Power Carving a Bowl From a Reclaimed Beam

First off, let me say that this was a DUSTY and DIRTY experience! Probably the dirtiest I have ever been. And that is saying something!

I was sent a very unique package in the mail a few weeks ago. It was a blade for a grinder. A blade that is for power carving. What is power carving? Well imagine that you had a chisel and a hammer and were able to speed up your limbs to x1000, that is what a power carving blade is for. The blade is from Belarus, from a company called Speedcutter Graf, http://speedcuttergraff.com/. When they sent me the blade, they asked for a video about the process and my thoughts. So here they are.20170712_173832While dumpster diving a while ago outside a construction site, I found this apx. 4 foot long laminated lvl beam. Basically really thick and good quality plywood. They are used as rafters in new house construction and this was apparently an off-cut that was thrown away. I was happy as a clam to find it. I love the look of all the layers in the wood. It looks like an archaeological dig site as I cut away the layers.

I took it to the shop, planed both sides smooth and co-planar and then chopped it up into 4 equal parts.I took the 4 pieces to the bench where I glued them into one huge block of wood. I used an excessive amount of glue at this phase because I needed to ensure that all the little nooks and crannies in this laminated beam were filled to make sure that there were no small pieces that could dislodge and shoot at my face at lightning speeds when I was carving.20170712_17474120170712_175239Once everything was dried and set, I was ready to begin carving. First I must say, this blade scared me. Not that it wasn’t a blast to use, but the speed at which it took away material actually frightened me. When it first bit into the wood on it’s maiden plunge, the grinder shot back at me like a rocket. I showed my wife the footage and she yelled at me in anger. hahahaha. You need to remember, I do not have a variable speed grinder and the Dewalt rotates at nearly 9,000 rpms. The blade is rated for up to 12,000 rpms and I cannot even imagine…20170731_174537After securing the grinder tight against my body for a second go at it, I flicked the switch and began taking shallower passes. You would have thought I was using a hot knife through a block of butter. This blade sliced through the wood effortlessly and was a joy to use. I quickly hollowed out the bowl and rounded the corners and sides. 20170731_182200After I had the rough shape, I used a flap disk on the grinder to smooth out the bumps and bring it to it’s final shape. You need to be careful because the flap disk is aggressive and can burn the wood when it is left in one spot for too long. After the flap disk, I brought out the random orbital sander and worked through the grits: 60, 120. 220. 20170731_192027After sanding, I gave it 2 coats of polyurethane finish to keep it water tight and to give it a shine. After cleaning up the piles of shavings and dust, the bowl was finished. 20170804_10120420170804_101228After sanding, I gave it 2 coats of polyurethane finish to keep it water tight and to give it a shine. After cleaning up the piles of shavings and dust, the bowl was finished.

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this project, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel where you can see the video of this build and many others. I am also on Instagram where you can see behind the builds. Also, please consider supporting me on Patreon so that I can continue to bring these sorts of projects to life and continue to upcycle, reclaim and restore.

Thanks for reading!

CHASEN MAKES

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