A little while ago a most generous friend brought over some wood samples of a species that I had never seen before. As usual with unusual species, I took my time selecting a piece to try out on the lathe. With the dust extractor at close proximity to remove all the shavings and sanding dust, I turned a disc of sparkling Pink Silky Oak. Confusingly, it is nothing like the oak we know in Europe and America. The surprising softness of this wood was a challenge, but I had been told that there was a chatoyancy worth working for. With time and elbow grease the wooden treat now shimmers when it is rotated in the light, and although I tried to capture some of that in the photograph, it hardly does the actual item justice.
I only used a small piece of the block, so no doubt I will be revisiting this material in the near future.
One wood experience that will have to wait is that of the Australian Red Cedar. Apart from the similar-sounding name, it has nothing to do with the Canadian Western Red Cedar at all. However, that did not stop the custom’s agent determining that this rare wood was non-importable,…and off to the incinerator it went. I cannot, therefore, show you an example of its amazing grain in a turned or carved piece here, but maybe – one day – another piece will turn up for the turning.