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Thread: Gidgee?

  1. #1
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    Default Gidgee?

    A man's trash is another man's treasure, they say. Somebody had given a 65x75x280 piece of wood to the carvers club. It had a knot right in the middle and nobody wanted it. After a few months in the cupboard it ended in the rubbish bin, where I saw it. I was surprised that it had been chucked, so I enquired about its history, that was summarised as above. So I fished it out with a "I'll show you" smirk on my face (the one you always see depicted as ).

    After squaring it to 65x65 for turning I was left with a 8x65x280 strip that I had to carve to save face. The goblet and the salt shaker took only minutes to turn, the carving took about 8 hours of hard work. To make full use of the short piece left for the shaker I worked out the expansion chucking method described in a thread under turning, but that's another story.

    Nobody knew what timber it was. After looking around I think it is Gidgee, can anybody confirm or deny? The telling feature of this piece (that is not really visible in the photo, I'm still not good at it) is an amazing chatoyancy, especially around the knot: the goblet looks turned out of cat's eye stone.

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  3. #2
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    Default Gidgee

    Hi Frank

    Pretty hard to tell from the thumbnails - quite a variation - is the background your kitchen benchtop or granite?

    What aroma did the timber have as you worked it or was it too old?

    The other key aspect to gidgee it is very hard - bloody hard

    Peter

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    Sorry mate, Never worked with Gidgee before. No help at all I'm afraid. Did you use power for the carving?

  5. #4
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    Hi guys. More questions than answers, huh?

    The background is a granite benchtop, how does this help?

    The smell was rather pungent and bitter, would not know how to better describe it.

    Yes, very, very hard. The carving took a lot of bashing without small pieces breaking off. On the lathe it withstood a lot of pressure, although I was not able to avoid the thinnest rim of the goblet's foot chipping off, hence the rather too small final diametre. A problem more with the skill than the timber, I am afraid.

    Besides drilling the centre of the holes and cutting a bit of the outline with the bandsaw, it was all done with chisels and mallet. Definitely needs the mallet. To be more precise, I did not reckon the time spent stealing the design from an old Chinese jade carving, photographing, and tracing it.

    What I thought would really help with the ID is the chatoyancy. Never seen another timber like this. I have a cat's eye stone and they really look the same.

  6. #5
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    Sounds beautiful, can you photograph them against another backgorund? Love the spoon design, I didnt realise the chinese did spoony things like that.
    "We must never become callous. When we experience the conflicts ever more deeply we are living in truth. The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil." - Albert Schweizer

    My blog. http://theupanddownblog.blogspot.com

  7. #6
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    OK, take 2, in natural light and white background. Still does not do it justice, but hopefully it shows the uncanny likeness with the stone.

    I doubt the Chinese did spoony things like that myself. I said I picked the design by photographing a Chinese jade carving, then I applied it to the spoon (seems to be the flavour of the month at the club ). Cross-cultural pollination, if you wish.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank&Earnest View Post
    OK, take 2, in natural light and white background. Still does not do it justice, but hopefully it shows the uncanny likeness with the stone.

    I doubt the Chinese did spoony things like that myself. I said I picked the design by photographing a Chinese jade carving, then I applied it to the spoon (seems to be the flavour of the month at the club ). Cross-cultural pollination, if you wish.
    Ahhh a cennin chop suey spoon! ahem.... very purdy piece of timber. Ive seen Minnerchi like that so it wouldnt surprise me that Gidgee could show similar figure.
    "We must never become callous. When we experience the conflicts ever more deeply we are living in truth. The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil." - Albert Schweizer

    My blog. http://theupanddownblog.blogspot.com

  9. #8
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    Default Gidgee

    Hi Frank

    Hardness and smell fit - colour seems wrong from my experience - too much red but as many others have said they are limitations to identifying wood via photos

    Regards

    Peter

  10. #9
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    Thanks Peter and Sebastiaan, at least you added a bit more info. Given that there is no major indication to the contrary, the provisional ID will have to do for the moment.

  11. #10
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    Good save from the bin Frank and a wonderful transformation from the discarded knotty block If you hadn't said how hard the wood was I'd swear it was Blackwood as it can have a fair amount of that chatoyancy thing too. So why the spoon, has it any significance? No points for copying but your perseverance with carving such delicate detail in a notoriouslyy hard wood is admirable while bordering on masochismm You'd be needing a good dose of Huon after all that

  12. #11
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    Yep, blackwood was my first guess also, but all the people who had it in their hands (no assurance of expertise, though! ) told me it was not. On the other hand, so many timbers are called blackwood that it could well be one of them... No particular relevance for the spoon, only they seem to be popular and what else could I make quickly with just a thin strip? I thought that at the worst I could cut off the spoon part and use the little carved panel as decoration for something else, a box lid perhaps.

    Anyway, after pontificating about skill and talent, I have now provided evidence that I do not possess either. You are right about potential masochism, though: I'll take hard wood over Huon any time. And to rattle the cage of the Huon cultists, I could say almost any wood...

  13. #12
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    Default Gidgee

    Hi i have a brother travelling through [FNQ&NT] and is bringing me back some Gidgee
    he stayed @ a cattle stn where they burned gidgee on the camp-fire they had a pile 10ft high x 30ft long [ i cried] but they told him to make sure you have a TETNUS SHOT before you work with gidgee , very hard& burns very hot\well ,they were throwing 6-8 ft logs on the fire anyway your work look's great well done kerry.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by powder monkey View Post
    but they told him to make sure you have a TETNUS SHOT before you work with gidgee
    Why? I thought Tetnus was a soil organism,
    "We must never become callous. When we experience the conflicts ever more deeply we are living in truth. The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil." - Albert Schweizer

    My blog. http://theupanddownblog.blogspot.com

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank&Earnest View Post
    ...On the other hand, so many timbers are called blackwood that it could well be one of them...

    ...And to rattle the cage of the Huon cultists, I could say almost any wood...
    Acacia Melanoxylon is the Blackwood I'm referring to, in my experience it's not anywhere as hard as Gidgee but it can have its moments.

    ...almost any wood whoa, them's fight'n words

  16. #15
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    nice carve Frank, although I'd be firing up the carbide burrs for that stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank&Earnest View Post
    .
    What I thought would really help with the ID is the chatoyancy. .
    chatoyancy??? isn't that a desire to make small talk about old playthings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank&Earnest View Post
    : I'll take hard wood over Huon any time. And to rattle the cage of the Huon cultists, I could say almost any wood...
    yeah, you stick to yer gidgee Frank, just means more of the good stuff for me

    what if the hokey pokey is really what it's all about?

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