Branch to dish in 10 days

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Project by CFrye posted 04-22-2020 05:44 PM 1098 views 1 time favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A coworker cut down a walnut tree from her yard and gave me a branch. I wanted to try to do a live edge bowl and dry it in the microwave like I’d seen in a Carl Jacobson video. The first large chunk of bark that flew off the blank and hit me in the chest decided the bark had to go! I will not win any awards for speed when it comes to my projects, as stated this took 10 days from start to finish. When done with the initial turning it went to the shop microwave. I weighed the dish, nuked on defrost for 30 seconds, let cool for 20-30 minutes and repeated. It lost 2-4grams of weight each time. 260 grams down to 200 grams when I stopped due to the cracks forming along the growth rings. These were patched with 5 minute epoxy then remounted on the lathe and completed. I fully expected it to fly apart.

The dish was finished with Rustoleum rattle can lacquer. This part of the branch was returned to Teresa (coworker). She loves it! Maybe the next one won’t take as long.
Finished dimensions are 3 1/8” high x 4 1/4” dia. X 1/4” thick walls. I signed it
Candy Frye
2020 #2
Thanks for looking and commenting!

-- God bless, Candy

29 comments so far

View Woodknack's profile


13559 posts in 3499 days

#1 posted 04-22-2020 06:18 PM

Nice use of grain and love the shape.

-- Rick M,

View lightcs1776's profile


4267 posts in 2774 days

#2 posted 04-22-2020 06:25 PM

Beautiful work.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View CFrye's profile


11279 posts in 2959 days

#3 posted 04-22-2020 06:31 PM

Thanks, Rick!
Chris! Thanks. Good to hear from you! Are you still in school? Is your wife still turning?

-- God bless, Candy

View BusterB's profile


2343 posts in 3128 days

#4 posted 04-22-2020 06:53 PM

Hey buddy-ett…that’s mighty cool. Impressive use of materials. With that being said, need to mention what impressed me most was the fact you have a shop microwave. That’s big league right there…lol.
Seriously nice job on the bowl mam.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View HokieKen's profile


17927 posts in 2258 days

#5 posted 04-22-2020 07:47 PM

Well done Candy, that’s a good looking bowl!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View drewpy's profile


1046 posts in 2476 days

#6 posted 04-22-2020 07:49 PM

Looks fantastic! Nicely done!

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View Andre's profile


4577 posts in 2925 days

#7 posted 04-22-2020 07:52 PM

Little bowls are fun, Grangirls usually lay claim to them, sometimes before they leave the shop?
Never tried to dry wood before, always turn dry, no microwave but do have a roaster oven in the shop:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8536 posts in 1832 days

#8 posted 04-22-2020 08:05 PM

I’m glad you were not hurt to badly when the bark went flying …and as far as speed who cares as long as it turns out as nice as this did GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Joe O' Woodshop's profile

Joe O' Woodshop

75 posts in 4270 days

#9 posted 04-22-2020 08:28 PM

awesome looking job. Way to go!

-- "Do what you like, Like what you do"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30620 posts in 3458 days

#10 posted 04-22-2020 08:34 PM

Great job and certainly better than I could do

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View CFrye's profile


11279 posts in 2959 days

#11 posted 04-22-2020 10:07 PM

Hey Buster B! Livin’ the dream! Thanks!
Thank you, Kenny!
Thanks for commenting, Drew.
Andre, this little bowl kinda stressed me out. I’ll have to turn another from some crack free wood to see if it’s fun! The toaster oven in the shop is for cooking buggy wood.
Thank you, Tony. I’ll not be going into production mode anytime soon LOL
Joe! Thanks for checking in and commenting.
Thanks, Monte! I bet you could do as well.

-- God bless, Candy

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26300 posts in 4225 days

#12 posted 04-22-2020 10:21 PM

WOW, Candy, that is a beautiful dish. The one nice thing about turning “green” walnut is that after it is done, it will warp into a most unique shape. very nice work. I didn’t know you had a lathe! I have found that drying fast like in a microwave or real near the furnace, will cause cracking more that not. I have a mesquite lamp in the works and it cracked in the microwave. It was at 35% moisture when I started and got down to 23% and cracked during that time. I look at that as an opportunity to use turquoise inlay!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View jeffswildwood's profile


4909 posts in 3097 days

#13 posted 04-23-2020 12:49 AM

Very nice bowl Candy. I raided my BIL wood pile before and brought him back a bowl. He loved it. This is always fun!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View CFrye's profile


11279 posts in 2959 days

#14 posted 04-23-2020 01:25 AM

Thank you, Jim. I don’t have a moisture meter so was going by weight loss. I’m not sure about the ‘green’ part either. The bark and inner layer of wood was definitely wet, but the sap wood and heart wood turned just like seasoned wood.
Thank you, Jeff. I had not (successfully) turned Walnut before. So, when I read about the tree removal I begged for a piece and made myself turn it before it got lost in the wood hoard!

-- God bless, Candy

View rance's profile


4278 posts in 4280 days

#15 posted 04-23-2020 01:57 AM

Candy, Very nicely done. Perfect grain direction.


-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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