Woodturning wood, metal, and plastics are interesting and amazing in and of itself. From bowls in bowls to a cherry burl egg, the possibilities are endless. But who would have thought of woodturning a stack of colored straws into a vase? Well, the Wood Workshop is who. And they captured the entire, fascinating process that may make you wonder what else can be turned.
While various pieces of walnut wood were used to create the center and base, the main attractions are the brightly colored straws that adorn its sides. Here’s how it came together.
1. Construct the Support Structure
Before getting to the multi-colored straws, we can’t forget the strong walnut center. Using wood glue and a couple of clamps, the structure leaves an equal amount of room on four sides for the straw layers to be added while adding support and (once finished) an interesting wood in-lay appearance.
2. Stack Your Straws
The straws themselves are fairly easy to add but are, as you can imagine, time-consuming. Seven equally measured straw pieces are glued together to form a single layer. These layers are then stacked upon one another and glued to the walnut base to create a colored side.
3. Pour The Resin
Turning the straws in their current state would send colored bits of plastic all over your workshop, so a solid, cuttable chuck is created by pouring resin into every nook and cranny.
4. Chuck It
With the resin dried, it is finally safe to chuck that chunk in your lathe and turn it. This sends a mixture of wood, resin, and straw shavings flying all over the workshop, but thanks to the resin, the straw walls remain intact.
5. Turn It
To turn the piece from a fancy paperweight into an actual, useable vase, the inside needs to be hollowed out. This means removing most of the walnut center and a couple of the straw layers.
6. Sand and Polish
Once the woodturning is done, the final step is sanding it smooth, polishing, and applying a protective finish to the vase.
Once you remove the base, your multi-color straw base is finished. As you can see, the combined sheen from the resin and finish makes the straws stand out and give it an almost kaleidoscope-like feel. No one will ever guess you used grocery-bought straws to make this beauty.