South Australia Shiraz Red, vine pen blanks...! closing 31/8/2010

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robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi everyone,

I manage to score some old vines that have been "ripped-out" recently due to old age (about 40 years), manifesting it by growth of too much wood, less fruit and low quality. These vines were part of the McLaren Vale Shiraz red wine producers, exporting all over the world.

McLaren Vale is my shopping town and located 25km North from me (Mt. Compass) and at the centre of the SA Fleureau Peninsula, on the edge of the Adelaide Hills. This area is one of the riches areas in SA for the production of wine (many varieties) but is very rare to find and old vineyard that has completely been pulled out for the re-planting of new (young) vines.

The way the new machinery does the grape harvest in our days, has slightly changed the way the old vineyards were planted and pruned, and the way they are pulled out is even more intriguing...! A simple bulldozer with a ripping blade takes to one line (row) of the vineyard and takes with it, the vines, the posts (normally treated pine), miles of wire, miles of irrigation plastic pipes right to the middle of the paddock and pile it all up for later burning.

After many rows ripped-out and pushed over, the size of the pile is quite considerable and is the closest thing I've seen to a gigantic cob-web of wire with everything else in the mix, including the old vines that I so much waited to get my hands on some...! Unnecessary to describe what is involved to cut and get some of those vines from that untangled mess.

It would be greatly appreciated to have known that the vines were going to come out, before actually the bulldozer come in, I would have some wires to deal with but certainly not as difficult as in a nearly impenetrable web.
It would also be a much cleaner job for me too, as they waited to get the bulldozer there after a lot of rain, making the soil softer for the ripping but, the amount of soil, send, dirt, mud stuck on those ripped vines, didn't make my job any easier to cut them with a chainsaw. Oh... did I mention using a chainsaw against/amongst a entangle web of high tensile wire...???:eek:

I got 10 vines out and then we got chased buy some heavy rain that made us to get out of there quick smart. It should said that all the necessary permissions to enter and remove the vines, were in place and I can have as many as I want if the weather (rain) stops and I can get close to the pile again before it is all burnt in about 2 to 3 weeks...! damn.:mad:

Anyway, I will try to get more but, of those 10 we got last Wednesday, they were all washed with a pressure gun that evening, and put to dry under cover until today, when I decided to cut it all up and see what I could get and use for pen blanks...!
Must be said that the waste is amazingly high to produce some decent blanks, and that, some vines don't have much colour (dead wood inside, as per the pics), as the vine live and green colour is a very light yellow, all vines are like that, regardless of type.

So, what makes the wood from a vine interesting and of use for things like pens is the dead wood inside of the vine. Young vines aren't any good as it takes many years for the vine to grow a big enough "main" to allow the new growth the develop beside the old/initial vine. This obviously will increase the vine's diameter and after 20 years, they start showing a fair size but at their old age (about 40 years, like these ones) the amount of dead wood is too great and the vine loses its strength to produce "new" wood therefore, end-up drying and dying...!

I was lucky that half of what I brought home, had plenty of dead wood but, the other half no so much, a couple hardly had none, as per the pics...!
I really believe that, these blanks when dry will produce some amazing pens, they are all cut slightly oversized 22x22x135mm, as I'm expecting some shrinking and particularly a lot of weight loss, as grape vine wood is "normally" very light stuff...! Tomorrow they will be stacked in a "tower" type bundle, spaced and rapped with some packing blue plastic straps to minimize blank "distortions" while drying...!

I've got a couple put a side that are all dead wood and felt quite dry so I will turn it round and put a finish on it to give me/us and idea of what they look like...!
No sure how long it will take for them to dry enough to use, but I'm expecting a short period of time as this stuff does really dry quick so, I will make them available for sale any time you wish. If you want them as it is, I'm ok with it and you only have to let me know, if you prefer to have them after dried, you may only find them on my eBay store, as this add will run only for 2 weeks in here, which is double of the time than I normally advertised for, lately.

At this point, and any of these blanks sold here are offered @ AU$1.50 each, as is.
Remember that they aren't dry yet.

Blanks dry price, or possible eBay prices have not been yet contemplated...!

PS: Did I mention, the pain in the "posterior" that is to rip these green vines on the bandsaw...??? and I though that green Olive wood was bad, well... this is like a green fig tree when broken a branch, no is not like milk, it is quite clear but is bloody sticky as hell and builds in your hands and blade like chewing gum...! damn.:eek:

Cheers
George
 

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PaulDoug

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Mar 2, 2008
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Benton City, WA.
About how long will they take to dry before turning? Will you ship to the US? Do they need to be stabilized? Sound like I am Interested? I live in wine country but they are all relatively new vineyards. I'd love to have some grape wood.
 

richstick1

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Feb 23, 2007
Messages
355
Location
Woodruff, Wisconsin
I would be very interested in a few as well - depending on the shipping to the U.S. Are the blanks soft/punky at all - or just green? Also - any chance of cutting wine bottle stopper blanks? Now THAT would be cool - a stopper made from an old vineyard vine :)
 

darrin1200

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Mar 17, 2010
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Location
Lyn, Ontario, Canada
Depending on the cost of shipping to Canada, I would definitely be interested in some pen blanks, but would also be very interested in bottle stopper blanks.
 

toolcrazy

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Dec 23, 2006
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Port Orchard, WA
I will want 10 of them, or what the max I can get for minimum shipping. I will prefer to have them dry as there will be more blanks in the shipping box for a certain weight. THX
 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the interest and questions...!

