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About the Timber I Use
Rough turned bowls drying
Over the past twenty or so years I have specialized in Australian Timber, particularly Jarrah burr, Grass Tree, Banksia Nut and old fence posts. Though I still enjoy using these woods, these days I am also using more native timber. Much of this is reclaimed. Oak railway sleepers, beams, posts and shipwreck wood to name but a few. I also do a lot of work from local fallen trees such as yew, sycamore, holly and others.
The burr is the lump or growth found on many trees. It is a cancer of sorts, a random multiple cell division, which means that there is no set 'grain' to the wood. It becomes very tight and 'swirly' for want of a better word and in Jarrah it can be quite stunning. I sometimes go out and stare at my pile of Jarrah Burr - it makes me feel happy.
These nuts are from the tree Banksia Grandis and like the Jarrah are found in W. Australia. Named after Joseph Banks who sailed with Captain Cook and was into plants and naming things after himself. The Banksia Grandis is a large tree and it is advisable not to be under one when the nuts are dropping. No other way of putting that really. Sorry.
I love working with old Jarrah posts that have been sitting out in the bush for god knows how long, weathering nicely and just waiting to catch a fast ship to my place. No amount of clever texturing can better the elements and time when it comes to sculpting these posts.
I also love to use old posts and beams from the countryside here at home. I am always on the lookout for weathered oak posts, so if anyone has some, donít chuck 'em on the fire, please talk to me first. I'm sure a deal can be struck.
I am fortunate in recently aquiring a number of reclaimed oak railway sleepers that were rejects and therefore never treated. These are a lovely source of oak.
And of course I use any wood I can get my hands on, from reclaimed wreckwood to the keel of a boat that was given to me as firewood. Other lovely timbers I use often are, sycamore, hawthorne, holly, privet, ash and many more.
Though much of my timber is reclaimed and therefore mature and dry, I also use wood which comes to me unseasoned. I rough turn batches of work from this wood which means the rough bowl shape is made to remove most excess material thus allowing the bowl to dry without cracking. The pieces are left in a drying room for a few weeks or months prior to returning when the bowl can be finished.
Need help? Phone 01407 861294 or e-mail me.
Content is copyright Jules Tattersall Woodturner, North Wales, UK.