Bowls From Fallen Boles

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/9446543.htm?ERIGHTSi34204770704499054philly :: snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com&KRD_RM=8oprpxvtwrpwusqxpppooooooo|Tom|Y Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sigh... They require registration, and I get enough spam as it is. What's it all about, Tommy?
Bob

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Finding beauty in fallen trees Woodworker gives downed trees a new life. By Larry Fish Inquirer Staff Writer
If a tree falls, Tom Pleatman would like to hear about it.
The Media resident honors trees felled by storms, disease, insects or other natural means, and brings the beauty out of them by making bowls, vases and other items from their wood.
Only doomed trees get the special treatment, Pleatman said. "I view my bowls as a tribute to trees and not as a tribute to bringing down trees," he said.
Pleatman, 57, has been woodworking in earnest for about four years. A software developer by trade, today he modestly supplements his income by selling his work in a few arboretum gift shops and at craft shows and horticultural conferences.
Each bowl or other piece requires about a year to finish, mostly to let the wood dry out slowly so it does not crack. Small pieces sell for about $25; larger bowls go for about $200.
Red oak turns out a russet-colored bowl strongly marked by its distinctive grain. Honey locust glows with a shimmering gold. Kentucky coffee trees, redbuds, and yews have their own characteristic beauty.
Pleatman said that his father had a lathe, the power tool that spins wood for shaping, all the time he was growing up, and that he made his first bowl in high school shop class.
But it was not until a fall northeaster four years ago brought down a cherry tree and then some black locust trees on the extensive property he shares with his fiance in Media that he got a lathe of his own.
Most of the bowls are cut from a lengthwise section of the tree, rather than from across the diameter, because center wood tends to split and crack.
When Pleatman looks at a downed tree, "I'm hoping to find wood that typically is not from the main part of the tree. Something that might expose something that is a little bit different," he said.
When he gets the chunk of wood home - his workshop is in the basement - he puts it onto his heavy-duty lathe and turns it until he gets a crude version, rough and blocky, of what he is trying to make.
Then the aging begins.
First the crude bowl is treated with a preservative chemical and wrapped in a plastic bag to sit - with any others started at the same time - in a bin for a month to begin the slow drying.
Then it is transferred to a paper bag for three months, for slightly faster drying. Finally, it spends about nine months exposed to the open air.
Only then does it return to the lathe for the final turning and for sanding.
The finish is six coats of tung oil, derived from the seeds of a subtropical tree, which gives the wood a lustrous sheen and brings out the subtle colors.
The wood comes primarily from Pleatman's own lot or from some of the many arboretums in the Philadelphia area, which inevitably lose a prize specimen once in a while.
"I went to the arboretums and basically made them a deal," he said. "You give me wood, and I'll give you a bowl."
His work is scheduled to show up soon at Morris Arboretum in northwest Philadelphia under such an arrangement.
That has usually gotten him enough raw material: Incessant storms have made this a banner year for fallen trees.
Pleatman said he had never tried to get wood from fallen trees on private property, although he says he might seek permission if the tree was a wood he really wanted.
But he won't go cruising around after windstorms hoping to get lucky.
"I wouldn't be like an ambulance chaser," Pleatman said, especially because a downed tree likely means the homeowner has other problems, such as power failures or property damage.
But there are four types of wood he really wants, wood he so far he has been unable to get through his regular sources. The basic deal is that the donor of the wood will get a free bowl from it.
The four are sweet gum, catalpa, black willow and Osage orange. Any tips would be welcome at snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net.
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tom Watson wrote:

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/9446543.htm?ERIGHTSi34204770704499054philly :: snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com&KRD_RM=8oprpxvtwrpwusqxpppooooooo|Tom|Y

Tom, your paper pushing roots are showing: everything in triplicate!
--

Gerald Ross, Cochran, GA
To reply add the numerals "13" before the "at"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.