I'm not going to be able to answer them all right now as I just got them cut last night and I haven't had the chance to get into the shed today, so far...!:frown:

There tough a few questions that I can and I'm more than willing to answer, they are in relation to here I will ship to, and the answer is, absolutely EVERYWHERE, in this planet...!:wink:

I also think that I will be able to cut some bottle stoppers from this "wood", not that I have any vines left (all cut into pen blanks) but, and as I've said, I had already intentions to return to the "pile of high tensile wire web" and salvage as much as I can before it is all burnt into ash, now that I see some interest, I will certainly do my best...!

From the average diameter of what I saw/got from the vines I processed, and from some of the pics I shown of the vine ends, "some" will give me enough diameter to cut it as a "billet" there is, make the round square using the pith as the centre. This will create an interesting pattern as it is turned through the end grain, seen how off centre and in irregular shape the dead wood develops within the vine main...!:rolleyes: I will everyone know as soon as I get some more to process.

It is obvious that, at this stage these blanks will weight possibly double than that what I anticipate they will weigh when dry to dry(ish), for Australia people that may not be an issue with a 3kg postal bag costing AU$10.30 (price increase last month) but for overseas people that is most certainly an issue which I don't have any "magic" solution for...!:frown:

However, if anyone from overseas want to have some of these blanks now, and put-up with the freight costs, I will certainly fulfil that request...!

I will work out the individual weigh of the blanks as they are now, and how many I will fit in in a 500gr box (counting box, rapping, tape, stickers, etc...!), and provide that information to all of you ASAP.

I will also very soon, try to turn and finish a couple of samples (couple dry[ish]) ones) and see how they perform in relation to hardness/softness and any other details I may find in the process...!

So, I promise to comeback with some more "useful" information ASAP, this is what I do, and this is what I like to do...!:wink::biggrin:

I could "maybe" speak to this cooperate business vineyard owners and request a validation certificate of this wood but that my friends, is going to cost lots of dollars to obtain through the legal and proper channels, which would have to be passed on to those buying these blanks. The other aspect of it is that also, they would all of a certain put a high value to the raw material and no longer I would be allowed to collect it for free, making the costs of this product worth the weight in gold...!

I don't want that, nor I want these blanks to become something that only the "rich" people can afford (I've got nothing against rich people, if anything, I'm disappointed that I'm not in that "bracket" of financial capabilities, if you get my drift...!:eek::wink:

I always try to provide as much information and "evidence" of every and each of the woods I collect/salvage/cut, to "certify/validate" my claims, my word is all I have to offer together with my information, that I believe, is enough for some/most people, for others may not be and for that, ain't a thing that I can do about it...!:wink:

You are welcome to express your interest in some pens blanks and or bottle stoppers blanks here in this thread, simply specify what and how many of each, you would be interested in, if after 2 weeks (duration of this add), I see a continued interest in this product and I can guarantee more raw material (only after I landed it at my home...!:eek:) I will then extend it to a more appropriate time frame.

Thank you...!

Cheers
George
 

richstick1

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Feb 23, 2007
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Location
Woodruff, Wisconsin
George - all sounds good to me, you are obviously going to great lengths here to ensure that these blanks are a good useable product - it's much appreciated! Can I assume you will offer blanks in the order that people have responded to the initial post? If so, I should clarify that I want to purchase 5 pen blanks and 5 stopper blanks (if you are able to procure them). I would be willing to wait for a bit if dried blanks are available and if it drops the shipping cost significantly. How's THAT for confusing?
 

PaulDoug

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Mar 2, 2008
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Benton City, WA.
I also would like to get some blanks. I'd like up to 10 bottle stopper blanks and 10 pen blanks or what will fit in the small USPS mailing box. I prefer for them to dry some before shipping.
 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
Messages
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Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Back again with some news and some pics...!:wink:

Firstly, let me respond to Richstick's post;

Thanks Rich, I appreciate your observation and attention to some of the "mad" things I do (and drag my wife with me, always...!) to make these things available to everyone...! thanks.

Yes, you are also right about the importance of me being aware here or by PM of who is interested and what exactly the request is for. Subsequently I will create a list of names by order of request with the contents of the request/order. That wasn't confusing at all...!:)

At this point I will focus on what I have made, there is the pen blanks which from my count this evening, is about 160 blanks with some shorts amongst...!

