Monthly Archives: May 2010

Dalbergia calycinia – Rare highland variety of cocobolo rosewood in Escazu, Costa Rica

I’m so happy about this…I work mainly with Cocobolo, a rosewood of Central America, and eventually learned that sometimes I was buying a highland variety. After some years, I’d found it twice, growing above 4000 ft elevation, and finally found some in seed. We planted some,and after only 8 years three are in seed!

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Doing laundry with Chumico Soapseed in Costa Rica

I gathered a hatful of soapseeds below a big tree in the lower pasture, turns out they’re great for doing laundry. Put the rind from 5-6 seeds in a cloth bag and toss them in with non white clothing, does 5 loads. I love the tropics!

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How long ago did somebody hammer this into a cocobolo tree?

Anyone want to guess what year this 4.5 inch square spike got hammered into the cocobolo tree? The tree kept grew another 1.25″ inches in diameter after it happened, and the bark healed over. No, sorry, can’t use growth rings to figure it out because tropical woods don’t have pronounced growth rings.

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Brush fire behind Biesanz Woodworks

In 1999 the sawdust pile caught fire, and we couldn’t put it out. We emptied out our water tank on it; no luck. We hired a water transport truck and dumped that on it – three times. Finally we hired a backhoe and had it move the sawdust around while we poured water on. That did the trick. Took four days total.

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Thoughts on woodturning tools

One of the early articles in Fine Woodworking
magazine quoted Bob Stocksdale, the pioneering American craft turner, that he almost never used anything but a deep gouge, a round nose scraper, and a parting tool. Everything else he called, “Just one more thing to pick up and put down.” I liked his attitude, but like most of us, I was a sucker for the Latest Thing, and ended up with a lot of stuff I’ve never used. Here’s what I do use.

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