Spalted Maple & Walnut Bowl

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Project by tyskkvinna posted 05-20-2012 03:21 PM 2295 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a fun little project that I worked on in the middle of a couple of other big projects.

The maple came from a bunch of cut offs that a member of the Grand River Woodturning Guild gave me last week.. they were too punky for him to do anything with but I play with a rigid metal lathe and have been working in epoxy infusion.

Anyway.. this bowl was an exercise in spite.

I dipped the whole bowl in a purple dye and was going to infuse it—and thought I HAD infused it – to find out my vac chamber did not pull all night because I forgot to switch a valve. So what happened was it wicked up most of the water but none of the dye.. which means when I went to step 2, infuse with epoxy, it was not particular absorbent.

When turning it, it split in half and one half threw itself a good one hundred feet before landing. Upon getting to the interior it was also revealed to be … not purple! Bummer.

I sanded both halves flat and then glued a piece of walnut in the middle. Re-roughed it and then soaked it again in epoxy. Even then, a little bit of tearout—did I mentioned it was REALLY punky?

There’s a little bit of purple leftover… I could have gotten it out if I dug deeper, but I chose to keep this kind of thick for the sake of structural integrity, of which it is kind of lacking.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

6 comments so far

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 3491 days

#1 posted 05-20-2012 03:40 PM

Beautiful work! And beautiful photography. You have to great talents!!!!

Have to blogged about the infusing process you are talking about. I am really interested in finding out more about that!

Keep up the beautiful and inspiring work!

Very Respectfully,


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3508 days

#2 posted 05-20-2012 03:57 PM

Are those even round holes from tapping the maple trees for sap? I saw some pieces made with tapped wood for the first time last week. This is a bowl with a lot of personality and a story to tell.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 4270 days

#3 posted 05-20-2012 04:04 PM

Maybe? I will ask the person who gave it to me. It was really neat when turning this particular piece of wood because you could smell maple syrup through the whole room.. really surreal! I work with maple most of the time (but not spalted, and usually rock) and it’s unusual to smell like much of anything….

All of the pieces I got, though, have these perfect little holes and are VERY spalted.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View degoose's profile


7285 posts in 4639 days

#4 posted 05-20-2012 08:19 PM

That is a wonderful story of changing direction mid stream… intrigued with the infusing proces.

-- Be safe.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27002 posts in 4390 days

#5 posted 05-20-2012 09:51 PM

Beautiful bowl, Lis. Great grain in the wood, too….. nature’s design!!

I can relate to your story. I once had a bowl that was so bad I had to cut out the middle and glue in some of the same spalted wood to save it! Nice save…................Jim

ps. I think they were having pancakes next door!!!

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

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4088 days

#6 posted 05-21-2012 02:03 AM

Really nice. Super grain. I like the Walnut in the middle like that. Glad you didn’t get hit by anything.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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