For bottle stoppers requests, I will take all expressions of interest and make it part of the list previously mentioned, with confirmation of supply or not depending on my success to salvage some more vines...!

I have also some information for those that ask some questions in regards to the blanks weight and shipping costs.

I've selected a number of blanks from the driest to the greenest/wet and weighed each one individually on a digital scales and the results showed that the lightest one was 40gr and the heaviest one was 65gr with the majority at about 55-60gr. I did think that the driest ones I had set aside for making the samples, were actually lighter than what they were at 40gr. Those were cut from some of the driest pieces on the dead wood blocks I had cut, and I turned one this evening and 2 others that I end-up selecting from the box as I decided to turn a dry one (darkest browns), a medium brown in a stage of half dry and then one other which is from the greenest ones but with the distinct 2 tone showing (cut deliberately as such, most are like that...!).

The browns on some of the blanks with little new wood on it, are quite beautiful, so are the others that I cut to show the 2 woods, dead and live/new, making the, in most cases boring yellow, to become a real contrast and a perfect match to the dark browns that its joins with. In my view, these 2 tone blanks are always spectacular in most woods...!

Now, before we get to the pics, I should say that, my selection of the 3 most common blanks from this lot, gave me a good indication of the turning performance and characteristics of this wood, and I'm glad to report that they all turn beautifully, particularly the driest of the lot which I didn't need to touch with CA at all. The second one had a small soft patch that I could probably have turned away if I had continued turning but and as for most of my samples, I only turn as far as I get even round surface, from the square shape I started with. This soft patch was easily resolved with a couple drops of CA and some accelerator. The third sample blank, being quite green did turn like butter as most green woods do.

I found that sanding it was easy and in no time the surface was very smooth, using the 400grit as the highest used. The finish is as per normal, one coat of sanding sealer while the blank is on the lathe using a paper towel, identical to the CA application, wait 30 seconds use the paper strip to smooth and dry the sanding sealer into the wood (little friction action) and then dip the sample in my preferred product for this purpose, the Floorseal from Feast Watson, followed by a hard shake of the sample to drain out ant excess varnish, hang to dry and voila...!

Most woods will only need 1 coat to get really glossy, other will require 2 coats which I normally complete the next day if temperatures are favourable, if too cold, 2 days later will do nicely. Light sand between coats or use of very fine steel wool to give it a light rub, before the second dipping...!
They did really come up very good only with one coat but I give it another one the day after tomorrow.

Now, National and International freight charges has went up (what's new...!:mad:) last month and according to my calculations I come to the following conclusion;

*- The blanks as they are (today), I can fit 8 x blanks in a 500gr postal box, IF, I cut the square corners of the blanks, as per pics 1 to 3 bellow (as I do with all Resifills and any blanks that I stabilise).

The cost of sending/shipping a 500gr box to USA or Canada (as examples, only) air-freight, at the moment costs AU$15.70 or AU$21.10 Registered Post.

From what I got from the driest blank (weight wise), I would estimate that the number of dry blanks applicable for the same 500gr box, will the of 10 (ten) complete blanks, maybe 11 if a cut the square corners of all them BUT I have my reservations/doubt about it. The dry wood will end-up being a little heavier than what I originally thought...!

I need to make everyone aware, and this has been mentioned in the beginning of this tread (add) that, I will honour the price that I offer to all IAP members for the pen blanks @ AU$1.50 each, bottle stoppers if possible, will be calculated on the same price base, there is, whatever the number of pens blanks volume required to produce a bottle stopper blank, that will be the charge. In my initial calculation for the bottle stoppers price, and considering the size wood I will be working with, instead of cutting a 5"+ long piece of the vine, quarter it and produce 4 pen blanks at the value of $6.00, I will need to cut a 6"1/2 long piece of vine to square it into 1"1/2 square, producing a 2 x bottle stopper blanks (each at 1"1/2 x 3" long), this represents an approx. cost per bottle stopper blank of AU$3.50 each (3" x 1"1/2 sq) or AU$7.00 for a double blank @ (6" x 1"1/2 sq).

I suppose, we can set these prices as the IAP prices but, and continuing from my "aware" notice that I was making in the beginning of the previous paragraph, this add and prices are only applicable for the 2 weeks the add will run for, after that and whatever is left from here (if any left...!:confused:) will be listed on my eBay store, with the resulting prices increase...!

So if you are interested, make sure you post here or by PM your request so that I can add you to the list...!

The rapped banks "towers" are now in a accelerated drying process stage, there is, inside of the house and near the firewood place, too cold outside...!:biggrin:
Do I need to take them to bed with me also, so that they dry even faster...???:eek: The things I do...!:eek::wink:

If you would like to see freight costs and freight options from me to you, please have a look at the Australian Freight Post Calculator @ http://auspost.com.au/index.html this is what I use to calculate the various freight costs to sent anywhere in the world. Click International freight, select your country and weight, press continue and it will get you all the options and prices available...!

