Set out to make a (Texas) Ebony stopper today. Had to work around checks in the log to get a couple usable blanks. One came out okay, but revealed another hairline crack – probably not a structural issue, but certainly not salable. Took a stab at the alternate blank, but this revealed lots of insect tunnels throughout. Some of the holes were plugged up quite soundly (and looked cool!) but there was also a groove that ran vertically up the whole side. bummer. I tried getting another blank out of the same small log… but that oddly shaped piece (which was borderline too small in the first place) went flying when I tried squaring up the bottom. Okay. Message received… No Ebony would be turned into anything today.

So I looked around the shop for anything that was big enough, crack free, and ready to turn. I spied this Juniper log (Also from Texas I just realized) hiding in a couple Osage Logs. Hmm… Nothing odd about almost all these stoppers being Texan, save for the fact that I’m up in New Hampshire.

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SO anyhow, this was about as soft and easy to turn as they come. A far cry from the ebony for sure. This did need a lot more sanding than all the other stoppers this go round too. Up to 1000 grit, wet and dry just to eliminate all the marks from the rougher grits (starting at 220 isn’t normally considered rough, is it?)

I am impressed with the complete lack of checking in this log (or was it a branch?). The top of the stopper shows that it is clearly cut from a branch or small trunk – which belies the plywood-esque appearance of the sides…. But I’m not really sure if I like how the grain looks on the sides. So to that end I’ve assembled this stopper for its photo op, BUT haven’t glued it together yet. We’ll see how the coming days go before I commit this one to the gallery.
I have already sold one cut from the same log :

Click for details: More  Stoppers
(the one on the right)

BUT I’ll still have to sleep on it. My wife and daughter like it. Maybe it’ll grow on me. I’m pleased that I was able (after a few false starts, and with nothing prepared, to turn out a finished project – keeping my streak of projects going (maybe I really am doing 30 projects in 30 days after all… but still don’t want to admit it)…

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