## Sunday, December 2, 2012

### Death Letter

Deborah links a very good version of Son House's Death Letter:

1. A friend loaned me a copy of Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan, I just read an essay entitled Unknown Bards, about Pre-War Revenants and the collection of music known as American Primitive. Fascinating subject, great music, and like your writing, CL, Sullivan sends me to the interwebs to look up things I did not know.

2. Fascinating subject, great music, and like your writing, CL, Sullivan sends me to the interwebs to look up things I did not know.

You're pretty good at that too, sixty.

3. Thanks, CL, I tend to think of my comments as mainly profanity-laden rants, but sometimes I calm down enough to put together something cogent.

There is much I would like to write about, perhaps over at Troop's, but since you are Mr. Science, I thought I would run this past you - I have been turning giant chunks of maple from a tree I took down the day after Thanksgiving, and just to see if I could, decided to calculate the theoretical amount of wood remaining in a rough turned 19" diameter, roughly spherical section-shaped bowl.

A few minutes later it looks like the cylinder of wood I started with was about 1933 cubic inches of maple, I removed a bit over 1400 cubic inches of wood to achieve a rough bowl shape and the remaining piece contains about 530 cubic inches of wet maple.

The numbers are approximate due to imprecise measurements and the fact that I doubt if the shape is truly a section of a sphere. But it was fun running the numbers through the equation and thinking about how much of a chunk of wood becomes chips on the shop floor.

Math is fun, I tells ya!

4. Sixty: Volume lost and volume on the floor should be very different because the shavings are fluffed up.

You should compare before after weight instead volume like Benjamin Thompson did with metal canon bore shavings. He showing that what came off equaled what the space left behind. You can get a rough estimate of the wood's density from volume and weight. It should be less that 1 g/cc (62 lbs/cf) if it floats and more so if it sinks.

5. You are correct. What was once a nice, heavy piece of maple becomes an unwieldy contractor bag of curly chips and a soaking wet bowl blank.

I once met a guy who built a lathe called the "No Way" lathe, a play on words on the lathe brand "Oneway". He was also a tree guy and he took a piece of a tree that weighed 1,500 pounds wet and turned a bowl that weighed 15 pounds, finished and dry. One percent of the original wood remained, 99%, by weight, was removed.

That's an extreme case, but it is indicative of how wood turning goes.

My goal was just to see if I could still solve some simple equations using objects I have around the house. The big bags of chips go to a woman I know who raises ducks. Win win, baby, especially when I get some duck eggs out of the deal.

6. Ducks eat wood chips?

7. Nope, it provides ground cover for their pen.

Duck eggs are awesome.