PS: List will be done tomorrow, my time...!

Cheers
George
 

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Arbsmith

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Jan 1, 2007
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Location
Aiea, HI, USA.
10 blanks

George
I would like 20 of your blanks please. I live in Hawaii, so if you will get me a price for the blanks and shipping, I'll get it to you. I'll take them now even if not dried if that's possible.

Dennis
 
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robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
I would like 20 pen blanks. A mix of two tone and dark. Please send paypal request with shipping.Thanks Darrell Eisner

Hi Darrell,

Thank you for your order request...!

Could you please confirm if you want the blanks to be sent now (green...!)

I would like to use this opportunity to request that anyone that is willing to get the blanks now, (within a couple of weeks...!) to make it very clear on their request, please. I have no problem to send them now, I just need to be sure that is what you want...!

I would like also to make clear that, and unless you request the blanks to be sent now, I will not receive any payments for what I haven'y got yet or for order/requests made through here or by PM, request the blanks to be dry(ish) or less green...! Your name is put on the list and I will contact you as soon as I believe its time...!:wink::biggrin:

PS: My observation of the "couple of weeks...!" I mention before means, blanks will be in their drying "towers" for another 10 to 12 days or so, then they will be individually sanded, marked/identified and waxed in the end-grain (as all my other pen blanks). For those that wanted them now, that's how and when they will be ready to ship, for all other ones, they will be put into their drying towers again and put a side to dry...!

Cheers
George
 
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robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Ok folks, here is the list;

By order of request/post/PM time;

*- Gofer -- 10 x pen blanks --2 + 25 x bottle-stoppers

*- PaulDoug -- 10 x pen blanks -- 10 x bottle-stoppers (single)

*- RichStick -- 5 x pen blanks -- 5 x bottle stoppers (single)

*- Darrin1200 -- 5 x pen blanks -- 4 x bottle stoppers (doubles)

*- Terryf -- 10 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Tool Crazy -- 10 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- RyanNJ -- 10 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Rodtalways -- 12 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Kev -- 12 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Tanner -- 10 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Scotian12 -- 20 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Arbsmith -- 20 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Philkessling -- 10 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

*- Nava1uni -- 10 x pen blanks -- 5 x bottle stoppers

*- arw01 -- 20 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers


TOTALS -- 174 x pen blanks -- 20 x single -- 4 x double bottle stoppers

Total stock available approx. 160 x pen blanks -- 0 x bottle stoppers

PS: As mentioned previously, bottle stoppers and extra pen blanks supply is depending on the success or not of us acquiring/salvaging more vines. I will let everyone know as soon as I know...!
I will accept continued requests/orders for more pen blanks and bottle stoppers however, at this point, the only supply I can guarantee is the 160 pen blanks I have in my hands...! I'm sure you will understand that.:wink:

Some pics of the actual 2 vine pen blanks drying towers, in their "special" drying kiln...!:cool:

Cheers
George
 

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PaulDoug

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Benton City, WA.
Okay George, here is my revised order. I will take as many pen blanks as you can fit in the 500gr box (you extimated 8 thats okay) as soon as you want to ship (i.e. shipped "green" okay). If and when you are ready with bottle stoppers and shipping costs let me know. Please PM me with total, got the pen blanks. Ah do you take paypal or what?
 

robutacion

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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Okay George, here is my revised order. I will take as many pen blanks as you can fit in the 500gr box (you extimated 8 thats okay) as soon as you want to ship (i.e. shipped "green" okay). If and when you are ready with bottle stoppers and shipping costs let me know. Please PM me with total, got the pen blanks. Ah do you take paypal or what?

Thanks guys,

All your requests haven been noted...!:wink:

And yes Paul, I take Paypal...! you would think with posts the size as mine that I would not forget to mention anything, huh...??? wrong...! Is always something missing and the payment requirements wasn't mentioned. For those that dealt with me before, I believe there is no question to what I use but, not everyone knows that, huh...??? sorry...!:frown::)


ATTENTION
Last minute update...!:biggrin: sorry, I can't stop not being excited...!:wink::)

I've took the initiative to risk getting my foot in my mouth, and shooting myself in the foot but, I decide to contact the top boss of these vineyards and try to make sure the vines (piles) aren't burnt before the weather allows us to get near the place, as at the moment and with the rain we have had and continuing, I don't thing even a tractor will get near without getting stuck in the mud...!:mad:.

Anyway, I explained(ish) the situation and asked what would take to guarantee that he wouldn't give the "burning" order to his employees...! he reminded me that the piles had to be burnt before the burning season ends (15 September) and that he had planed to have it done by the end of this month (August), and that the burning licence only last 1 week so, as soon as the licence application is made, a date is giving and the burnt-out has to happen within that week, otherwise another licence will be required or not allowed to burn until next years season...!

