Bubinga and blackwood mortar & pestal

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Project by Art posted 01-16-2018 05:36 AM 848 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first attempt at turning a mortar, or any bowl for that matter. I laminated pieces of bubinga and blackwood together to make the mortar blank. I’m not unhappy with the result but think the long grain wasn’t oriented correctly. I had the long grain running along the axis of the lathe as opposed to perpendicular to the axis which resulted in gouging the inside of the bowl from endgrain. Hopefully one of you lathe expert bubbas can let me know what is the correct way to mount the blank? :)

-- Arthur T., Pringle Braai Furniture, South Africa, [email protected] A lion leaves its skin when it dies....

3 comments so far

View LesB's profile


2568 posts in 4244 days

#1 posted 01-16-2018 05:34 PM

Great first start.
I think you oriented the wood correctly for the purpose of your project.
End grain inside the bottom of the bowl will serve better in the grinding process than the long grain will. End grain “tear out” is worse in some wood than others. It requires sharp tools and careful cuts as you reach the finished size. I find a sharp scraper works best for me. They sand it starting with 60 or 80 grit until you remove the tearing.
I find the Munro hollowing tool works well for cleaning out the inside of a bowl (not cheap but does a great job) but it can still use some careful scraping to finish up some end grains.
Even when you mount the wood with the grain perpendicular to the axis of the turning you will experience end grain tear out in some wood, it is just a little easier to deal with on the outside with than on the inside of a bowl shape.

-- Les B, Oregon

View BurlyBob's profile


7689 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 01-16-2018 06:15 PM

I think it looks wonderful. I’m not a wood turner but I like everything about it. I think the way you oriented the grain is very attractive.

View Art's profile


105 posts in 4004 days

#3 posted 01-17-2018 03:44 AM

Thanks for the comments and recommendations…....very useful!

-- Arthur T., Pringle Braai Furniture, South Africa, [email protected] A lion leaves its skin when it dies....

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