Projects from Limbwood

Mushroom ... aka Gnome Home

Woodturned Mushroom from limbwood

Step by step procedure

Woodturning doesn't always involve expensive or large pieces of wood.  Often, you can make many beautiful and functional things from just limbwood. That's right, just from your trees' limbs!

Here is a great example and can be a project done by novice woodturners.  It's a mushroom!

Let's see how a friend of mine, Joe Traynham, does it.  Credit goes to Bob Baker for taking the photos.

Shroom1.jpg (42567 bytes) Joe takes that other piece of Pear and makes a home ... a Home for a Gnome!
Shroom2.jpg (48729 bytes) Start out by putting the piece between centers using a spur drive in the headstock end. Here you can see Joe cutting a tenon on one end. This is going to be put into a scroll chuck so he can form the top of the mushroom later. Be sure to make a clean and square tenon here!
Shroom3.jpg (51648 bytes) Joe has put the mushroom tenon into the scroll chuck but still has the tailstock up against the end.  It's always best to use the support of the tailstock whenever possible.  You can see that he's starting to form the top of the mushroom now.
Shroom4.jpg (52557 bytes) Continuing to form that cap.
Shroom5.jpg (73020 bytes) Everybody was waiting to see the Gnome that was going to call this thing Home.  Jon wasn't around.

(Why I give Jon such a hard time I don't know .. he's just such a good sport about it! Hope he doesn't ban me from the place.)

Shroom6.jpg (38681 bytes) The cap is roughed out and now Joe is working on roughing out the stem.
Shroom7.jpg (42307 bytes) A bit more refining of the stem and base.
Shroom8.jpg (49554 bytes) The tailstock has been pulled back and out of the way.  This allows the cap to be fully formed across the top. Joe is using a shallow gouge (spindle gouge) with a light touch here.
Shroom9.jpg (36979 bytes) Pretty little ribbons of wood coming off that gouge!
Shroom10.jpg (35539 bytes)  
Shroom11.jpg (45752 bytes) This shows the hand position when making these fine cuts.
Shroom12.jpg (41094 bytes) The completed cap. Mushrooms look best when they're a little offcenter. All you have to do is just find a piece of wood that's not perfectly round.
Shroom13.jpg (45278 bytes) You can see that Joe leaves the bark on in places.  It looks great that way.

Working on the stem to get it thinner and have a good transition to the base.

Shroom14.jpg (48490 bytes) HEEERRREEEE comes the sandpaper !!!
Shroom15.jpg (36416 bytes) Really get in there and make it shine.
Shroom16.jpg (41826 bytes) Watch out for that scroll chuck.  You can see that Joe uses small pieces of sandpaper. Why? For one reason, he doesn't need that much because of his fine technique with the tools. For another reason, he doesn't want large pieces of sandpaper that'll potentially get caught and ripped out of his hands.
Shroom17.jpg (53335 bytes) A little friction polish.
Shroom18.jpg (38957 bytes)  
Shroom19.jpg (35842 bytes) Some more here and there
Shroom20.jpg (49324 bytes) Part it off.
Shroom21.jpg (26687 bytes) TADA !                 Hey, Jon.   Where'd he go?  Anybody see Jon?
Shroom22.jpg (67761 bytes) And the crowd goes wild.    This is a good and quick project that gives you something to do with those small limbs ... and the Gnomes.