He agreed that, this bad weather (rain) may delay the expected burning time anyway, as the "wood" has to dry to a certain point before it will burn properly and without any artificial burning accelerants ($$$$$) so, he agreed to hold on as long as possible, allowing me time (improved conditions) to reach and salvage some more vines, within the time left before the season ends...!

He didn't hesitate in calling me, "F@$*&% mad" for trying to get anything out of such mess, and off-course, during our conversation I told him what I would be using the vines for and was then, when he took a special interest in the conversation...!:eek::redface: you obviously, already know what's coming next and you are right, I have to make a pen for everyone in that Company, from office stuff to the guys that have been looking and working on those vines for many years...!:eek::foot-in-mouth::biggrin: I'm to be given that number yet, he wasn't sure...! 15...??? 20...??? 30...???:confused::eek::rolleyes::frown::foot-in-mouth::foot-in-mouth::foot-in-mouth::eek:

I couldn't argue the point, could I...??? knowing me, that's out of question...!:) so, I'm obviously pleased with the results of my call and I shell gather all the chains I have spare for my small chainsaw (soil, stones, wire, etc., etc....), tools, bolt-cutters, wire brush, some heavy duty gloves, gumboots, well-barrow (the closest the vehicle and trailer would ever get to the pile is about 600 meters...!) and all the other safety gear I normally use, wait for the weather to improve and get to work...!:eek::redface::biggrin:

So, apparently, it seams that I'm going to have some vines to make bottle-stoppers with and some more pen blanks...! yeah...:cool:

Cheers
George
 
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richstick1

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Feb 23, 2007
Messages
355
Location
Woodruff, Wisconsin
George - the vine harvesting sounds like FUN! If I had enough money and vacation time, I'd offer to fly down under and help you out :)

I'm assuming for my order of 5 pen blanks / 5 stopper blanks, that will bump me into the 1000kg box - as long as I'm into that size box, I would have you max out with as many blanks as could go in there. Do you have other blanks besides the willow you have on that other thread? Those look nice, if there is room in the box, I will likely have you throw a few in there....
 

robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi everyone,

scotian12, your message has been noted, cheers...!

Richstick, yeah mate, you have no idea how much I would appreciate a couple of extra hands when I get to the pile, my poor wife always gets a "raw" deal with my "madness", without her I wouldn't do or bring half of the stuff I bring home, and that is a fact. Nevertheless, she would be having a hard time picking what I cut into the well-barrow and push it through all that soft ground about 1.2km round trip to me again...!

I reckon by the time we finish for the day, she wan't want to hear another word about VINES...!:frown: I shall take her for a dinner out after she can walk again...!:eek::wink: Seriously..., she is great in all respects and I'm a lucky man to have such a partner/wife, working or otherwise...! Merissa tends to get a little upset when I keep getting more wood to pick up but, she seams to get great enjoyment afterwards when she sees the final results and people being so pleased with the woods we make available to everyone. She particularly likes to read the eBay feedback from our store sales...!:biggrin:

Talking about our eBay store Rich, if you want to know what else we have available, your best bet is having a look on the eBay store here, address also on my signature bellow. I have some new stuff to list but I'm a little concern of the number of listings I have already and the extra charges it will incur adding all the stuff I have...!:mad:

I will be able to have a better idea of the bottle -stopper weight after I get some cut first, and then work-out what can be fitted in the best possible package combination...!

Cheers
George
 

nava1uni

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Mar 30, 2008
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Location
San Francisco, CA, USA.
I would like 10 dry pen blanks and 5 stoppers. Your posts are always interesting to read. I think your wife must be a real gem. You sound like a great team.
 

robutacion

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Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
I would like 10 dry pen blanks and 5 stoppers. Your posts are always interesting to read. I think your wife must be a real gem. You sound like a great team.

Thanks Cindy, you request has been noted...!

Thanks also for your words, most appreciated. I know that while sharing what I do with everyone, I have a "certain" way of doing it, that is a reflection of the passion and interest in what I do, however, I like to give "credit" to my wife's work which is a lot more than most people would think. From tree cutting to blanch dragging, handling logs, loading, unloading, painting (sealing), slabbing, chain-sawing, band-sawing, sanding, marking (blanks identification), waxing to posting, she's there always to help. Her main steps on the wood after being in the work-shop is sanding the blanks, identifying and waxing them, I do the packing, she does the posting...!:biggrin:

I may be the one being behind the computer, making everything possible but she deserves a lot of credit for what leaves this place, and I make sure those receiving it, are aware that is not all my doings, but my wife's also...!:wink:
Merissa, being a true Aussie girl (bush type girl) never had much to do with woods until she met me nearly 11 years ago.

