Just a few bowls

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Project by JD77 posted 10-06-2020 12:36 PM 1064 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The wife commented on Friday how much she liked a little bowl I have for whatever is in my pockets at the end of the day and how she could use something like it as a coaster for her cup at work.

The truth is that bowl was just a practice piece from a half-dead dogwood tree I took down at my in-laws some time ago. Not really knowing what I was doing, I prep’d several similar blanks about 5 inches across and milled some into small “boards”. I still have no idea what I am doing harvesting lumber, but ornamental trees are at least within the capability of my equipment. I also heat treated all of it to kill off any bugs and mold.

Flash forward a little and I have been fighting a losing battle to save a Japanese maple from a fungal infection. Over the summer it finally died and I got to cutting it down. As I suspected, it was chock full of blue veins from the fungus. I’ve saved a bunch and heat treated it as well. I haven’t found any signs of beetles and the patterns don’t really match typical ambrosia maple pics with the blue veins spread pretty evenly throughout.

Back to the present, I grabbed two of the dogwood blanks and turned a couple 5” bowls, one live edged because I hadn’t ever tried that. Nothing fancy here; started with a small face plate to turn the outside, a little shellac as a sanding sealer and to maybe stabilize the bark, then buffed with paraffin wax. Flipped it around put it in a chuck and turned the inside. I do tend to use a large Forstner to make hollowing easier, but that is overkill in a small shallow bowl.

Those went well, so I decided to try one of the new maple blanks. I didn’t get any pics before it was round, but as you can see from the side-by-side pic, it was about 8 inches, which is absolutely the max my old lathe can take. It was one of the crotch pieces and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get any of the bark or inclusions, but that was my goal. Turned it the same way and fortunately I didn’t have any issues. Toyed with using Polyacrylic because I didn’t want the blue veins to turn black under an amber finish but decided to stick with blonde shellac/wax. Its still blue in person, but the pics tend to darken that a little.

Thanks for looking.

7 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20639 posts in 2225 days

#1 posted 10-06-2020 02:24 PM

beautiful bowls,nice work,

-- 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 cmmyakman's profile


347 posts in 3897 days

#2 posted 10-06-2020 06:18 PM

Really nice looking bowls. I like your son’s bat boxes (another project) as well.

-- You can't fail if you don't give up.

View oldrivers's profile


2725 posts in 2808 days

#3 posted 10-06-2020 07:04 PM

Just a few of very nice bowls I’d say they are beautiful.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View doubleDD's profile


10700 posts in 3284 days

#4 posted 10-07-2020 03:13 AM

Oh yea, those are beautiful JD. You sure reached your goal for keeping the beauty in them. Nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View John's profile


2107 posts in 2511 days

#5 posted 10-07-2020 03:29 AM

Lots of character in those bowls, nice work!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View mel52's profile


2276 posts in 1506 days

#6 posted 10-07-2020 04:53 AM

Man, those are beautiful and I like the live edge, makes them stand out even more. I would be afraid they would blow up on me while turning. Excellent job !!! Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View MrWolfe's profile


1669 posts in 1365 days

#7 posted 10-07-2020 06:19 PM

Live edge is sweet!
Great bowls and thanks for sharing.
Keep it up.

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