Wormy Maple Vessel

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Project by StevenAntonucci posted 12-17-2009 04:21 PM 1699 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This vessel is about 12” tall and was my gift in a holiday exchange in another online wood forum. The original idea was to do something else, but a few minutes into it, I felt the wet spatter and saw the dust flying, so i knew it was buggy.

The nice thing about buggy wood for hollowing is that you have a built in thickness gauge all the way down, which really speeds up the hollowing process. There was almost no measuring the wall thickness, which is an honest and consistent 3/16” most of the way down the vessel. I leave the top and the bottoms a little bit thicker for handling, since tend to pick them up through the holes and put them down without thinking.

The entire vessel was hollowed by hand, without the use of a laser supported doo-hickey (aka cheater bars) in about 3 hours. A majority of the interior was cut with a homemade hook tool because it directs the force along the grain vs. across it. When you get this big and thin, you don’t want to be pushing on the walls when half of the vessel is made from holes and bug poop.

I finished the outside with a cabinet scraper, removing one small area of tearout around some light curl and unifying the surface. A compressor will blow out some of the bug holes, but I probably spent 5 hours with a sewing needle pick tool that I made cleaning out the rest. In the process, I evicted two remaining larvae. The piece has no finish on it, since I wanted it to remain the color that you see in the full picture. The yellowness in the second picture is because I didn’t adjust the camera for the lighting.

Comments welcome.

-- Steven

12 comments so far

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 3923 days

#1 posted 12-17-2009 04:46 PM

Steve what a beautiful piece of wood.

It looks fantastic!


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

View sras's profile


5199 posts in 3639 days

#2 posted 12-17-2009 05:02 PM

Very interesting!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4223 days

#3 posted 12-17-2009 05:25 PM

very nice vessel, i love the top. what kind of finish did you us?

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4087 days

#4 posted 12-17-2009 05:33 PM

Super turning good job

View peruturner's profile


317 posts in 3872 days

#5 posted 12-17-2009 06:11 PM

Great piece my friend well done

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3617 days

#6 posted 12-17-2009 07:39 PM

I rely like the shape of this vessel. You might want to treat the wood in case there are some live ones in there. Well done keep up the good work.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3630 days

#7 posted 12-17-2009 10:19 PM

Beautiful. the more pieces I see like this the more motivated I am to try turning sometime.

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 4448 days

#8 posted 12-18-2009 01:19 AM

Thanks for the comments-

To answer some questions- there is no finish on this piece of wood. Aside from a light hand scraping and some 220 grit, it’s almost straight off the tool. Every finish I have ever tried turns this kind of maple too “yellow” for my tastes.

As far as other bugs go, I picked ALL of the holes clean. In most places their is not enough wood thickness to support a bug without one end or the other showing. If I saw one, he got a needle through his head and pulled out…

P.S. The backdrop is also something I made with two cans of leftover spray paint and some contractor’s paper

-- Steven

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4493 days

#9 posted 12-18-2009 01:20 AM

well done and great way to use up wormy wood

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

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3894 days

#10 posted 12-18-2009 04:11 AM

I love the timing of your post, and your project too, by the way. I actually just came upon my first piece of wormy maple. It’s in my lathe right now and I was wondering what to do with it. I had just cleaned out the holes and trails a little with a wire brush to see what I had. Maybe I’ll set it aside for when I get my new chuck and try my hand at some hollow forms.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View shimmy's profile


131 posts in 3996 days

#11 posted 12-18-2009 06:45 AM

Awww, nature’s little designers have been at work. Great looking piece.

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 4448 days

#12 posted 12-20-2009 04:12 AM

Sadly, the sister piece from this maple was nowhere near as buggy. While it did make for a quick hole cleanout, I left it a bit thicker to be carved or something. Thanks for all of the comments.

-- Steven

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