Wet blank to finished boxelder bowl #2

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Project by Douglas Bordner posted 10-08-2007 08:34 AM 5485 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Dan Walters reviewed my previous bowl this evening, which spurred me to stop squaring lumber for a new commission long enough to finish what was started 71 days ago.


Long story short, I was at my sister-in-law’s wedding in Chicago this summer, and found some downed Boxelder limbs in the yard (outdoor wedding). Two pieces hitched a ride back to Omaha and my first log-wranglin’ experience began. I turned the first bowl blank thin, hoping to get a feel for the process of allowing free-form warping to shape the finished product. That wasn’t pleasing to me, and in the process of truing it up the first blank became a mere saucer.

I left some meat on the second rough blank, and I came up with this offering. Finish is Mylands High-Build Friction Polish over Mylands Cellulose Sanding Sealer. Much thanks to LJs: Mot(Tom) for his CSS bowl series and SteveRussell for a very detailed response to questions regarding the proper way to turn a “double bullseye” blank with minimal fuzziness and tearout. Also thanks to Dorje for starting me up with log-wrangling info.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

23 comments so far

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 4420 days

#1 posted 10-08-2007 12:26 PM

That’s pretty sweet Doug. Love the colors and grain patterns. I’ve never turned a single piece of wood in my life, unless you count the ones that spin when I toss them in the scrap pile, well there is that one that I didn’t clamp to the drill press ;)

I’m going to need a bigger shop. You guys have got me wanting to try all kinds of new stuff.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4477 days

#2 posted 10-08-2007 02:13 PM

Well now, Douglas, what I know about wet turning you could put in a thimble. This looks like a very good bowl. It shows all the color that Box Elder is famous for. It also looks to be about the right size to eat cereal out of, but I don’t suppose that is what you intend. Just pulling your chain. It really looks great.


-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4612 days

#3 posted 10-08-2007 03:16 PM

Very pretty.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4761 days

#4 posted 10-08-2007 03:23 PM

Good job Doug. I’m still Latheless. I have lathe envy. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4536 days

#5 posted 10-08-2007 03:37 PM

Good job Doug.
I wrap my bowls in their own shavings in a plastic bag wth a few holes punched for slow drying.
It helps to prevent cracks but nothing is for certain .
Leave at least 15% more wall thckness than you want to have on the finished job as they usually go oval by that amount.
The other thing I often do is mount a dry wood foot on the base so that it does not go out of round and makes it easier to remount the blank.

Cheers Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4505 days

#6 posted 10-08-2007 04:46 PM

Wow, that’s some grain pattern. Never seen boxelder before.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4733 days

#7 posted 10-08-2007 06:05 PM

Man, this bowl-turning stuff is too scientific for me.

Very pretty, Doug!

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

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4608 days

#8 posted 10-08-2007 06:39 PM

Super nice, Doug. I like the way the grain appears ‘stretched’ across the bottom of the bowl.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Karson's profile


35202 posts in 4915 days

#9 posted 10-08-2007 08:12 PM

Very good Douglas. Nice bowl.

-- 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 Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4494 days

#10 posted 10-08-2007 11:00 PM

Hi Douglas;

Is that the lathezy man’s way to do it?

Beautiful bowl. Gotta love box elder.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View SteveRussell's profile


101 posts in 4475 days

#11 posted 10-09-2007 12:33 AM

Hello Douglas,

Woo Hoo! Congrats on your Box Elder bowl! Your bowl looks sweet and the colors are to die for… :-) Down Texas way, we can’t grow Box Elder, so I’ll have to live vicariously through you when I want to turn Red Stain Box Elder. Just wait until you turn some Box Elder Burl… :-) Take care and please let me know if I can ever help you. Best wishes to you and yours!

Steve Russell
Eurowood Werks Studio
The Woodlands, Texas

-- Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4842 days

#12 posted 10-09-2007 12:57 AM


-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4051 posts in 4578 days

#13 posted 10-09-2007 03:26 AM

Thanks Guys!
Bob, I’ll have to try the dry foot trick. And thanks Mot for the rub-bevel trick, as well as encouraging me to try a little side-grind action on the bowl gouge. I never thought of turning the tool sideways for thin shearing cuts.
The hardest thing is waiting for the bowl to dry…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4551 days

#14 posted 10-11-2007 01:08 AM

Douglas, that’s a beautiful piece. I’m glad those shear cuts worked out. They sure take care of tearout in a jiffy, don’t they. Great bowl! Just great!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4051 posts in 4578 days

#15 posted 10-11-2007 06:51 AM

The shape is a tad pedestrian, but I didn’t want to detract from the red stained wood (cause unknown, thought to be associated with stress to the tree) or lose any of the heartwood. The superglue trick on the rough blank kept parts from shedding during the drying process (I lost an inch in height on the first one).

Boxelder bowls – Not just for breakfast anymore!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

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