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Urns (Read 817 times)
 
Jenny Trice
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Urns
Dec 12th, 2017 at 7:40pm
 
A friend of mine who is in good health (thankfully) has asked me to turn an urn for her.  I consider that an honor.  I have done a fair amount of investigating already but have some questions.  I just went through the video library here, thinking I had seen a video on here in the past that included using PVC pipe threads.  I was unable to find it.  If anyone has information, please share.

Other questions, can I center a log on the pith and expect to prevent cracking (I know the different drying techniques like boiling, DNA, etc.)?  I am also familiar with the dimension required for a certain body weight.

Any other pitfalls that other want to share?
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Bill Neff
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Re: Urns
Reply #1 - Dec 13th, 2017 at 10:44am
 
I don't remember a video about the PVC threads, but that's what I've used on the urns I've made.  I used a clean out plug.    I've used both 1.5 & 2 inch sizes. When it was time to epoxy the pvc in place I mounted the male cap (which would go in the urn's lid) on the lathe and turned the square part off to the depth needed.  Then did the same with female part that goes in the urn.  One thing I found out is that when the epoxy is set don't screw the lid down tight.  The pvc is hard to get unscrewed if you have a low height lid (hard to get a good grip on it).   Hopefully this helps.

As far as your question about the pith, I've never done one with the pith, but I've heard if you use ca glue on any cracks and around the pith it will help stabilize it.  Hopefully someone with experience will chime in.
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« Last Edit: Dec 13th, 2017 at 10:45am by Bill Neff »  

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Louie Powell
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Re: Urns
Reply #2 - Dec 13th, 2017 at 11:22am
 
I've never done an urn, but I have made other end-grain vessels.  My experience has been mixed.  It all seems to depend on the characteristics of the specific timber you are using, how dry it is when you turn the vessel, and how thin the bottom is.  I've tried stabilizing with CA; again, depending on the variables, it sometimes works.  On some timbers, the pith seems to act like a sponge to soak up a lot of CA - which probably is a good thing.

Most of the urns I've seen have been built up using staved or segmented rings, with the bottom made from stable wood.  If you prefer using a solid log, a variation on the staved or segmented approach would be to drill out the pith, and then glue in a turned plug made from stable wood. 

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Ed Weber
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Re: Urns
Reply #3 - Dec 13th, 2017 at 12:16pm
 
Jenny Trice wrote on Dec 12th, 2017 at 7:40pm:
I just went through the video library here, thinking I had seen a video on here in the past that included using PVC pipe threads.  I was unable to find it.  If anyone has information, please share.

Here is a pdf. that should help
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Jenny Trice
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Re: Urns
Reply #4 - Dec 13th, 2017 at 8:28pm
 
Louie, if you drill out the pith, when do you do that?  How big of a hole?
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Don Stephan
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Re: Urns
Reply #5 - Dec 14th, 2017 at 8:40am
 
John Jordan makes hollow vessels using the entire section of log as you are describing.  You might see if he has a web site with some discussion.  I recall seeing some discussion of this on one of his videos if you have access (can't recall if it was disc 1 or disc 2 of a set).
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Louie Powell
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Re: Urns
Reply #6 - Dec 14th, 2017 at 8:43am
 
Jenny Trice wrote on Dec 13th, 2017 at 8:28pm:
Louie, if you drill out the pith, when do you do that?  How big of a hole?


There are two potential problems with vessels turned as spindles.  One is radial checking, or cracks that start at the pith and extend outward.  These checks form because wood shrinks more circumferentially than in any other direction, and cracks form to relieve that shrinkage.  Drilling out the pith relieves some of that stress. 

Making the hole larger reduces the risk of radial checking as the wood continues to dry.  But also introduces the second concern - that if the plug is made from different wood, or if it is face-grain, then expansion across the grain of the plug could crack the vessel.  Thisis the  'differential expansion' problem that flat-work folks worry about and that leads to things like breadboard ends on tables.  The best way to avoid that problem is to have the plug 'float' in a slightly oversized rabbit.  Then, when the plug is glued in, apply glue only at two points on the circumference of the plug - at end of the grain so that the plug can expand and contract across the grain.  Essentially make the 'plug' a floating bottom'.   Obviously, that means that the joint between the plug and the hole won't be tightly sealed.

I think the ideal approach would be to do a twice-turned vessel - turn it once leaving fairly thick walls, and cut a hole in the bottom.  Then, let the wood dry for a while.  If you are air-drying, it might take several months for the moisture level in the wood to equalize with the environment.   Another option would be to use a microwave to accelerate drying.   Then, turn again to thin the walls.  The hole might be out of round, so it would need to be tuned up before the plug is installed.
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Kathy Jekel
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Re: Urns
Reply #7 - Dec 17th, 2017 at 7:02pm
 
Lee Valley Tools has threaded brass rings that I have used on Urns. Hope this helps.
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Kathy Jekel
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Jenny Trice
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Re: Urns
Reply #8 - Dec 17th, 2017 at 8:49pm
 
I looked around their site, Kathy, but was unable to find the rings.  Can you attach a link or let me know what they call them?  What diameter?
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Ed Weber
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Re: Urns
Reply #9 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 9:23am
 
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Mike Nathal
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Re: Urns
Reply #10 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 3:44pm
 
I believe John Jordan makes a plug out of the same wood as the vessel.  He turns green, centering the pith.  After turning and hollowing he drills out the pith and after drying glues in the plug.   The plug is about the diameter of a nickel -to - quarter
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Nic_Davies
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Re: Urns
Reply #11 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 5:41pm
 

Jenny,
I have made many urns over the last few years. I use the 3 or 4-inch compression fittings for the urns that I make. They come in either brass, PVC or ABS.  You can get 2 lids out of each one. They are easily cut and machined on a wood lathe to fit the access hole. In addition, they are difficult to jam. This make it easy to fill and to open for scattering. Do not us regular PVC pipe fittings. They are designed to jam and become very difficult to take apart.
If you have any questions, please contact me directly at twopoles@msn.com.
Nic
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Buck Nemitt
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Re: Urns
Reply #12 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 7:39pm
 
Nic would you be using 2 part epoxy to secure these fittings to the wood vessel?
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Nic_Davies
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Re: Urns
Reply #13 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 10:09pm
 
Hi Buck,
Yes, I use the quick acting (5 minute) epoxy.
Nic

PS Here is a photo of one of the urns that I made. I shows the opening at the top. It is the  section of a 3 inch pvc threaded compression fitting.

PSS. Sometimes I make the top with a remembrance box. That requires that the urn's storage opening be on the bottom.
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« Last Edit: Dec 18th, 2017 at 10:20pm by Nic_Davies »  

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Kathy Jekel
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Re: Urns
Reply #14 - Dec 18th, 2017 at 10:26pm
 
Jenny, I use the 42mm Brass Ring Set Product Number 88K7410.
There is a tenon on each end. I usually will use a file and rough the tenons up so the glue will hold securely.

I have found that if you turn a feature ring for the Urn, this will allow for a larger opening to hollow the Urn and it's easier to set the female part of the brass ring into the feature ring and then attach this to the Urn.  Then attach the male portion of the brass ring set to the lid.

There is a lip on each ring that will need to be level with the wood when setting the rings in place or you will have a gap between the lid and base.

I have two Urns here but my photograph stuff is still packed from our recent move. My husband has been fighting cancer and I haven't had time to unpack everything yet.
Hope this helps...
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Kathy Jekel
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