The Turning Process

Generally, I like to start by cutting a blank out round on my hand made wooden bandsaw but this piece was just too big to fit. Instead, I knocked the corners off with the chainsaw. Still, at 16″ in diameter by 12″ tall, this beast felt like it weighed 50 or 60 pounds.

After getting the outside round, the pile of shavings is ankle deep.

This log had just a tiny bit of ring shake to it, and I thought I had cut it all out with the chainsaw. There was still a weak spot that I managed to find.

It’s probably fortunate that I lost the rim and ended up making this vessel a little shallower than originally planned. My curved tool rest was too short to get to the bottom of the bowl, and I had a lot of tool chatter that had to be sanded out.

This vessel will need some time to dry since the wood was very green. It will warp as it looses moisture, but I enjoy the character that adds.

Giant Cherry Cauldron

This great, big beast finished out at 15″ diameter by 9″ tall. The cherry (Prunus serotina) blank started out at around 50 or 60 pounds and was a real bear to turn. Although it is not quite dry – it will continue to warp slightly as it looses moisture – I’ve finished it with a food safe blend of mineral oil, orange oil, and beeswax.

Interested in seeing the process on turning this vessel? Well, here it is.

Square Bowls – Black Walnut

A series of square bowls in black walnut. I had a bear of a time finding just the right sized piece of black walnut that would allow me to maximize these forms and still get the creamy sap wood in both edges. These are roughly 10″ square and 4 inches tall.

Winged Bowl

Made from a glue-up of Bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei) and Zebrawood (Connarus guianensis), this turning is about 1.5″ tall and 10″ long.

Although it’s difficult to see in this picture, the bottom of the center bowl is suspended by about 1 mm.

Turning these winged bowls is always a challenge: at 2000 RPM, it’s almost completely transparent.

Natural Edged Chokecherry

This small chokecherry tree (Prunus virginiana) had to be taken down in order to construct the new workshop in the backyard.  Most of the tree was too small to work with, but I did manage to get a couple of pieces from it.  This bowl is about 8″ in diameter and 6″ high at the tallest point.  The rim at the top is the bark of the tree.

Flaming Willow

Weeping willow (Salix babylonica) – approximately 12” in diameter x 4” high. The tree that this was harvested from a yard in Brentwood, TN in the fall of 2009.  This particular piece was from the crotch between two divergent branches, which caused the amazing flame pattern seen on both the inside and outside.