It did grow on her quite quickly, particularly after she saw how its is "transformed" into all sorts of things, but make no mistake, she doesn't enjoy much handling the heavy stuff, even tough she is much stronger than most women I ever met, I can perfectly understand why, as her self also, has been involved in a major bike accident that nearly killed her. She did had some other body damages as a result but the one that is causing the most problems is her spine injury that gets very painful handling weights.

No doubt, there is a personal touch to everything we do and this wood gathering/salvaging, use and share is no different. This is not a business to us, nor it ever will be, its a passion and a hobby that we both enjoy very much, it is slowing covering its own costs (equipment) and any spare pocket money left, is a bonus...!:)

And yes, we are a good team...!:wink::biggrin:

Cheers
George
 
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robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi everyone,

Well, well...! like the old saying between bird hunters..., "better 1 bird in your hands than 2 flying...!":wink: so with no rain since last Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday with good sunny sky's and plenty of wind to dry the moisture, I look at the weather channel/predictions and they were predicting continuations of clear weather until Sunday afternoon with lots of rain which will continue for the next 7 days, at least...!:eek::cool:

So this "fella" here, got all plans into action to get everything ready for Saturday morning "hunt", while my wife prepared lunch, drinks and other stuff. The plans were to get there early as possible and start fighting the mud and the wire, to get the first load (well-barrow) happening for Merissa (wife)...!

I had all my tools with me, decide to use the one hand (handling) arborist 12" chain saw, as I knew that I needed the other hand to get wires and other stuff out of the way of the chain and my face. I had 11 spare chains with the one in the machine, made 12 and I have used everything one and had the re-sharp 4 of then to get me though the day...!:mad:

We all know what sand and soil does to chainsaws, from chain to bars but the damn wires were deadly. Being high tensile stuff, it just "rips" the teeth out of the chain or snap the tips making lose half of the tooth (meat/cutting metal), quicker than you can say, bugger...!:mad:

Doesn't it matter how and what I did to void those wires in the chainsaw chain while turning, the chains just would picked them up from "nowhere" well...not really, they were all around but many not visible until the chain would get them. I would only take a couple of wires "caches" and good-buy chain, in fact I had 2 freshly sharpened chains that were gone on the very first cut, absolutely no hope to use them again until sharpen in the proper sharpener machine to get all the cutting angles right again, and losing half of the tooth length...!:mad:

Anyway, we manage to get the 6x4 trailer with side extensions full, or near to, by 4:30pm (afternoon) from a start at the paddock at 7:00am. There is another wheel-barrow of vines already cut from the pile and left on site, she just couldn't handling it any more, as we were both exhausted, particularly Merissa that done a few miles walking on soft mud and pulling a full well-barrows of green vines and mud, up hill to the vehicle and trailer.

We notice a fellow parked his 4x4 vehicle about 200mt meters further from us and we saw him pruning some vines next door to us, owned by someone else, in fact this fellow was the owner, as we find out nearly the end of the day, when we walked towards us, with a great deal of curiosity in his face trying to work out what we have been doing all day.

After some introductions, I explained why we were there, and our intentions to get some more before it all goes in smoke, including those that we already had cut and put a side. He looked at us and said, "geez, I been watching your wife go backs and forwards to the vehicle all day, I lost count of the trips she done but you both should be mad/crazy, in the fact that you could have organized someone with a tractor to bring the trailer to this spot, and take it back to the vehicle when is full, he said...!

I reply saying, the idea was a great one but, one can just not bring any tractor tho these vineyards, due to risk of soil contamination or other stuff, seeds, etc., that can created problems if introduce. He said, "yes off-course, you can't do that but I was talking about one of the tractors from the people that own those (ripped) vines, did you ask...???" I said no I didn't because they don't work on weekends as you know...! and I don't know anyone else (owners) of these vineyards...!

He said, "well..., you know one now, me and after seeing what you two have been trough all day, I may be able to help tomorrow if you want to comeback, I bring my tractor in the morning instead of the 4x4 vehicle and I will be here doing some more pruning so, when you two get here, we connect your trailer behind the tractor and I drop it as close as possible to the pile, maybe about 50 yards or so, leave it there and when you get it loaded again, I will take it to your wagon, on the side of the road, for you...!"

I quickly accepted such generosity, even tough we are going to have a hell of a day with our backs and legs hurting like buggery from today but, if was not for his offer, we wouldn't even attempt to go back tomorrow, and do it all again, that would be physically impossible but, not having to do all that walking pushing a heavy well-barrow, we are going to push ourselves, and see what happens...!

I'm obviously concerned that we may not have another opportunity, being Winter and being a damn wet one at that, is just no telling of what's going to happen so, if tomorrow is going to be our last load, at least I hope we manage to last long enough to fill it again, after that, I would be fair to say, we have a bit of it, to last for awhile...!:biggrin::wink:

I took some pics today of the area, the pile and Merissa struggling with that well-barrow on the second part of the day. I manage tough a pic of her smiling, on the first load, which I knew would disappear not soon after, and for a good reason, I must agree...! wouldn't you...???

