Lidded Box 11262016

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 11-29-2016 08:30 AM 1598 views 0 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s what’s been happening around here, lately:
I haven’t finished anything in months. I’m not happy about it. I’m not happy about most things.
I’ve started many a piece and gotten to the point where my muse simply up and left me. So I’d unmount the current thing and find another victim upon which to vent. This has resulted in at least eight Things in various stages of undress being set aside. Most of them, at some time or other in their progress(?) showed some promise. The one that sat around the longest was a large bowl of my Precious Silver Maple. It had everything a guy could hope for: Striking figure; Gorgeous form; Spalting; Wormholes; Bark in all the right places; Openings in all the right places. It also had punkiness. A lot of it. See, the Silver Maple was diseased and rotted out, mostly. That’s why it, and its sister fell to the saws. See The solid wood is fairly well confined to the outer several inches. Sitting out among the elements (mostly, sunshine – this is Southern California) means that cracks have developed. Some, pretty serious cracks. Nothing, says VIMH, that can’t be worked around.
So, after five or six of these “false starts” (stalse farts?), I re-mounted the Bowl of Promise. I was coming right along, getting it to just the right thickness; not breaking it or blowing off the bark; making it, in short, very pretty, indeed. I’m doing some finishing cuts to remove some tool marks, when, inexplicably, the little notch that has become, over time, an eye-candy feature in the lip, finds the wrong part of the scraper (presented at a negative rake – not my fault) and the Bowl of Promise explodes.

I’ve never mastered the art of throwing away something I’ve labored over for weeks or months. That’s a skill I could have learned form an ex-wife. Alas, I never did. I set it aside.
Enter the new chainsaw.
Yeah. A month or so ago I purchased, on eBay, my very first brand-new chainsaw. What could go wrong? The five old, used, chainsaws I have had given me enough fits. I’m eager, of course, to get into some more of that beautiful Maple. So I choose an 11” diameter log and square the end up, and cut an 11” length of it, and cut it in two down the middle (or somewhere thereabouts). I mount one half on the old SS and go at it with the power planer, trying to get it to spin while keeping the wheels on the ground. I give up and set it aside. ”You need to do something a little less adventurous,” says VIMH.

”You mean like some not wormy, cracked, or punky?”

”Yeah. Like, mebbees, this.”

”A store-bought (read: factory-made) Hackberry bowl blank.”

”Yeah. Like that.”

I’d forgotten how hard Hackberry is to turn. You see those dark lines? They’re very hard. The light wood? It’s almost like Balsa.
Whatevah. At least it isn’t punky, wormy, or cracked. It’s been on the shelf for a couple years, so all the movement it had to do has been done. I mounted it Saturday, and finished it today (Monday).
Thank you. And, I apologize.
If you should happen to come across my muse, somewhere in the wide world, ask her to come home, please.

-- Mark

40 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16319 posts in 3751 days

#1 posted 11-29-2016 08:43 AM

We woodworkers always find the way.Nice project, despite all problems.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3909 days

#2 posted 11-29-2016 10:58 AM

I think that your muse has gone off to a musery (like mine). Sometimes they come back full of new ideas. Nice box anyhow.

-- Dreaming patterns

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2759 days

#3 posted 11-29-2016 11:05 AM

Great Job Mark. Sometimes all the extra effort doesn’t pay off, glad you were able to move on and finish up this great looking bowl.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3803 days

#4 posted 11-29-2016 11:22 AM

How completely beautiful! :)

I love it! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BobWemm's profile


2889 posts in 2809 days

#5 posted 11-29-2016 11:48 AM

Nice box.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25330 posts in 3989 days

#6 posted 11-29-2016 12:00 PM

Beautiful box, Mark. Love that spalting!!!!!!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5102 days

#7 posted 11-29-2016 01:06 PM

Great box, Mark!

As for the Bowl of Promise, Shakespeare said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” In this case, though, it seems it was the scraper rather than a parting tool that caused the sorrow. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2890 days

#8 posted 11-29-2016 01:10 PM

Nice little box, Mark. But as for the other piece? Well instead of a bowl, you are now the proud artist who made a very nice Object ‘de Art !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7666 posts in 4236 days

#9 posted 11-29-2016 01:30 PM

Nice box good read! The photos say a lot!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View doubleDD's profile


9723 posts in 2926 days

#10 posted 11-29-2016 01:59 PM

Remember Mark, anyone can make a perfect solid bowl. It’ the challenge that makes it interesting.
The box looks great, bit think of the possibilities of a bottomless box.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3918 days

#11 posted 11-29-2016 02:13 PM

Nice box, Mark. I understand your frustration…

Too bad about the Bowl of (Broken) Promise. It was looking pretty darn good.

-- Barry,

View pottz's profile


11713 posts in 1868 days

#12 posted 11-29-2016 02:34 PM

very nice box as usual buddy,the other just wasnt meant to be,but that stuff happens,it hurts then we move on to the next hopeful work of art.i hear about losing your muse it happens to us all at times and putting something aside is the best bet to avoid making more scrap will come back just be patient,even your screw ups are beautiful.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View BrentH's profile


76 posts in 1923 days

#13 posted 11-29-2016 03:34 PM

Haven’t seen your muse, nor mine either lately. I have a big chunk of walnut(?) that’s been mounted for months. Every time I spin it up it tries to bite me. I think I’m going back to the segmented stuff. When working with small pieces, they seem to know who’s boss.


-- Brent H. --"This retirement stuff is hard work. I need to go get a job so I can get some rest!"

View lew's profile


13195 posts in 4639 days

#14 posted 11-29-2016 03:59 PM

The little box turned out beautifully, Mark! I really like the contrast between the box and the finial.

BTW, she was here a month or so ago but left for parts unknown.

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

View RootandBranch's profile


241 posts in 1987 days

#15 posted 11-29-2016 05:05 PM

Love this box Mark. Glad to see it’s not just my muse that has decided to take a leave of absence. I’ve got several what I call $#@^$% pieces sitting. I either cant seem to get them to work out or I’ve failed during the process requiring a rethink.

-- Don, -

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