Heavily Spalted Alaskan Birch x2

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Project by Stonekettle posted 08-13-2010 04:57 AM 2453 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Like the previous project I posted, this closed form bowl is turned from a piece of heavily spalted Alaskan birch burl. The wood was cut green and allowed to dry outside in the damp and cool south central Alaskan environment for about two years. Then I coated it in black leaf mold from my compost heap, wrapped it in plastic and allowed it to spalt for another year. The blank was then dried in the shop for another year or so until it was down to about 12% moisture. The wood was very soft and a bowl gouge would only tear the wood, I used scrapers with a pronounced burr spun at low speed. The bowl was turned to rough, allowed to dry for another month or so, then turned to finish. I saturated it in repeated coats of sanding sealer to harden the wood and then sanded it down to 1200grit and finished it with ten coats of wipe-on satin poly. It’s about 12” in diameter at the shoulder.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

14 comments so far

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 4492 days

#1 posted 08-13-2010 05:08 AM

Very Cool AND Artistic!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View rimfire7891's profile


123 posts in 4358 days

#2 posted 08-13-2010 05:09 AM

Hi Stone,
Now that is thing of beauty. You mast have extreme patience to go through all the steps taken to get the beautiful end result. Well done

Thanks for posting jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View hairy's profile


3366 posts in 4988 days

#3 posted 08-13-2010 05:22 AM

Very nice!
I looked at more of your work on your web page. You do very good work.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 4360 days

#4 posted 08-13-2010 05:48 AM


-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4726 days

#5 posted 08-13-2010 05:51 AM

Beautiful turning…that wood is exquisite. Your finish is great….it looks like a piece of buffed agate….Very nice how that void came out…..excellent.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5341 days

#6 posted 08-13-2010 05:53 AM

BEAUTIFUL!!!!! And thanks for the information about how you dried and treated the wood!!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 4360 days

#7 posted 08-13-2010 05:54 AM

Buffed agate/stone was exactly the effect I was going for here. Thanks!

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4886 days

#8 posted 08-13-2010 08:34 AM

WOW!!! What a wonderful turning. Love the shape and the natural voids are outstanding! You did a great job in bringing out the beauty of this burl. Fantastic finish. I think you accomplished the “Agate” look.

Keep up the great work.


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

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4474 days

#9 posted 08-13-2010 09:06 AM

Wow, another beauty! Keep up the beautiful work!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4545 days

#10 posted 08-13-2010 11:20 AM

This is so beautiful, I am really impressed.
Thank you for sharing,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4644 days

#11 posted 08-13-2010 11:27 AM

BEAUTIFUL!!!! for sure. Just love that is has so much character and not perfectly round. Very very nice A+

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5702 days

#12 posted 08-13-2010 02:53 PM

A gorgeous turning just beautiful, I don’t know if I could wait that long to gitrdone. You have what it takes. In spades. I love the color and form.

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

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4520 days

#13 posted 08-13-2010 03:05 PM

Beautiful work.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Tom Z's profile

Tom Z

12 posts in 4340 days

#14 posted 09-06-2010 04:17 AM

OMG, your work is very inspiational !

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