Red Mallee - 2006

Red Mallee comes from Australia.  Red Mallee Burl is kind of what I have been working up to the last year or two.
Burl is very hard wood and when it comes to working with very hard woods, I am a big chicken.  

So, I've been working up to this slowly using softer woods to practice with.  Burl prices were going up last year due to
the rising commodity prices so I decided to buy this well in advance of my wood turning skills.

Mallee Front

Yes, it cost me $111.00 + shipping, so it has been sitting here over a year waiting for me to get skilled enough
to attempt doing something with it.

Mallee Back

This is the outside of the burl.  Sharp spikes and looks sort of like a turtle shell.  The bark attaches to the spikes
but is hydroblasted off prior to shipment to the states.

Prior to trying a bowl from this, I am working on something a bit smaller.

Small Front

This is a much smaller chunk of Mallee burl that cost me $22.00 I bought to practice with.  
It is about 8" in diameter and looks to produce a 5" or so bowl.

Bowl Outside

I chopped about five inches off of the left side to make pens with, pens being even smaller
than this.  They looked pretty nice.

Partially turned

I am not  sure how far to go with this so this may end up being sawdust.

Further Turned

The bowl is now about five inches and to remove the rest of the cavity
would make it to small, in my opinion so I am stopping here.  Might
have an interesting artisic effect.

Outside Sanded

This is power sanded down to 120 grit.  There are a lot of divots.
I discovered the same thing with pens.  I  thought it was the result of dull tools
but I think it is a characteristic of the wood.

Super (CA) Glue

What worked for the pens should work for this.  I make a mixture of sanding
dust and medium viscocity CA glue and rub into the voids.  This will sit a
day or so and then will be sanded again.

My goal here is to finish the outside with the exception of the bottom to
a near quality finish.  Then I will reverse the bowl, gluing the bottom on to
the sacrificial block at what I hope is dead center and hollow out the inside.

Very hard woods are a bi*!ch on tools.  I am not that great a tool sharpener and
a year ago this would have been da*!n near impossible but I've gotten good enough
to where it is coming along, albiet slowly.

Well, this started out as a bowl but due to circumstances beyond my control a different direction was required.
It is now a desk set.  Looks pretty nice, don't you think?

Merry Christmas, Debbie.