Roebling Bowl 2014 #1 - 100 Year Old Reclaied Douglas Fir

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 02-08-2014 08:54 PM 1956 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The first bowl in the Roebling series … these are reclaimed Douglas Fir beams collected on various scrapping and salvage expeditions around Trenton, NJ. These beams are over 100 years old, heartwood four inches thick and at least fourteen inches wide. They stink when you turn them, the old oils, solvents, and turpentine scent is quite prominent!

Mike and I worked on this one, he decided to spiral cut the back after I cut down the top section and cut the bowl shape. Unique, different right?

Then we decided to give it a little extra color by burning the edges and bottom to create some highlighting and texture the grain. That caused some fires to spark up, as the oils, and whatever (who knows what?!) is soaked into these beams during their life under the wireworks factories.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

8 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4512 days

#1 posted 02-08-2014 09:10 PM

ive had lots of the southern yellow heart pine that was like this, except it was 3 and some 4 hundred years old, i still have some, and consider it the most beautiful softwood in this country…have fun with this old wood, the bowls are very nice…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4456 days

#2 posted 02-08-2014 09:48 PM

Thanks – didn’t count the actual tree rings in the boards, we don’t have a whole cross section. I can imagine if the heartwood is this wide the whole tree must have been huge! These were cut over 100 years ago for the Roebling construction. Amazing that this stuff has seen some serious history in terms of steel. Some our nation’s great bridge cabling was likely made atop these bowls!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View tomakazi's profile


686 posts in 4491 days

#3 posted 02-08-2014 11:14 PM

Great use of some very old wood, you gotta love it.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4241 days

#4 posted 02-08-2014 11:24 PM

Very Nice Bowl!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Brett's profile


960 posts in 3967 days

#5 posted 02-08-2014 11:42 PM

Dude, your on fire! Whew, it’s just the wood. ha ha

I thought that it was alot smaller than it is by looking at the project pics. It really a nice large size. I really like this style of bowl, good job! Way to use that reclaimed lumba!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4012 days

#6 posted 02-09-2014 01:34 PM

Way kool. Fire it up..

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

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3384 days

#7 posted 02-12-2014 05:36 PM

Awesome shape on that bowl. The pretty grains really stand out. Great job!

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4456 days

#8 posted 08-06-2014 02:05 AM

Added 8/5/2014 …

Making off documentary … here’s the blog entry (Read disclaimers here …)

Long Video:

Remix Short Video:

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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