A first in a couple ways.

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Project by Daren Nelson posted 04-11-2008 02:40 AM 3575 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was the first thing I ever carved (made it this week). I have had a set of carving tools forever, but never had the inclination to use them. Carving is a skill I don’t really think I can master for whatever reason. This is also the first thing I ever named, I know many name their pieces so I decided to name this. “Weird little bowl that will really not hold very much, was way more work than I thought going in, but gave me something to do on rainy days” (catchy ? I am open for other name suggestions, I’m flexible)

This is almost a blog/project..bloject, sorry but I have to explain it. It started out last week when the city street dept. dropped off a couple burl redbud logs. Here is one outside the shop door, notice the missing burl ?

I went after it with the carving tools and a bunch of elbow grease and sand paper.

I know it is a little on the “chunky” side, but that was by design not laziness. Even though I am not a carver I tried to take appearance into account inside and out. If I took too much off I would have ruined it. There was some cool stuff going on outside too. I wanted to save the sapwood with the neat bark inclusions and the little birdseyes showing. Too much work on the inside I would have carved away the great color/figure of the heartwood. So thick walls were the only answer for me.

I guess I could glue it back on the log ?

I know some people may wonder, how did he get a finished bowl from a fresh log in just a couple days ? Microwave. I have had this debate with people before, whatever. Some species can be dried in the nuker without much (if any) degrade. Long story, I could go into it if anyone is interested that is not what this project is about. But yea, I cut the burl off/roughed the bowl/nuked it (2 minutes on 5 minutes off repeat,repeat) then finished carving and sanding.

12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4909 days

#1 posted 04-11-2008 02:55 AM

Hi Daren,

This is an interesting bowl. It has a unique coloring and grain patter. Very innovative idea with respect to drying. Good job.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4855 days

#2 posted 04-11-2008 03:32 AM

I think you could rename it “Gorgeous Hunk of Dropped Off Burl”. But that might be too long even for a rainy day. Great job showcasing the hidden beauty from within.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View GMoney's profile


158 posts in 4891 days

#3 posted 04-11-2008 03:47 AM

Perhaps “My name is burl.” It’s between that and “The office”, but I think I like the first…

Another thought, this is getting dangerous! “Burl’s Anatomy.”

-- Greg, CT

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5151 days

#4 posted 04-11-2008 06:09 AM

I was going to suggest “Alien Autopsy: Cranial Section”. Great hunk of timber you’ve turned into art.
As for nuking, works for me with Maple.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 5394 days

#5 posted 04-11-2008 04:55 PM

Nice bowl, first thing I said when I saw the picture was, “Oh cool, a leopard bowl”!
Even the backside has some leopard coloring.

Very cool.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4962 days

#6 posted 04-11-2008 08:24 PM

Nice job on the carving. I like how you left it thick enough to show the two different colors. Great story too.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1306 posts in 4861 days

#7 posted 04-12-2008 12:06 AM

You should do more carving Daren,,,,,,,,,excellent project!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 5293 days

#8 posted 04-12-2008 05:00 PM

Hello Daren;
—-truly a great piece of ‘wood art’ here, in a very finely ‘hand-tuned’ burl bowl….!

Your style in the medium of wood here, is very unique and one-of-a-kind and ‘me thinks’ you might explore this type of wood workin’ some more….also great contrast between the sapwood and heartwood. I am all-ways amazed to remember that what some call ‘weird’, other’s will see as ‘exotic’....’bonzer’. Hmmm, pardon my thinking out loud here, but you did ask….the three B’s.....” Burled Bonzer Bowl ”....

Now if I may ask, what is the type of finish you have used….?

Thank you for sharing this one….and;

-- --frank, NH,

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4993 days

#9 posted 04-12-2008 08:17 PM

Frank, so far I have just put several liberal applications of pure Tung oil on it. I am going to keep oiling and buffing it, I may do nothing more in the way of finish I have not decided. For Les and Frank about me doing more carving. I did enjoy my first attempt and am pleased with the unusual end result…but a little torn. I was mortified by the pile of beautiful shavings on the floor. I know it is all part of working with wood, it just bothered me for some reason ?

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4993 days

#10 posted 04-12-2008 08:26 PM

And from my experience with redbud burl (and redbud wood in general) The heartwood is going to age into more red and the sap an off white/yellow…so in several months it is going to be really much different looking. Which is cool, there is tons of figure in the sapwood that will show better with age/color changes in the grain.

View SteveKorz's profile


2140 posts in 4801 days

#11 posted 04-15-2008 03:35 AM

Very nice… I’m amazed, as usual. I think you need to rename the bowl, “Daren has more talent than he gives himself credit for”... This is a little work of art, great job.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 5070 days

#12 posted 04-19-2008 05:18 AM

would make a cool plant bowl. maybe a bonzai tree

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-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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