It is far more noticeable in lighter color woods but can also occur in dark woods.
Spalting is the first breakdown of the wood fibers. It is where wood rot begins and if it is allowed to go too far, the spalting becomes rot and when rot goes far enough it can actually crumble and eventually would disintegrate and become part of the earth again ...