So what does this all mean...??? Plenty of vines to make bottle-stoppers and more pen blanks for everyone...!:wink:

Cheers
George
 

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arw01

Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
387
Location
Spokane, WA
You are mad mad mad, ha ha ha ha ha, insert cackling laughter here.

But they DO look interesting. Is there someone else in the states that wants to split up an order of 20 or so in a 1kg package after some of the newer blanks are dry? Like 3 weeks or so from now will have some dough in the pen stash buying fund again.

We have a number of vineyards around here and I've never seen vines as thick as those!
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
You are mad mad mad, ha ha ha ha ha, insert cackling laughter here.

But they DO look interesting. Is there someone else in the states that wants to split up an order of 20 or so in a 1kg package after some of the newer blanks are dry? Like 3 weeks or so from now will have some dough in the pen stash buying fund again.

We have a number of vineyards around here and I've never seen vines as thick as those!

Hi arwo1,

Cackling laughter's added...!:biggrin::):tongue:

I put you in the list for 20 for now, this doesn't mean you have to buy all 20, if you don't find anyone that want to share a 1kg package, I can sent you a 0.5kg package, no problem...!

I will try to cut some bottle-stoppers late today first, to complete some of the orders I already have, if I can move a little better, then I will be cutting more pen blanks and stoppers so that they all will be drying at the same time.

Is important to have your name in the list if you are interested, the promotion offered here in this thread, will be closing soon as advised in the beginning. I will honour the prices I have offered here to IAP members, after that the blanks will go to my eBay store and the prices will be higher...!

In the mean time, we are trying to have a "breather" from the weekend...!:frown:

Cheers
George
 
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robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi Everyone,

Just an update on the situation...!

I'm now cutting bottle stoppers out of the vines we got in the weekend.

I washed a dozen or so vines yesterday afternoon so that they would be ready for "slicing" today. I picked up the largest (biggest diameters) for these bottle-stoppers and I'm cutting most of them without the "pith" in the centre. These largest vines, will give me 2 x blanks per 6"1/2 log, one in each half, well not all but about 60% will give me one bigger and one smaller half, this is due to the pith not being in the centre. This is particular good, as I can get a BT blank with all the square edges on it, while I can get a couple of pen blanks from the other half.

The majority of the BT blanks will not be exactly square, as 2 of the corners are part of the vine outside under skin. This does not interfere with the turning of the blank round, as they would be the corners that would be removed on the very start of the turning. I do prefer to do this than to use the pith as the blanks centre, as I notice that in almost all the vines the very centre of the vine, has a small dark brown "channel" that is hollow or near to in the majority those cut so far. I may have to resort to this cutting process later on when I run out of the bigger stuff and have only the small diameter ones which would give a single blank per 6"1/2 log length, regardless...!

While the bottle-stopper blanks will take a little longer to be ready for shipping, all the 160 pen blanks processed from the first lot, will be finished next weekend and will be ready to start shipping on the 16/8 (Monday).

Those with a mixed order (pen and bottle stopper blanks) will wait until the BT's are ready, unless otherwise requested but all other requests for pen blanks only, another week and that's it, they will be travelling..! :biggrin:

On the pics attached, I'm showing some vine root-balls that I salvaged in the weekend, these are quite intriguing in its configuration and locked promising for grain and colour but, not to be, most are totally white and a couple I got so far have some dead wood in them but not sure how far in. I've decided to cut the root-balls out and put them a side for later. I will certainly want to put a couple in my lathe and see what comes out of it...!:confused:

I did also mention, the sticky sap that "bleeds" out of the end-grain on the fresh cuts, and "gums-up" the bandsaw blade, bearings and my hands, well.., I decided to take a pic of it for you all to see...! :eek:

OK, that's all for now...!

Cheers
George
 

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robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi peoples...!

OK, a drying tower of 60 double bottle brushes blanks (6"x1.5"x1.5") are now in the "special" drying kiln, together with the first pen blanks, that are showing very loose straps, this mean they have done a considerable amount of drying/shrinking.

Another 3 days there, and then will be sanding, identifying and waxing through the weekend. Bottle stopper blanks may take a little longer than the 2 weeks given to the pen blanks, as they are bigger (have more mass/volume), will see...!

This is not the normal wood we all are used to, it really dries fast and seems to hold on quite well in the process, so far...! please, someone touch wood...???

I have also noticed that after I rounded those 3 samples blanks, all cut from the day before, sanded them up to 400 grit, gave them a thin coat of sanding sealer, and then 1 coat of Floorseal (pics shown previously), I left them hanging on by their hooks under cover for a few days, and at a closer look I could see that this wood is porous like so many others out there.

