turnings #7: ~9" wide face grain Jacaranda bowl rough

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 08-18-2009 02:40 AM 3095 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: two natural-edge jacaranda bowls Part 7 of turnings series Part 8: red oak "70's ashtray" - square edge bowl turning »

In my last post, I showed some Jacaranda log halves I’d cut up and sealed in preparation for turning them into bowls. Here’s the first one I turned. It’s a very simple bowl. I concentrated a lot here on just practicing techniques, getting a very flat, slightly rounded slope to the inside bottom, and not suffering any catches or gouges. I didn’t want to leave any tool marks this time.

Jacaranda bowl rough on lathe

This is a rough turning, and has been drying now for 10 days. For the first week it was buried in its own shavings in a plastic grocery bag with the top left wide open.

Jacaranda bowl rough on lathe

Jacaranda turnings seem to develop feathery, flame-like patterns in the face grain areas:

Jacaranda bowl rough on lathe

Jacaranda bowl rough

You can see here how very wet this wood is. It’s all like the wet spot here when you start turning it, and you get pelted with a sprinkling of water anywhere above about 1k RPM. Note how it’s dried out considerably on the bottom, and how the water all pools up and is ejected out of the end grain:

Jacaranda bowl rough on lathe

Jacaranda bowl rough with wet end grain

Leaving the bowl on the lathe for awhile, just spinning at higher RPMs when done turning is one way to remove a lot of the water from the bowl, though I’m not sure of any adverse effects. I doubt there are any of much significance.

I left some inner and outer bark on one side, because I thought it looked nice:

Jacaranda bowl rough on lathe with bark inclusion

Jacaranda bowl rough with bark inclusions

The tenon will be turned away in the final stages:

tenon on bottom of Jacaranda bowl rough

Any thoughts as to what the grain reminds you of? Here are two views from opposite sides into the bowl:

Jacaranda bowl rough

Jacaranda bowl rough

As it’s had a chance to dry for 10 days now, I can remark a bit on how it’s changed. First, it’s warped only very slightly. It won’t take much to turn it back to true. Second, the bark inclusions – especially the outer bark areas have all pulled into the bowl tremendously, and are now probably 3/16” deep depressions that almost look like ergonomic finger grip recesses on a pair of pruning shears. Third, I didn’t notice any form of checking, which is fantastic. I will likely turn a few more like this, and these are prime candidates for testing out some dying techniques. I’m especially keen – still – to learn a bit more about trifern’s method, through actual application of the techniques. I won’t be any good thinking about it. Have to get out there and try/fail until I get it.

Here’s a final top-down view. I will be thinning it up quite a bit when it’s dry (or close enough), and refining the curves, and the wall thickness uniformity.

Jacaranda bowl rough top-down view

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

6 comments so far

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5094 days

#1 posted 08-18-2009 04:19 AM

Great information, Gary.

The grain is sort of like maple but has more “character”.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View rons's profile


72 posts in 4690 days

#2 posted 08-18-2009 04:43 AM

gary , I really like the grain of that wood. thanks for the post, I enjoy them all. ron

-- Ron, Michigan

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23326 posts in 5014 days

#3 posted 08-18-2009 07:16 AM

I can’t wait to get my lathe set up!! Go get ‘em Gary. Looks like you are getting it down pat:-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4769 days

#4 posted 08-18-2009 07:35 AM

Great log Gary. Thanks for all the info. Keep the blogs comeing. Very informative and entertaining.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4680 days

#5 posted 08-18-2009 07:55 AM

thanks gary ,
it is great for me
to learn allong with you ,
i don’t have a lathe yet ,
but im storing all this stuff for later .
thanks for the open and informative
instructions .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4916 days

#6 posted 08-22-2009 06:51 AM

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