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This Wood came from two very big Southern Magnolias at my church. I'm a little partial to Magnolia because its the Mississippi state tree and flower and I think I lived most of my childhood in the top of my neighbor's Magnolia in Jackson, MS. The pastor said he was going to cut them down. I protested but he did it anyway so I asked for the trunks

Been wanting a wood lathe for years but didn't have one when they cut the trees. Didn't even have a chainsaw so the logs lay on the ground in the sun all last Summer, which may explain the beautiful spalting. But, finally I found an old Craftsman wood lathe at a pawn shop and made a bowl that impressed my Dad, so he bought me a chainsaw, finally enabling me to go get those logs.

Some of the church members wanted the Magnolia for firewood so I hurried and got as much as I could and even found another wood turner who came and picked up about 6 of the 2' logs. Had about 1500 lbs I'm my garage at one time!

Anyway… what a perfect first tree for a new woodturner. I've had some cracking problems because the logs sat in the sun all last summer, but was able to get these few bowls out of it.

Gallery

Comments

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326 Posts
Love the story. Love the bowls. Love the south! win-win-win.
 

· In Loving Memory
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196 Posts
Great looking grain. The dark rim just sets the bowls off.
 

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141 Posts
WOW!!!.
Thank you for showing such beautiful pieces of wood. The spalting is absolutely fabulous.
Well done.
 

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429 Posts
Lovely bowls. You're doing great work.
 

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158 Posts
Like the work like that wood!..................;-J
 

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Beautiful.
 

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Amazing work and great story! Just love spalted maple.
 

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My god these are beautiful. Where do you get your blanks from?
 

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Beautiful wood and bowls. Hard to believe that you learned to turn so quickly - but you have done well.
 

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Thanks everyone for the great comments! Not sure I deserve them. Really don't know what I'm doing. My church provided the Magnolia. God provided the spalting and grain and led me to the first wood lathe I've ever seen at a pawn shop. The dark rim was a technique I discovered by accident. I'm embarrassed to say that the accident resulted in a burnt finger. Up close, the dark rim actually is a beautiful dark brown that looks like the koa rosette on my $3000 Taylor guitar!

I'm one of those guys who always needs some kind of creative outlet. I played Bass guitar at church for several years but not for the last year. Turning wood has been a wonderful experience to help me release some of that pent up creative energy. Each piece is like a treasure hunt.

Anyway, thanks again! I have almost run out of the Magnolia. I'm trying a couple of Sweetgum pieces I picked up off a storm-downed tree when I went to visit my Dad in Mississippi in February. I also recently got a large piece of Tulip Poplar and have roughed out about eight bowl blanks. Other than that, I've only turned Magnolia. So far… I think I want to return to Magnolia exclusively. The Sweetgum is nice but causes a very mild rash on my arms. The Tulip Poplar smells terrible and, while it has about the same amount of spalting as the Magnolia, it just doesn't come close to having the same beauty. But I'm new to this, so those thoughts are just some inexperienced "first thoughts".

If anyone knows of a downed Magnolia anywhere around Atlanta, then let me know. Thanks!
 

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Try some box elder maple if you want to settle on one piece of wood to turn. Works and drys like a dream.
 

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Beautiful pieces !
 

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"The dark rim was a technique I discovered by accident. I'm embarrassed to say that the accident resulted in a burnt finger._"

What was the technique, I am ignorant and curious. I am a novice at turning bowls and would love to learn how you did it, great accent to the wood. Thanks.
 

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Here's the process for the dark rim:

1) Get some #0000 steel wool.
2) Turn lathe up to the speed used to turn the piece.
3) Roll up the steel wool until it's as thick as possible.
4) Press firmly to the sharpest corner or thinnest rim (too hard could be very dangerous if a thin rim suddenly gave way. Be careful!).
5) Another warning: Steel wool is so fine it will catch on anything. Even with a slightly protruding splinter it will suddenly grab and wrap around the piece in the blink of any eye. Don't have the steel wool wrapped around a finger!
6) Now, daydream until you smell smoke or your finger gets burned. JUST KIDDING! But that's kinda how I discovered how to burn the rim. It doesn't take long for it to begin burning.
7) I use clear spray-on gloss Varathane Polyeurathene (which is difficult to keep from running). I hate using colored stains because the wood color just stands on it's own.

Again… I am very inexperienced, especially with wood drying and finishing. My focus thus far has been on "releasing" what's inside and I've ruined some nice pieces due to my poor drying and finishing skills.
 

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Just came across this and I wanted to say you really made a wonderful set of bowl here.
 
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