Walnut hollow form start to finish #1: Blank prep

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Blog entry by jeffthewoodwacker posted 10-05-2009 02:31 AM 4222 reads 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Walnut hollow form start to finish series Part 2: Shaping the vessel »

This will be an attempt to detail the steps I take to turn a hollow form. The wood that will be used is from some walnut that I was able to get early this year and has been stored in an old barn. This is the block of walnut after I have chain sawed it to rough shape. The piece is 14 inches across and 13 inches high.

I have circle templates in various sizes made from 1/4” hardboard that I use to size my blanks before they go to the band saw. I used a 12” template nailed to the walnut block and cut it to shape on the band saw. This hollow form will be turned side grain.

From the band saw the blank is ready to be mounted on the lathe. I use a heavy duty two flute drive that is held by my Nova super chuck. I have center punched both ends of the blank to make it easier to determine where to mount them between the drives. If necessary I will move the blank around a little to get the best grain orientation.

The next step will be to rough out the shape and prepare a tenon on the tail stock end that will allow me to mount the blank in the Nova chuck. Time to stop for today, I will start turning tomorrow.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

12 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 5035 days

#1 posted 10-05-2009 02:36 AM

I’m going to follow your blog on this.
I can’t wait to get my lathe and hope to learn from you & others on the “how to’s”.

That’s a nice chunk of Walnut too.


View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 5173 days

#2 posted 10-05-2009 02:41 AM

hope you put a plastic bag over it for the night , or else it will crack. cann’t wait to see what shape you use.have fun and be safe.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 5058 days

#3 posted 10-05-2009 03:01 AM


I too will follow your blog to see just how you do your turnings. Great Job!

‘The SedcoKid’

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4905 days

#4 posted 10-05-2009 03:03 AM

Great start can’t wait to see more.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 5264 days

#5 posted 10-05-2009 04:16 AM

Roper, normally I would wrap the entire blank in a plastic bag if I was not going to immediately turn it. This piece has been in the barn the entire summer and should not crack or check. The log that this piece came from was almost 50 inches in diameter and I was able to cut several blanks out and eliminate the pith. It will be a good experiment to see what it looks like tomorrow when I get ready to turn it.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4873 days

#6 posted 10-05-2009 05:31 AM

Looking forward to the next post.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5860 days

#7 posted 10-05-2009 06:57 AM

Cool Jeff. For us non-turners this is pure GOLD.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4890 days

#8 posted 10-05-2009 08:38 AM

Thanks for the blog. Will be keeping an eye on it.


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

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 5173 days

#9 posted 10-05-2009 04:24 PM

For someone who wishes to advance his turning (like me) this is the next best thing to hands on instruction and its always going to be here to refer to. can’t wait for the next lesson.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View dbhost's profile


5906 posts in 4692 days

#10 posted 10-05-2009 06:26 PM

Another one looking forward to your next post… I am still pretty new to turning, and need to see more of this stuff…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4794 days

#11 posted 10-05-2009 09:41 PM

Nice blog Jeff. A great looking piece of walnut with that wavy grain. It looks like a lot of people are getting interested in turning and this is just the kind of thing they will want to see. Looking forward to the finished piece.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 5398 days

#12 posted 10-05-2009 10:49 PM

I’d bag it or it’s going to crack…

While the square you started with was likely dry on the surface, the inner wood is probably still very wet. I use my cheek to test (cool means wet).

I would also want to have the bottom of the vessel in the heartwood (headstock) and lighter sapwood on top. Just a visual thing for me…

-- Steven

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