Elm Bowls

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Project by Dick posted 01-29-2014 02:18 AM 2728 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my wife’s friend’s cut down an Elm tree at their house and wanted to give us some wood and possibly make her something from it. So, she gets the first bowl. I never really thought about trying Elm. It was still green when I turned it. I had always wanted to try putting the turning with the shavings in a paper bag to dry. So, these are the results of my experiment. Both were turned within a week of each other back in September. The first bowl came out ok. It did warp slightly but not really noticeable. This was a straight part of the tree. The other was from a crotch piece. It obviously did not retain it’s shape well. I didn’t do much sanding on it either. I was going to burn it. To my surprise, a few people actually thought it was cool. I still consider it a failure, but I’m gonna keep it around for a conversation piece since it has been that.

-- Dick

8 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30567 posts in 3218 days

#1 posted 01-29-2014 02:22 AM

Nice, love the grain

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gwolfe1977's profile


228 posts in 2690 days

#2 posted 01-29-2014 02:45 AM

Wow! Great work! The grain is amazing too! It would have been a shame to see that wood go up in smoke!

-- Gary,Nebraska

View doubleDD's profile


9713 posts in 2923 days

#3 posted 01-29-2014 02:49 AM

Good looking turning. Nice grain.

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

View 49er's profile


182 posts in 2484 days

#4 posted 01-29-2014 06:15 PM

I cut down an elm this fall. The butt log is straight. It is about 18”x10’. I have been thinking of having it sawed out. It will cost me about 15 cents a foot. Would you do it?
That bowl looks great. Looks like a cross between oak and cherry.

View ghost5's profile


302 posts in 2811 days

#5 posted 01-29-2014 07:17 PM

Nice looking pieces. I love turning elm. Just a tip if you turn thin to finish on green pieces most of the time they act a little better. Turn to 1/8” or so then I dry mine in a closet with a wire rack for a few days. They still move some but usually not too much.

-- Tommy,

View Dick's profile


156 posts in 3072 days

#6 posted 01-29-2014 07:41 PM

Thanks for the compliments and tips guys!

49er-I think it might depend on what you plan to build. The wood I acquired here is not very hard and was much lighter in color before I applied Danish oil (natural color). It really soaked it up and darkened more than I expected compared to other woods I’ve used it on like maple, walnut, and cherry. If you look close in the pictures you can see that some of the rings are very pourous. Hope that helps. It is also not a pleasant smell when cutting and sanding it….... hence the nickname Piss Elm.

-- Dick

View 49er's profile


182 posts in 2484 days

#7 posted 02-02-2014 03:02 PM

Dick, thanks for the info. I think I will go ahead and have it sawed.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25296 posts in 3985 days

#8 posted 02-02-2014 11:49 PM

Beautiful bowls!!..Jim

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

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