Maple bowl

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Project by RussellAP posted 02-07-2013 05:26 PM 1181 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a curly spalted maple bowl, or as it is more correctly known, ambrosia maple.

Still wet with poly but nearing the final coat.

It was dried in a microwave oven from a soggy blank to dried in about 24 hours using defrost setting 2-4 minutes at a time letting it cool between.

Make sure you check the time you put in the microwave, I hit 30:00 instead of 3;00 and didnt notice it for about 7 minutes which is too long and it warped slightly. There is a small crack on the thin part of the lip which is fine the way it is, but if it widens I can fill it with some brass dust.

All in all, not bad for a bowl that otherwise would have been buried for 5-8 months and left to fate.

One other thing; I turned this out thick intending to dry it traditionally, but then decided on the microwave. I’d have turned it out thinner if the plan was to microwave it.


-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

8 comments so far

View LesB's profile


2168 posts in 3920 days

#1 posted 02-07-2013 05:42 PM

Nice bowl with the unique character of the dark spots. You didn’t say how big it is?

I have found that roughing out a “wet” bowl first (especially if it is very large) and then putting it in a brown paper shopping bag in the microwave oven works the best. The bag sort of acts like a steam kiln in which the moisture is cooked from the inside to the outside fo the wood and the bag retains enough moisture on the surface to reduce the stress on the wood fibers that is caused by the drying process.
I usually heat the wood until it is almost to hot to hold in your hand (that varies with the size of the blank) and between cycles I open the end of the paper bag to vent the escaping water vapor.
When I notice small cracks developing in the wood I can usually stop them from getting worse by putting medium thick super glue in them. I use medium or thick because it does not set up fast and will seep into the crack and also because it doesn’t wick into the surrounding wood like the thin stuff does.

-- Les B, Oregon

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2763 days

#2 posted 02-07-2013 05:48 PM

I’d be afraid to heat it up that hot. I accidentally left a Bradford pear bowl in for 14 minutes and it warped pretty badly. I can still use it because they almost always relax in time, but they never return to normal.

I really don’t care if it cracks that much since I love to do inlays. I’m hoping that the wood is sealed enough to keep the thin ca from running or wicking. I have some that is thin, but not runny, I’ll post about it soon.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View a1Jim's profile


117708 posts in 4054 days

#3 posted 02-07-2013 05:55 PM

Nice looking bowl Russ,

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3517 days

#4 posted 02-07-2013 06:20 PM

Nice looking Ambrosia Bowl….

Nice curl figure going there

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2650 days

#5 posted 02-07-2013 10:12 PM

Just amazing work. You never disappoint us.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2842 days

#6 posted 02-08-2013 01:15 AM

Great looking bowl with the wild grain and dark streaks. .

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2652 days

#7 posted 02-08-2013 04:18 PM

Looks great and love the shape. The pattern on the beautiful wood really pops out with the great finish.

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2763 days

#8 posted 02-09-2013 03:36 AM

@Fishinbo, this is where I’m getting my blanks.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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