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Thread: Turning Parallam

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Orangeville
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    19

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Atikokan, Rainy River District, Ontario.
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    6,262
    Real Name
    just what you thought :^')

    Default

    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

  3. #3

    Default

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Atikokan, Rainy River District, Ontario.
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    just what you thought :^')

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    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

  5. #5

    Default

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ajax, Ontario
    Posts
    208

    Default

    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

  7. #7

    Default

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ajax, Ontario
    Posts
    208

    Default

    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

  9. #9

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    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Atikokan, Rainy River District, Ontario.
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    just what you thought :^')

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    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

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