Cholla and epoxy bowl (35)

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 03-10-2022 05:16 PM 1035 views 1 time favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a bowl made of cholla and red-tinted epoxy. It’s about 4.5 inches (115 mm) tall and about 8 inches (200 mm) in diameter.

It was constructed as a single flat layer, about 9 inches in diameter, and 1¾ inches tall, then cut on an angle, RingMaster style, the rings stacked and glued, then turned smooth.

Finishing was a matter of sanding, filling, then applying shellac and BLO in a French-polishing style, then sanding with 800 grit wet-dry paper, and French-polishing with BLO and violin varnish.

The final wall thickness varies between ⅛ inch and ¼ inch.

Feel free to ask questions or make comments about how I could’ve done this better. This bowl contains a number of firsts for me, and I’m still figuring things out. But the next bowl has already been poured.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

33 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile (online now)


4135 posts in 808 days

#1 posted 03-10-2022 05:19 PM

Outstanding work and lots of it. Good looking bowl.

-- Ron

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1344 posts in 1880 days

#2 posted 03-10-2022 05:22 PM

That is beautiful! Nice work Dave

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Eric's profile


5718 posts in 1364 days

#3 posted 03-10-2022 05:25 PM

Beautiful textures and colors you have unleashed in the bowl Dave. It seems like the epoxy would be hard to finish, I can see why the 800 wet sanding. Well done.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View adot45's profile


703 posts in 2115 days

#4 posted 03-10-2022 05:53 PM

Beautiful…so different! Amazing color, patterns and textures. Well done.

View doubleDD's profile


11374 posts in 3534 days

#5 posted 03-10-2022 06:01 PM

That’s super cool Dave. Very nice work. The pattern is fantastic.

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

View EarlS's profile


5607 posts in 3839 days

#6 posted 03-10-2022 06:04 PM

That’s crazy cool!!

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

10481 posts in 2073 days

#7 posted 03-10-2022 06:07 PM

Thanks, Ron!

Thanks, Bill!

Thanks, Eric! It tended to chip out with gouges, so I did a lot of shear scraping with my HSS scrapers. Then a lot of sanding to smooth it out.

Thanks, Dave! I kinda dig the look of epoxy-filled cholla, but boy is it a pain!

Thanks, Dave! I figure I’ll see a cool cholla creation from you one of these days!

Thanks, Earl! Sorry I didn’t “prairie style” it. ;-j

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Keebler1's profile


2424 posts in 1199 days

#8 posted 03-10-2022 06:28 PM

Looks great Dave

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


3290 posts in 1038 days

#9 posted 03-10-2022 06:33 PM

Awesome, Dave. That is quite a beautiful thing you made there.

Didnt know there was such a thing as violin varnish, I will have to check that out.

-- WWBBJ: the first to compare a woman´s cheek to a rose was a poet. The second, an idiot. Dali

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

10481 posts in 2073 days

#10 posted 03-10-2022 06:39 PM

Thanks, Keebs!

Thanks, Brian! It’s an old-school varnish with gum sandelac. – Main problem is that it can be really hard to find fresh, and if it’s too old it won’t (like most shellac-type finishes) set up correctly. But it’s a great finish when it’s good.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View splintergroup's profile


7117 posts in 2713 days

#11 posted 03-10-2022 06:45 PM

That is nothing like I expected from the project title, crazy-cool!

View recycle1943's profile


7071 posts in 3113 days

#12 posted 03-10-2022 07:19 PM

that really came out GREAT ! Sometimes experiments work, did this time. Love the colors

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View pottz's profile


26540 posts in 2475 days

#13 posted 03-10-2022 07:54 PM

man that came out incredible dave,very unique.i dont think anyone would figure out what you made that from.

-- 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 Oldtool's profile


3538 posts in 3682 days

#14 posted 03-10-2022 08:06 PM

This came out very nice Dave, really looks great. You’ve designed a process here that produces well made bowls, keep up the good work.
I’ve started to look into the “Ringmaster” type construction, one video I viewed the woodworker said always bandsaw the rings at a 45° angle. Haven’t had time to look further, but that sounds about right. If you feel you’ve reached the best solution for this, publish it. Making a 3 dimensional bowl from a flat board has me intrigued.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View therealSteveN's profile


10177 posts in 2065 days

#15 posted 03-10-2022 08:18 PM

A Cholla Cake, that turned into a bowl, and a beautiful bowl at that. Nice work Dave.

-- Think safe, be safe

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