Maple Bowl (Suprise)

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Project by Innovator posted 09-09-2009 04:02 PM 2550 views 2 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had some maple logs that I got locally from neighbor that was having a tree cut down. As I was taking the logs I was trying to think about where I would put them. I have a very limited space to store raw logs. I usually place them on a skid in my yard but I knew that it was full but I wasn’t passing up this wood. So I decided to experiment with them. I have read that you can spalt your own lumber by placing it directly in the dirt. The trick is to not leave it there too long, if so you will rot the log.

This is where the surprise comes in. I placed these logs directly on the dirt (it was grass at first) and left them there for about 3 months. I cut these logs last week and I was excited when I saw how the wood reacted. I had to coat them and put them on the shelf until I had time to get to them. I pulled one off the shelf yesterday and I had at it. As I started turning the wood the pattern started jumping out. I just love richness in a piece of wood.

I started the bowl around 7:00pm and at 9:30 I was cutting the foot off of it. I had already finished it with EEE Ultra Shine and Shellawax Cream. Here is where things start to go wrong. I got cocky as I was cutting the foot off. I used a jam chuck and the tail center to hold the piece in place and I was using a thin knife parting tool for the cut. I got the cut down to about 3/16” in diameter and I took it off of the lathe. I know that I should use a saw to cut the rest of it off but “Hey I don’t need to follow the rules, I’ve done this a thousand times”. So I proceeded to hit the foot with a soft blow hammer and the foot fell on the floor, which was fine until I looked at the bottom of the bowl and saw that when I wacked the foot off I took a chip out of the bottom of the bowl, it went clear through. MAD was an understatement! The worst part about it is I know better, but every once in a while I need to be reminded that the rules apply to me also.

I used some titebond III and some CA and did the best repair I could with it. The break was not very clean the wood fibers tore out from hitting the foot.

Overall I like the bowl, my wife has already found a home for it in our kitchen. The bowls diameter is 8” at the top and it stands 4” tall. The wall thickness is a full 3/16”.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

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

18 comments so far

View DaddyT's profile


267 posts in 4430 days

#1 posted 09-09-2009 04:41 PM

Man is that beautiful ! Shame about the break though, funny how we humble ourselves sometimes huh?

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut [email protected]#%#[email protected]!!!......measure twice, cut....

View scott83's profile


14 posts in 4109 days

#2 posted 09-09-2009 04:49 PM

That is the nicest spalting I’ve ever seen, and your work is great! If you hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have noticed the break… at least in the photos.

-- Scott

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4254 days

#3 posted 09-09-2009 06:48 PM

Nice shape and beautiful spalting. I’ve done a little home spalting myself, but never got anything as spectacular as that.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View woodisit's profile


61 posts in 4161 days

#4 posted 09-09-2009 08:36 PM

Beautiful bowel, did leaving it the dirt darken the wood? I can’t say I have seen maple that dark before.

-- Woodisit

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14187 posts in 4902 days

#5 posted 09-10-2009 12:51 AM

wow … great eye candy

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View alholstein's profile


238 posts in 4961 days

#6 posted 09-10-2009 01:33 AM

Now that is a nice suprise. I really like the pattern of the grain. It’s a keeper.


-- Al Holstein "I wood do it"

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4478 days

#7 posted 09-10-2009 01:37 AM

That is one FANTASTIC looking bowl. I just love that grain pattern and the finish is excellent. SUPER JOB.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4333 days

#8 posted 09-10-2009 01:56 AM

Jimi – humbling is an understatement. I am sure I wont do that again any time soon.

Woodisit – I was not able to see all of the spectacular color until I split the log so I done know what it looked like prior to splitting.

Thanks all for the comments, I appreciarte it.

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

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4350 days

#9 posted 09-10-2009 02:57 AM

Fantastic bowl. Just love that coloring of that maple. The spalting is spectacular.

Great turning. And with a lessen to boot! I have done the same thing. (OH I’ll just break that off…...Dang now I have to return the bottom!)

Look forward to seeing more of your beautifull turnings.


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

View Karson's profile


35229 posts in 5320 days

#10 posted 09-10-2009 04:12 AM

A great looking bowl. I cut down a Holly tree and left about 3’ of log sticking up to the weather. It’s been that way for about a year. I’ll be interested to see what has happened to it.

-- 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 patron's profile


13712 posts in 4261 days

#11 posted 09-10-2009 04:23 AM

thats a nice bowl .
i never heard of spalting it yourself !
it sure looks good !

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

View Broda's profile


313 posts in 4438 days

#12 posted 09-10-2009 11:30 AM

I gotta try to spalt my own wood sometime

how do you like the EEE and Shellawax?

-- BRODY. NSW AUSTRALIA -arguments with turnings are rarely productive-

View toyguy's profile


1742 posts in 4757 days

#13 posted 09-10-2009 01:22 PM

That is one real nice funnel you made there. I have heard of the home spalting plan, but never have tried it…...but I think I will !

Good job !

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4333 days

#14 posted 09-11-2009 03:29 AM

Scrappy – I agree on the spalting it came out awesome, I wish I could take credit for it.

Karson – I am sure the wood will be spectacular, I cant wait to see the pics.

David – It was simple to so, just sit it on the ground. From what I understand the micro-organisims get into the wood and start the rotting process. Actually I saw on one of the logs I have already cut up and waxed that there is some mold growing on the outside of the anchorseal.

Broda – I like the EEE, quick and easy. I made a handle for a chisel today and used it over linseed oil and it came out very nice.

Toyguy – Give it a try and thats where the suprise comes in!

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

View a1Jim's profile


118145 posts in 4497 days

#15 posted 09-11-2009 03:31 AM

Weee dogie that’s a beaut great job super wood


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