Thursday, July 26, 2012

Linseed (Flax) Oil Recipe

This is the recipe my granddaughter made for me. As a side note you have to get the Flax oil. Which is another name for linseed oil. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Linseed Oil

Recently I was asked why I use linseed oil and recommend it for bowl care. Well, I had honestly never through about it. I use it because it was what my wife would pick up at the store, and with 50 years of marriage under my belt, I have learned not to question what she buys.
So I decided to do some research and back up my use of this type of oil.

Linseed oil comes from a dried ripe flax seed. The oil it self is made by pressing to extract the aplaha-linolenic acid (which for you non-chemist about there is a form of Omega-3). This allows the oil to polymerize in to a solid form, a property that lets the oil act as natural varrish in wood finishes, and brings the pigment out of the wood, or oil paints.

Also unlike some synthetic oils on the mark, linseed is an edible oil. In parts of Europe it is often eaten with potatoes, quark, and cheese. These treats are regarded as a delicacy due to the oils hearty taste, that spices up the bland dishes.  An for the people who have no desire to try it, I can say it is not bad. If fact I had my grand-daughter look up a recipe involving the oil, I will see if I can get her to post it later. I have to admit it was not what I was expecting when I first look at the recipe, but overall it was nice.

But the the overall take away that I got from my research. Is that linseed is a natural oil that gives your wood a beatufiul shine and even add hardness to the wood. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free Shipping

Now till the 24 of July 2012, we are offering free shipping on all purchases.
Just use the code, bluespruce.
This offer is for US residents only.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The lathe, I have to say it a pretty important part to turning wood. I mean with out my it would take me years to widdle down a wood section to a bowl.
I know that their are many makers of lathes but I don't have a real preference for any group. I a made my own lathe when I was 14 and still to this day am using it.

You basic setting for a lathe

The lathe by definition is a "machine for turning wood, plastic or metal into cylindrical or onical parts or for cutting holes or screws-thread in them." In case people really wanted to know what the dictionary said it was.
In most cases lathes are used for mass production for machine components. (nails, tubes, axle, housings, gears, etc..)
Lathe work, for machine parts

Most lathes are composed of more that 3,500 components. About half contribute to the moments of the lathe. Mine personally I don't think I had the skill at 14 to put that many parts into, but I have never really counted. I do know it took me around two weeks to finish it, with a few days for just ripping apart what I have built.

In a recently survey, there was around 80,0000 lathes in USA, and around 60,000 in Germany. I will note that I found this number in a car article about machine part production across the world.

I hope you enjoyed this little blur about the lathes. If you are interested in a lathe I would suggest going to a wood working store or even a machine supply shop. These people work every day and would know a good deal with what on the market at the moments.
For those who want to go my way and build it, that is great an I wish you luck.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blue Spruce

Blue spruce is not a wood have been able to turn yet. I have some on the drying rack at the moment, it should be ready to turn in about a month or so, have to say I am excited. I love the Spruce family, it has wonderful color that varies from tree to tree. I also just really enjoy the look of the tree, the color that the needles give off is just great.

Blue spruces are hardy evergreens found through out the northern hemisphere. Unlike a pine or fir, spruces produce single needles along the branches. This makes it  real pain to clean up when they fall, or a sticky mess on your grandsons shoes.

Most may recognize the blue spruce as your mainstream Christmas Tree, at least in the United States. It was made the officially Christmas tree a few years back, Colorado even has a living Spruce that it decorates every year. Every year, Norway gifts New York city with a Norway spruce placed in the middle of Rockefeller Center.

Many cultures have myths surrounding the tree. One is that the tree is a protective female element, the tree of life, the mother tree, and were often made into maypoles for spring festival.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Box Elder

The box elder is probably one of my most turned types of woods. It has a crisp light color with an interesting tiger eye pattern through out it's grain. It has smooth fill with narrow ridges that interlace with the furrow. You can tell the how old the tree is by it's color, the older the tree is the darker the brown it will be.

The box elder is native to portions of the southern tier and Susquehanan Valley, but has become wide spread through out the world. For people who don't believe I will simple note my back yard jungle.
Box elder commonly grows along banks, streams, river, and other water ways. It is used for stabilization along said water ways.
It is most times considered a weed species in most urban area, and has little to no commercial value. This is due to it being a soft wood.

One issue that has become prevalent with the tree being near house is the box elder bug. These little guys cause huge amounts of damage to trees, which lead to the trees deaf and it falling on your house.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

State on fire

For those who do not know Utah is on fire. An as any retired Utahan I do really enjoy watching the helicopters try an hit the flames. I have to admit a great sigh of relief here that I am in a non-effected area. Although I can see the billowing clouds of smoke from the majority of the fires over my house.

It is still amazing what one year of poor snow fall can do, that combined with some people who I honestly think lack common sense. But that is topic is just a long winded rant, that ends with story about walking up a hill both ways for 8 miles.

I though I would share some pictures, these may have already been seen on the news and what not. But if you like me you get the first 10 minutes fall asleep and wake up just in time for weather.

This one keeps flying over my house

Hey check this out

Looks like my etsy shop was featured in top shops blog. I will be honest when I applied for it, I was not really expecting to hear back. Much less this soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The American Cherry

Cherry is one of my favorite woods to turn with. Unfortunately I never seem to have any, or at least not large enough pieces of it for turning. I though that I should spread the word about this wood, and why I enjoy turning with it so much.

First off the North American Cherry is one of the most well know woods. From it blossoms to rich colored wood, the cherry emanates a delicate beauty. That cultures around the world have used as inspiration for their art.

Art featuring Cherrys from Japan
It's bark is not only used for wood turning but was also used for medical tonics. I am not sure if it still used in modern medicine, but there are Chinese supplements that still use its wood and petals.

Currently it is a popular wood for furniture and floor. Having incredible high sales in the Midwest and Eastern United States. Which might be a reason why I like it so much, seeing as I live toward the Midwest demographic.

Now the reason why it is my favorite wood to turn. The heart wood of the cherry is a rich red, but as saplings the color can range from white to a light brown-red. This gives the wood a very different character from other woods. It also has a very defined pattern with in the wood.
 Steaming the wood can help "bleed" the red across the surface. This gives it a more tone down uniform look. I only steam cherry on request, I feel that is ruins the wood. Cherry is meant to be a robust red, not a dull red.

Solid piece of cherry

The robust color of the cherry