There must be something to the unlucky number thirteen. After spending the past week and half making twelve turned lidded boxes with no real issues, my thirteenth project was smashing, but not a smashing success.
Almost a month ago, I got a really large chunk of maple at the Baltimore Turners Club meeting. I had been looking forward to getting a really large bowl out of it. Well, I guess it was just not meant to be.
It took me about an hour to chain saw the log into a sixteen inch wide blank that just barely fit on my lathe. Thankfully it was relatively balanced and after a couple of more hours I had a really nice large bowl form. I made a large glue block for it and glued the bowl up to the glue block, trued the bowl back up again, and then I was ready to start hollowing.
It did not take long before I noticed small stress cracks radiating out from were the pith would have been. Not a good sign. I filled the cracks up with CA glue in hopes of stemming further cracking, and continued hollowing. When I reached the bottom of the bowl and ready to make my final cuts, I put a fresh edge on the gouge and started to take a nice thin clean cut, and as I was easing the tool around the inside corner, BAM! The whole thing shattered!
That was the first time I have had a bowl literally blow up on the lathe. I spent about 5 hours on this bowl trying to get it just right, so I am upset that I have nothing to show for a days work, but then again, I feel very thankful that none of the sharp pieces hit me.
The lathe giveth (50 lbs. of shavings) and the lathe taketh away (my mighty bowl).