A neighbour turns up on the doorstep and says something like "I've got this piece of wood, would you like it", for a woodturner this is really a pointless question....

The piece of wood in question turns out to be a section of a garden cherry tree which, judging by the look of it, has been well and truly butchered over a period of years. It looks like multiple "prunings" have left it with a medusa like union of branches, the tree must have been something else to look at!

This, of course, is when you realise that the reason you are getting the piece of wood is because splitting it up for firewood is going to be way too much like hard work. Still "we likes a challenge" so after it was dumped on the ground at the end of the drive I dragged it onto the sack barrow and then up into the workshop and onto Wanda's bed to take a look at it and see what might be done with it.

As you can see from the photographs it is unlikely to have a straight piece of grain in it and, of course, it is soaking wet so drying this swirling mass of grain patterns is likely to prove "challenging". However I thought I could see a shape in it wanting to get out so I began the process of "removing the waste" with a little pruning back of my own with the electric chainsaw to get a lump I could safely mount on the lathe. 

It was very out of balance and at a guess I'd say it weighs around 50kg so as the saying goes "don't try this at home", thankfully Wanda is actually built to do this and seems to be glad of the challenge. I will report back on progress as we move on with the project.