I don't thing that has anything to do with the fact that they (samples), were made with fresh cut wood so, not really dry as one of the blanks was mainly all dead wood and felt quite light and dry. The porous show on the full length of the blank in all 3 so, it would be reasonable to say that, for those wanting a gloss finish in this wood, will require a little more CA to fill all porous.

Using the type finish I used, the sending sealer is applied immediately after sanded, using an identical method of the CA application, only this time, a small portion of sanding sealer is put into a folded paper towel and spread into the wood buy side to side motion while the lathe is running. Using a clean paper towel folded strip, the blank is then rubbed/burnished for half a minute or so, drying the sanding sealer for the following coat of Floorseal.

What I mean is that, this type finish is not ideal for porous woods as the sanding sealer applied in such faction, does not leave enough material to seal the wood (porous) this is easily achieve by brushing or spraying 2 coats of undiluted sanding sealer and let it dry properly for at least 24 hours before sanding for final varnish application(s). The CA method will achieve the same results a lot faster, mainly for those using medium or thick CA.

I tried to capture the porous on one of the blanks before I have gave it a light sand and applied another coat of Floorseal. These 3 sample blanks are now drying again on their hooks, I will see I they come up after the second coat is dry...!

Cheers
George
 

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arw01

Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
387
Location
Spokane, WA
You are mad mad mad, ha ha ha ha ha, insert cackling laughter here.

But they DO look interesting. Is there someone else in the states that wants to split up an order of 20 or so in a 1kg package after some of the newer blanks are dry? Like 3 weeks or so from now will have some dough in the pen stash buying fund again.

We have a number of vineyards around here and I've never seen vines as thick as those!

I think I've found a partner in my area of the state so in a couple of weeks we should be good.
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi everyone,

As promised, here I am with the final information on the vine pen blanks only (bottle stoppers in another 2 weeks), weights/number of blanks, freights costs and package totals.

As predicted, the 500gr package can now included 10 (ten) blanks, against the 8 while green.

The 750gr package, includes a surprisingly 17 (seventeen) blanks, while the 1kg. package will include an unexpected 24 (twenty four) blanks.

All those that ordered pen blanks only, have them now ready and necessary to ship ASAP, please.

Due to the fact that we have secured/salvaged a reasonable amount of vines, after those initial ones that did guaranteed the first 160+ pen blanks offered here, and quickly "scored" by some IAP members, I'm willing to allow those that have already expressed interest for a particular number of pen blanks , to increase that number up to their wishes/capabilities, as I welcome anyone else that have not ordered yet to do so, in within this week, as this thread/add will close on the 20 August (Friday) 2010.

So here we have the 3 packages that I have worked out total costs to the USA and CANADA only, for any other locations please, PM me for prices...!

*- 500gr = 10 x vine pen blanks
AU$15.00 + AU$22.60 Registered Post =TOTAL AU$37.60 approx. USD$33.59

*- 750gr = 17 x vine pen blanks
AU$25.50 + AU$28.75 Registered Post =TOTAL AU$54.25 approx. USD$48.51

*- 1kg. = 24 x vine pen blanks
AU$36.00 + AU$34.90 Registered Post =TOTAL AU$70.90 approx. USD$63.48


Simply send me a PM with you order confirmation, or request any on the 3 packs offered above. Other packs will be available upon request.

For those that would like to have included in the package, some of my spalted Willow blanks advertised on another add (thread), please send me a PM with your request or thoughts and I will provide you with right information and total prices...!

All payments are to be made via Paypal, payment information will be provided upon receiving you order confirmation PM. All parcels will be shipped within 1 working day from payment confirmation...!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

PS: pics of each pack attached, including costs.

Thank you.

Cheers
George
 

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robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi everyone,

Thank you all those that order and or confirmed their interest...!

I have started shipping the first batch of these blanks, with 7 International orders shipped and 1 from Australia. So, that those I shipped the blanks to are aware, package is on its way, the following names/orders have been processed;

*- Kev (Aus) shipped 17/8/2010

*- Pauldoug (US), Toolcrazy (US), RyanNJ (US), Tanner (US), Philkessling (US), all shipped 18/8/2010

*- Bad (CAN), Scotian12 (CAN), shipped today 19/8/2010

This takes care of pretty much all the number of blanks from the first batch, there are 3 other batches drying, the next one will be ready by the middle of next week, as also the first batch of bottle stoppers, I hope...!:wink:

I have enough raw material now, to secure a few hundred blanks of each type. Each week I will cut a new batch and after everyone has been served, I will no longer take them to the house to accelerate the drying process but leave then in their drying towers in the drying/storage shed, to dry naturally...!

I have decided to run this add and the Willow one till the end of this month (August) due to the blanks drying situation, after that they will be available at my eBay store as advised previously!

Cheers
George
 
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