Tree Trunk Bowl

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Project by Bearpie posted 01-22-2014 08:31 PM 2428 views 4 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this bowl following the shape of the tree. I tried to keep as much of the shape as possible, only removing the bark and bad areas of the wood. I mounted it with the wood hanging over the end of my lathe as it was too big to turn over the bed. I ran it slow and used my grinder to shape the bottom of the bowl to keep the shape consistent. Oh Boy, chips went every where in the shop but I got it reasonably shaped as seen in picture #4. Then I tried using my carving gouge and mallet, sigh! Rosewood is a rather hard wood so the task was difficult. My wife entered the shop and suggested drilling it out. (She is a savvy lady and it was an excellent suggestion) I went to the drill press and used a forstner bit to remove the bulk of the wood. Once most of the “waste” was removed, I went back to the grinder and used a chainsaw disc to remove more waste, I had to constantly check the thickness to be sure I don’t go through the bottom. Sanding was next, all I’ll say is that it took me 3 months of sanding, no, not constantly and not all day! More like 2-3 hours at a time or till I got tired of it.

I added crushed Turquoise to hide the cracks in the middle of the bowl, both inside and on the bottom. There is a notch on one of the “legs” so you could hang it on the wall if you wanted to.

The 5th picture gives you an idea of the size of the bowl, 24” across the widest point. The last picture is when I went to pick up the load of Rosewood from southern Florida.

The finish is a 50/50 mixture of Tung Oil and Danish Oil.

Comments and critiques are welcomed and appreciated.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

21 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4220 days

#1 posted 01-22-2014 08:43 PM

Absolutely stunning bowl Erwin. The time you took to complete this exceptional piece was well spent. Wonderful work!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3728 days

#2 posted 01-22-2014 08:45 PM

That is absolutely amazing.
You done a stunning job on it. I don’t think I would have known where to start with that.


View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1108 posts in 4693 days

#3 posted 01-22-2014 08:48 PM

It’s stunning! What is the wood species?

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3709 days

#4 posted 01-22-2014 08:53 PM

Erwin what a fabulous piece of crafting, wow, a truly beautiful “bowl”, the appearance & finish are stunning.
Bet your pleased you listened to your better half :: ))
has to be top 3 today

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View NuclearGrade's profile


40 posts in 2489 days

#5 posted 01-22-2014 09:41 PM

What a masterful job. Love it.

-- Dan Wilson - Red Wing, MN

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

505 posts in 3221 days

#6 posted 01-22-2014 10:25 PM

Beeautiful piece Erwin. I know all about roughing out with a disc grinder and trying to sand end grain smooth. I admire your determination. Hope it’s well dried and seasoned. Those end slab slices are notorious for cracking and splitting. I would keep a close eye on it and at the first sign of a crack would inlay a bowtie across it on the bottom.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 3974 days

#7 posted 01-22-2014 10:34 PM

I guess you had a long good time doing this beautiful trunk bowl. Congratulations.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 4175 days

#8 posted 01-22-2014 10:50 PM

Beautiful bowl and great work. How big is it?

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View Hawaiilad's profile


3375 posts in 3907 days

#9 posted 01-22-2014 11:30 PM

Wow…that bowl would look great on our outdoor table during one of our many party’s…either full or empty of goodies. Wonderful job

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2497 days

#10 posted 01-23-2014 01:26 AM

that is amazingly beautiful, great work

-- steve, simple and effective

View DaveGlx's profile


365 posts in 3330 days

#11 posted 01-23-2014 10:04 AM

WOW!!! Beeautiful bowl. Briliant job.

-- Dave -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3806 days

#12 posted 01-23-2014 10:50 AM

Wow! What a beauty you created! Absolutely gorgeous! <3!!!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3912 days

#13 posted 01-23-2014 11:03 AM

Beautiful piece, well done

-- Dreaming patterns

View shopdog's profile


581 posts in 4372 days

#14 posted 01-23-2014 12:25 PM

beautiful wood
perfectly sculpted

-- Steve--

View thesoninlaw's profile


97 posts in 2671 days

#15 posted 01-23-2014 01:50 PM

Uh…wow! That is absolutely gorgeous! I can’t keep my mouth closed while looking at it.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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