Pine Cone Bowl/Alumilite

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Project by rockmolsen posted 11-10-2017 08:30 PM 3386 views 5 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I have been walking our neighborhood almost every evening and we pass this pine tree with lots of pine cones on the ground. It dawned on me to gather some and using epoxy resin, try and make a bowl. One night I took a shopping bag and gathered some up. I have had a bit of experience before with some resin projects and know wood should be dry and using a pressure pot which I have reduces air bubbles.

I dried the pine cones in the oven at 200 degrees for about 1 hr. I also cut off one side on the band saw of each cone to make it narrower and again use less resin. I found a plastic bowl to use for a mold and turned a filler piece to minimize the amount resin and a round disk for the bottom. This was a piece of pear wood I had laying around. I should have used some mold release because I could not get the resin blank out of the bowl, I ended up having to turn the plastic bowl off on the lathe. Secondly you can see in picture 1, I did not get the bottom disk centered, must have moved transferring into the pressure pot. I used Alumilite clear with a slight amount of orange pearlessance powder.

Once set over night, I drilled a hole in the top center(what will be the inside) and used a worm screw to mount the blank. Then shaped the outside and created a recessed mortise for mounting in the chuck. After flipping it around and working on the inside I told myself I should check my depth and just a few seconds later blew through the bottom of the bowl. I grabbed a piece of cherry, cut it round and mounted it to a face plate. I mounted the damaged bowl to a Longworth chuck and made a larger and straight hole. The cherry was turned to fit in the hole and also allow me to create another recess for mounting back in the 4 jaw chuck. Glued it in and once dry, began finishing the bowl.

Normally I sand wood bowls to about 600 but with the Alumilte, I go to about 2000, use some EEE and the OB Shine juice. The original plan was not to have a foot on the bottom but all in all I’m happy with the end result. Its 8.5” w x 4” tall.

Thanks for looking

-- Rick --------The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

19 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3397 days

#1 posted 11-10-2017 08:34 PM

That is amazing looking. Very cool, indeed.

View segchris's profile


10 posts in 1333 days

#2 posted 11-10-2017 08:38 PM

Very cool, I get about a million pine cones in my yard so its fun to see someone find a use for them.

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3622 days

#3 posted 11-10-2017 08:55 PM

You’re onto something here Rick, what a fabulous looking piece, this idea has a lot of scope :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View DMiller's profile


537 posts in 1272 days

#4 posted 11-10-2017 10:40 PM

Amazing Idea!!! Very creative!

-- Dale Miller Modesto, CA "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. "Woodworking minus patience equals firewood."

View bushmaster's profile


3940 posts in 3081 days

#5 posted 11-10-2017 10:55 PM

So interesting, beautiful job.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Redoak49's profile


4792 posts in 2787 days

#6 posted 11-10-2017 11:18 PM

Very interesting…I like it

View ralbuck's profile


6551 posts in 3065 days

#7 posted 11-10-2017 11:37 PM

Fantastic job!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View BB1's profile


1652 posts in 1647 days

#8 posted 11-11-2017 12:48 AM

Very eye catching! Great idea.

View Ivan's profile


16044 posts in 3666 days

#9 posted 11-11-2017 06:33 AM

Wow! That’s realy art work. Pretty unique. I didn’t see anything similar for some time, very well done. You was very detailed in describing the process – very useful.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3665 days

#10 posted 11-11-2017 12:19 PM

This bowl is very creative and beautifully done.

elluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View PaulDoug's profile


2391 posts in 2502 days

#11 posted 11-11-2017 02:25 PM

Very beautiful!!

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Dreggy's profile


97 posts in 2404 days

#12 posted 11-11-2017 07:04 PM

Absolutely beautiful! I have been watching some Ytube videos on using resin, but haven’t given it a try yet.

-- No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you're still way ahead of everyone who isn't trying.

View pottz's profile


10240 posts in 1783 days

#13 posted 11-11-2017 08:43 PM

very cool idea and very creative use of the pine cones rick.thats a beautiful bowl my friend congrats.

-- 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 Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12213 posts in 4227 days

#14 posted 11-11-2017 08:54 PM

Just awesome.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View isotope's profile


177 posts in 2423 days

#15 posted 11-11-2017 09:48 PM

Very creative! Well done sir.

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