View Full Version : Will Work for Wood

09-21-2015, 02:17 PM
http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/291c4750-fe18-417d-85b8-82a780164b41_zps0mh75hdp.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/291c4750-fe18-417d-85b8-82a780164b41_zps0mh75hdp.jpg.html)

Nafex members,
I am learning how to turn Wakr-style and traditional block perches on my lathe.
Eventually I hope to become skilled enough to sell perches, but at this point I don't feel my products justify the consumer paying for anything beside the wood and shipping....in short, I'll do the work if you provide the wood. That way I can gain experience with various woods and you can get a functional (if not quite artistically appealing) perch for relatively cheap.
I stole the Wakr design from Tom Smith (he's okay with me marketing my variation of his design) and they are ideal for travel as they can be broken down into 3 pieces.
I can not provide spikes as threading stainless steel rods is a pain and I don't want to absorb the cost of buying nice spikes. The traditional blocks will come pre-drilled to accommodate 1/2 diameter spikes and the Wakr perches have a nut in the base that accept 1/2 inch diameter, 13 tpi (threads per inch) bolts (I just buy a long bolt at Home Depot and grind the head off into a point to use in my perches, but these will eventually rust and have to be replaced.)
I am not sure if this offer will appeal to anyone, but I will post some photos of some of the perches I have made so far so you can see if you want to send me a chunk of wood.

09-21-2015, 02:57 PM
This is a traditional perch I turned out of a hunk of oak from my firewood pile.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/12-2014/BLock_zpslixw4kxt.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/12-2014/BLock_zpslixw4kxt.jpg.html)

If you want me to use a piece of wood that you have, it needs to be well seasoned (at least a year old is best) and have no deep cracks. You can send a sketch along with it and I'll try to get as close as I can to the shape you'd like. I will need to know the diameter of the top surface, and of the base if your spike has a platform welded to it (so the perch will fit on the spike's platform).

As you can see, I prefer the cocoa mat over tall astroturf and I like the fibers projecting well above the rim of the perch. I know others prefer the fibers almost flush with the rim and I can turn the recess deeper if you like. To improve durability, I recommend drain holes in the deep-recessed ones so water doesn't pool, but the drain holes may detract from the aesthetics.

09-21-2015, 03:18 PM
These are my first attempts at the Wakr perches. They are made from Mahogany--kind of plain looking wood, but relatively cheap.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/12-2014/finishes_zpsj3phyx0b.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/12-2014/finishes_zpsj3phyx0b.jpg.html)

I was experimenting with various finishes, testing out a super glue finish vs paste wax on these perches.

Here is another mahogany one that I made for my wife's anniversary gift. I spent a bit more time on this one, pre-drilling and sinking dowels in the stock wood for some accents. I also turned a captured ring out of wood to tie the leash to rather than the Halkah that is usually used. I imagine the wood ring may eventually break, but it sure seems stout enough and we always perch birds in a fully enclosed weathering yard. I don't think I'll offer the captured wood ring since I'd hate to have one break and be responsible for the loss of someone else's bird.
The second photo just shows how the perch can be broken down for easier transport.
The post part of the perch has a 3/8th inch rod through the entire length which extends out of the top and screws into a T-nut in the bottom of the pad. There is a reducing nut sunk into the bottom of the post and threaded to the other end of the 3/8th inch rod and it will accept the threaded 1/2 inch spike/bolt. Once threaded together it is very secure and I think the 3/8 inch rod in the wood post adds plenty of strength.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/12-2014/P8180549_zpsqjifr1uc.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/12-2014/P8180549_zpsqjifr1uc.jpg.html)

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/12-2014/P8190553_zps6eeo1nmr.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/12-2014/P8190553_zps6eeo1nmr.jpg.html)

09-21-2015, 04:09 PM
If you prefer more exotic-looking wood, I have found Cook Woods to be a convenient on-line resource. They come out with a 'Turning Special' selection of wood every Tuesday and usually have a nice supply of various types of wood the right size for turning perches. Pieces big enough to turn a traditional block perch will be pretty pricey, but you can usually match a long (at least 8 inches) piece for the post (it should be at least 2 inches wide and 2 inches thick) with a flatter piece for the pad portion of the Wakr style perch for a reasonable total price.

Here is a photo of another comparison of various finishes that shows a perch made from spalted alder blanks I got from Cook Woods (the perch in the middle). The post on the right was from a piece of a Birch tree that I cut down a few years ago.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/12-2014/09ddbf1f-5440-4a27-b7d7-33f69d372d8f_zpszmm6ahwx.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/12-2014/09ddbf1f-5440-4a27-b7d7-33f69d372d8f_zpszmm6ahwx.jpg.html)

Here is a link to the Cook Woods web site.

