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monkey tree wood

jwebber's picture

I have a section of a monkey tree that a neighbor had cut down. The wood has a unique patern in the center. I would like to turn a bowl with it, but I know nothing about the wood. I have had the wood for about a year . is it to soon to do anything it's about a 12 inch diameter log. any information would be great, Thanks. JWebber

sawdustandshavings's picture

(post #112590, reply #1 of 7)

Hello,


Maybe I'm wrong but don't you mean monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana) also known as chilean pine.If you are to turn this you are going to need a fairly substantial lathe unless your blank is about 2 inches deep which I doubt it is.To make the turning a whole lot easier to start off with, it would help if you cut it into a circle on the bandsaw to help it run true on the lathe.You mentioned that the wood had a pattern in the middle, this pattern is a knot and when you turn it the knot will start to split slightly becase it is building up heat and drying very rapidly.If you are wanting to finish the bowl then what I would recommend is something like cellulose sanding sealer for a high gloss finish.I would asume that you know the process of end grain hollowing of which you will have to do to make the bowl if you do not then I would reccomend this site for a bit of help:


http://www.customwooddesign.com/turninggreenwood-1.html


Good Luck,


Sawdust.


'It's not a mistake It's a design feature'

MikeHennessy's picture

(post #112590, reply #2 of 7)

sawdustandshavings said:


"Maybe I'm wrong but don't you mean monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana) also known as chilean pine."


Or, it could be Osage Orange, commonly referred to as "Monkey Ball Tree" in these parts.


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

notDusty's picture

(post #112590, reply #3 of 7)

     Hi All ,


                       Well I could also be way wrong , but could it be " Monkey Pod " ?


                                           dusty

mikegagne's picture

(post #112590, reply #5 of 7)

Well I could also be way wrong , but could it be " Monkey Pod " ?

Thats what I was thinking too, it grows in Hawaii, the Phillipines, and South America-saman samanea.

aloha, mike

Pondfish's picture

(post #112590, reply #4 of 7)

Osage orange is a small scrub tree, and nothing at all like monkey puzzle tree, which is over 60' tall with unique evergreen needles that look like a cross between a throwing star and a dinner plate.  The "needles" are stacked like plates along the length of long, drooping branches, and are reminiscent of monkey tails (it helps if you are slightly drunk to see the similarity).


Monkey puzzle trees are often found in the great Pacific Northwest.  Old trees are very impressive.  It's a shame to hear of one being turned into turning blanks!


Osage orange produces green grapefruit like seed balls.  The wood is nicely colored, often with reddish-pink stripes.


The following photos show monkey puzzle trees (up close and in toto).  Should be no confusing monkey balls with monkey puzzles!


Recommending the use of "Hide Signatures" option under "My Preferences" since 2005
Recommending the use of "Hide Signatures" option under "My Preferences" since 2005
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monkey_puzzle_tree.jpg
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jwebber's picture

(post #112590, reply #6 of 7)

thanks for the pictures, that is the tree.It was taken down by my parents neighbor and I agrre it is unfortunate. I was able to sneak a section into my truck one night before they had it hauled away, and was hoping to do something with it. I thought of turning a bowl of some sort from a slice of it because of the unique patern in the center. The section I have is about 12 inches in dia. and 18in. long. Is this a hard wood or a soft wood? I'm thinking of cutting about a 6 inch slice and starting with that. any suggestions? I have had it for about a year now.
Thanks JWebber.

Pondfish's picture

(post #112590, reply #7 of 7)

I wish I could help, but I'm not a turner, nor have I ever worked with the wood (I've only admired the trees as I walked past them).  You can probably learn something about the wood from doing a Google search; help about turning the blank will have to come from the turners in this forum.

Recommending the use of "Hide Signatures" option under "My Preferences" since 2005

Recommending the use of "Hide Signatures" option under "My Preferences" since 2005