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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Purple Heart

My little sister turned 21 the other week and I wanted to make her something as well as buying her a present.
I decided that something turned on the lathe might be best as she hasn't got huge amounts of space at uni and this way I could make something small that might be useful.
In the end I decided to make an earring tree, but I wanted to make it a little bit different so I made a trip to the timber merchants and brought some purple heart. A timber that turns to a beautiful dark purple when exposed to light and air.
What I didn't realise is how difficult this stuff is to turn! I must have sharpened my chisels twenty times during the process, and it took ages to sand up.

I made the piece in four separate parts and sanded each piece individually, I also had to take it in to the guild house (where I have wood turning lessons) and use their indexer to accurately drill the holes for the earrings to slot into.
Unfortunately when I was applying the oil finish I must have put one coat on too thick and I had to cut it back with meths and start the finish all over again (the oil sat on top and wouldn't shine up).
In the end I was please with the finished piece but I wont be using purple heart again for some time! My sister seemed pleased with it as well (only trouble was that it wasn't as big as the bench my brother made for her - I think we're too competitive!)

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