If you want to go that route be sure the pieces you buy are the right dimensions. The diameter and height for traditional perches is pretty self-explanatory, but keep in mind the final piece will be about an inch shorter in height due to having to secure it to the lathe. The diameter will be at least 1/2 inch less than the narrowest width/thickness of the piece due to shaping the turned cylindrical piece from square stock.
Dimensions for the Wakr posts should be at least 8" x 2" x 2", the Wakr pad stock should be at the very least 2 inches 'tall', the narrowest width over 6 inches, unless you specifically want a smaller diameter top. like for a kestrel or merlin.
Cook Woods is usually pretty good about describing the various pieces of wood and one thing to pay attention to is how long the wood they are offering has been cured. "Kiln Dried" means I can turn a finished product as soon as I get it. "Twice turning" means the wood is still relatively wet/green and will have to be turned twice. The first time to just de-bulk and rough out the shape you will eventually want. It will then have to sit for at least a few months to dry before the final shaping and finishing can be done as the wood will move/warp as it dries (this two-step turning will also result in a slightly greater loss of wood between the original stock pieces' dimensions and the final turned products).
I'd be happy to send you my address so you can have Cook Woods mail the wood directly to me.

I see that I already have several PMs waiting in my in-box. I imagine several questions/issues will come up as we work through the process and I'll post up dates on this thread as needed.

As I mentioned earlier, I do hope to eventually get good enough at this to justify offering the perches for sale, so I am not sure how long I will do this 'Will Work for Wood' deal....

09-23-2015, 12:40 AM
Thanks for all the PMs/interest everyone. I should have plenty of wood coming my way to keep me busy for a while....I certainly appreciate your giving me the chance to improve my turning abilities. I will do my best to make some nice perches for you....

I just finished a perch using wood from a birch tree I cut down a few years ago. It was pretty buggy and I didn't have high hopes for it when I first started, but I painted the worm holes black to accent them and I kind of like the way it turned out. It is one of the things I like about wood working...taking some bland piece of firewood and discovering a beautiful piece of wood inside.
Here's a photo of the finished perch among pieces of wood from the same tree.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/12-2014/P9220585_zpsenoorxnv.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/12-2014/P9220585_zpsenoorxnv.jpg.html)

Hard to tell in the photo, but the black hole in the top of the perch is almost a half inch deep. Those 'defects' actually give the piece a lot of character.

10-01-2015, 12:16 AM
Seth sent me some more of the spalted Alder.....

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/P9260590_zpscym5rpab.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/P9260590_zpscym5rpab.jpg.html)

Just about finished with his perch. Waiting for the OB Shine finish to cure before I apply a few coats of spar varnish...

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/P9300591_zpsp9wqxdbh.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/P9300591_zpsp9wqxdbh.jpg.html)

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/P9300599_zps2vpgfc6z.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/P9300599_zps2vpgfc6z.jpg.html)

I'm starting a Zebrawood merlin perch for Dan. It is very hard wood, a bit of a challenge to turn, but I think it will have a striking grain pattern when finished.

Thanks, guys, for giving me the opportunity to work on my turning.....

10-02-2015, 11:58 PM
Here is a shot of Dan's zebra wood merlin perch. My tiercel G/P hybrid flies at 670 grams, so pretty small guy but his feet still are way to big for this perch. I think it'll be just about right at 4.5 inch diameter for a merlin...

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/12-2014/f23225fe-46d3-49cd-8d08-2c43ce40a4ee_zpsfkbimdfj.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/12-2014/f23225fe-46d3-49cd-8d08-2c43ce40a4ee_zpsfkbimdfj.jpg.html)

11-02-2015, 03:49 PM
Here is my most recent batch of wakr perches ready for shipment. I want to thank everyone who sent me wood to work with. I was able to turn some very beautiful wood that I otherwise wouldn't have. I have made a few modifications to the design, and have found that by putting a nut and fender washer on the 1/2 inch spike to snug up against the base of the post makes it much more stable in the ground. One thing I have noticed with the wakr perches is you want to avoid overly long jesses. I have always preferred long jesses, but they tend to straddle over the wakr platform more often than with traditional blocks.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/PB010608_zpsuqkd1dbc.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/PB010608_zpsuqkd1dbc.jpg.html)

Dan and Josh sent me some padauk and mahogany. I haven't worked with padauk before....it finished with a cool glowing orange/red hue to it and on close inspection has fine stippling throughout from the open grain. Josh found a really nice chunk of mahogany for the top, it does that shimmering chatoyance thing when rotated in the light.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/e1624d5c-64c2-405b-b14e-061e0cfc0d2a_zps5punskvo.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/e1624d5c-64c2-405b-b14e-061e0cfc0d2a_zps5punskvo.jpg.html)

Jeff sent me some borneo rosewood and kazow is that some nice wood. Again, a species I have never worked with before. a very deep/rich red.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/b79ff296-a01d-429d-9edc-bd539ed199ff_zpswmbw6zjp.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/b79ff296-a01d-429d-9edc-bd539ed199ff_zpswmbw6zjp.jpg.html)

Thanks, again, guys. I learned a lot and enjoyed making these perches. Hopefully I will see some photos on NAFEX with your birds sitting on the perches.

11-10-2015, 09:00 PM
Seth sent me a photo of his passage peregrine on the alder perch he got...very cool.

http://i1310.photobucket.com/albums/s648/kcpopke/01580633-6a2f-42a7-b9e8-017c3aceb8d8_zpsc38mnvkq.jpg (http://s1310.photobucket.com/user/kcpopke/media/01580633-6a2f-42a7-b9e8-017c3aceb8d8_zpsc38mnvkq.jpg.html)