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Turning Parallam

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  • Turning Parallam

    Has anyone here turned Parallam? I've seen one piece that was made of Parallam and it looked pretty good. Definitely a different look.

    I think I'll call a local yard and see if they have any scraps. I know the one yard I deal with carries LVL but I don't know if they have PSL.

  • #2

    Re: Turning Parallam

    Hi Steve
    Yes I've seen some turnings made from that, looks different, can't say I like it, but it is apparently pretty hard on the tools Steve, also lots of small voids that have to be filled, I never turned it, even though I had a couple of big pieces, and use one under my anvil, the other pieces got burned.
    Just give it a try, you'll find out quick if you like to turn it.
    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo
    sigpic
    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Turning Parallam

      I've got a 10"x10"x3" block of parallam that I've been hoarding for awhile. I haven't yet figured out what I want to turn from it. I saw a couple of bowls turned from it a couple of years ago and thought they were pretty interesting. When I chatted with the fellow that turned them he graciously offered me the blank to play with. Now that I have a shop again you guys have piqued my curiosity about parallam again so I might just have to mount that blank and see what it turns into.

      Leo, I hadn't thought about the voids. The piece I have has no visible voids on the outside of the blank. In my own ignorance I had assumed that it was formed under so much pressure that there would be few, if any, voids. As for dulling the tools, it couldn't be any worse than purpleheart, could it?
      Steve
      Richmond, BC

      Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Turning Parallam

        Steve I turned purple hearth, and yes it's a bit splintery like some more woods, but didn't notice any abnormal dulling of my tools, keep in mind there are several purple hearth species, and I think depending where a tree grows that that does make a difference.
        I do know that plywood and mdf dulls tools, and that's what the persons who turned the parallam mentioned as I recall, the voids I've seen are small, not like the big gaps like we see in plywood, but there could also be a difference what quality it is, I'm not really familiar with the demands that these beams are made under, but I'm sure you will find out, make sure to post some pic's and let us know how you found working it, I'm sure there are others that are also interested in that.
        Have fun and take care
        Leo Van Der Loo
        sigpic
        Have fun and take care
        Leo Van Der Loo

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Turning Parallam

          Purpleheart is LOML's favorite wood so I've turned a number of items from it. Aside from being a bit splintery (is that a word?) it dulls the tools very quickly. I was told it was because of its high silicon content.

          I'll turn that blank in the very near future and post some pics and comments.
          Steve
          Richmond, BC

          Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Turning Parallam

            I have tried to turn parallam but have had major dismount problems. The stuff seems to like flying around the shop. The next time I get up the nerve I will begin as is normal (shape the outside, form a tenon for rechucking) and then I will flow the tenon with CA. Once it is dry, I will do it again.

            Steve Kubien
            Stubby S-750 lathe, CX-100 bandsaw, no-name grinder, a pile of Thomspon lathe tools

            www.greenleafwoodstudio.com

            Comment


            • #7

              Re: Turning Parallam

              Thanks for the tip, Steve. How were you originally mounting it that had it flying off the lathe? Impregnating the tenon with CA sounds like a good idea - I'll definately do that when I turn my paralam blank. Sounds like a hardhat might be a good precaution, as well.

              What sort of finish did you eventually use on that project?
              Steve
              Richmond, BC

              Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Turning Parallam

                The only finish I used was sawdust and shavings (it's rolling around the floor of the shop somewhere) as it never got finished. I am having trouble remembering but I think I used a screw chuck. As I said, next time it will be a faceplate, then a hardened tenon.

                Steve
                Stubby S-750 lathe, CX-100 bandsaw, no-name grinder, a pile of Thomspon lathe tools

                www.greenleafwoodstudio.com

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Turning Parallam

                  All this talk about turning Parallam got me motivated to do something with that blank I've been hoarding for the past few years. I went hunting the blank today and after 45 minutes of searching, I found it. This stuff is nastier than I remember it, and a bit larger (12" x 3"). Leo, I take it back - it's full of little voids and some that are not so little. While I had intended to turn this into a bowl on Sunday, I think I'm going to park it beside my lathe and stare at it for awhile before I tackle it. Instead, I found a nice little chunk of maple burl that I'm going to turn into a some sort of hollow vessel. The Parallam will have to wait just a bit longer...
                  Steve
                  Richmond, BC

                  Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Turning Parallam

                    Steve I bet that Maple burl will be a lot more fun to turn than those glued-up splinters ;-))

                    Have fun and take care
                    Leo Van Der Loo
                    sigpic
                    Have fun and take care
                    Leo Van Der Loo

                    Comment

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