Author Archives: Barry Biesanz

Very determined beetles…

Scyllaridae beetle holes in cocobolo rosewood sapwood, and some in the heartwood too. They can even work lignum vitae, but it takes longer! These woods are so dense that they sink in water, so you can imagine how hard the beetles have to work.

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Woodturning with Guapinol wood

And now it’s Wood Trivia Hour! This species has a large woody pod holding flattish disclike seeds. Children take a corner of broken glass and twist it to make a hole for a finger, and lo, a ring! They also eat the powdery stuff around the seeds, which have protein and B12, used to be sold to kids as brain food, when diets here has less protein.

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Designing Bowls, History of a Slow Learner…

In bowl turning I concentrated on making a simple curve, tighter on one side, more relaxed on the other end, but always a curve, no flat sections.

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Some Technical Notes on Woodturning


Many years ago I bought a huge log of Cenizaro, or Monkey pod. Looks somewhat like a coarse grained walnut. I was turning large salad bowls, but fibers were tearing out of the end grain,
and I was spending way too much time sanding out the damage, even using a drill with 40 grit paper.

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Some Notes from a Career in Woodwork and Woodturning

So when people ask me how I can turn such thin bowls, I answer, “Break some!”
If you’re afraid to break a bowl once in a while, you’ll never find out what your limits are – which will vary with the wood species.

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