Holy exploding woodturnings batman!

At the HWA meeting in February Mark Baker demonstrated an interesting arched stand with finialed box. I figured I would have a go at making one. I sliced up a chunk of spalted beech on my bandsaw to provide the arch. Mark had ebonised his arch and left the box contrasting, I thought I’d try the other way around, since the spalted beech was so interesting. I decided to glue a spiggot on to help hold it and use the tailstock to pin everything in place whilst I turned the outside profile.


I refined the outside profile and cut a recess that would ultimately be the hole my box sat in. But would also allow me to reverse the piece and expand my 4 jaw chuck into the recess to turn the underside.

Here you can see that it’s quiet easy to judge thickness because it’s ‘winged’ you can see a translucent effect of the wings seeing the outside and inside profile


This made life fairly easy and at 2000rpm it was fairly smooth cutting despite big sections of any rotation being free air.

It’s fair to say I was feeling pretty pleased with myself as things were going well.
Then, just as I was reaching my desired thickness, just as I cut through the bottom of the recess…BANG! it exploded off the chuck, hitting the back wall and shattering in to smaller pieces.

At times like these I am glad I wear a full face shield. Not that anything hit me, but it’s easy to see how it could have. Always wear protection!

So far I’ve only actually found half of the pieces, I have no idea where the other half went.


Clearly the wood was simply not strong enough against the expansive force of the chuck once I’d removed most of the weight of wood.

And Mark made is look so easy….