This project comes from a block of pine I received as a raffle prize at a woodturning club meeting. Initially, I was disappointed that it is pine, a softwood, that I don’t like to turn.
It has been a while since I turned a platter. I could not see a deep bowl in the half log — only possibly a platter.
For a platter, I mounted the wood to a screw chuck after chain sawing a good slice. Then trued the face before rounding off the perimeter. Then cut a mortise to receive my larger jaws. Then completed the bottom side of the platter.
After reversing the platter, I turned the rim first while the wood was still stable. Then extended the hollow down to the bottom. Finally, I finished the remainder of the inside hollow.
This 12″ by 2″ platter is finished with walnut oil.
This project has been a long time in development. While looking at my stash of hazelnut suckers pruned last year, I wondered if I could line up three or four pieces and then turn a bowl.
The problem was how to join the limbs together. They could not remain separate and function together for a bowl.
My first thought was to use dowels to join them. That seemed tacky to use common dowels for a fine woodturning even if the exterior is rustic.
Next thought was to route a groove for a spline. I would mill the spline from the same wood as the limbs. This seemed to be a reasonable plan. Then, I started the project by turning each limb individually to round and smooth the ends.
With the ends nicely done, it was time to use the router. Then as I laid the limbs side by side, I remembered the work I did as a Boy Scout for the Pioneering merit badge. The difference was the scale.
So I racked my brain to remember the process. I used nylon string to lash the limbs side by side. It looked like a small raft.
On a large threaded wood faceplate, I centered the raft with the tail stock. Using scrap, I screwed blocks around the raft and used hot melt glue for final stabilization. Masking tape protected the wood. Duct tape provides a little measure of stability but not much.
Then I hollowed out my rustic raft bowl. But I’m not sure exactly what to call this type of woodturning.
It is about 5 by 4 inches.
To celebrate Easter, my wife suggested an egg shaped Easter basket. It did not have to be large – small would do nicely. Once I understood her request, I decided the best approach would be to turn an egg shaped wood box. Then glue the two parts back together before cutting windows in each side of the longer, small end of the egg.
Well, here it is. A walnut Easter basket a little over 3 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter and finished with shellac. At this size, it can hold my favorite mini chocolate eggs and jelly beans. Sorry, no peeps can fit in this basket.
The wood was dry, having been harvested when we lived in Texas over 25 years ago. Essentially, I turned an egg shaped wooden box then carved out the handle.
After recently observing a demonstration in a local woodturning club, I had to turn an emerging bowl. This is the best way to hammer home what I observed. Then I can explore alternatives and combine features.
In this video, I went much further using green wood from a hazelnut branch removed in spring pruning. Squared lumber would have been an easier place to start but I am a glutton for punishment and went for a natural edge leaving the bark intact.
The limb was about 3 inches diameter. I initially cut it about 8 inches long. My process was:
- Prepare a waste block to fit my chuck. On the opposite side, I bored a hole for a mortise.
- Mount the limb and cut a tenon on one end.
- Glue together the mortise and tenon with Titebond II. Let dry overnight.
- Turn a perfect hemisphere on the end of the branch. Any imperfections will show up later.
- Saw the branch in half – a rip cut.
- Mount the half to a faceplate using hot melt glue and additional scrap blocks for support and security. The center of the bowl must be exact to the axis of rotation of the lathe.
- Relieve the new top surface leaving a small lip around the bowl. This is with the tail stock in place to ensure a good hold.
- Remove the tail stock and hollow the bowl.
- Clean up any remaining marks and edges by sanding.
- Finish with walnut oil.
Since the wood in green, I’ll keep it wrapped in plastic wrap and a paper towel to retard moisture loss.
The challenge in this project is mounting irregular wood, turning a perfect hemisphere, and turning off center wood.
Maybe I should have turned my first emerging bowl from dry square stock?? Yet, it turned out very nice.
In this video I am again using a sucker I had pruned from a hazelnut tree. This time, I’m turning a set of natural edge rustic napkin rings with a stand for their display and storage. This is a set of eight rings about 1 1/2 inch diamter and about 1 inch long finished with walnut oil.
The challenge in this project is cleaning up the centers. Since the entire outside is bark, only the inside had to be sanded.
Still, it is a simple but repetitive project. One for a woodturner or looking for the totally unique dining accessory.
In my last video I used a sucker I had pruned from a hazelnut tree. Now, I’m continuing with the same wood, just higher up. This is a natural edge box. What is natural edge? Natural edge is where the wood’s bark is incorporated as a feature in the turning. In this case, the bark is the entire outside of the box.
However, because the wood is such a small diameter I had to figure out how to mount it to my lathe. Rather than using scrap wood, I used walnut as an additional feature of the box.
The box is over 3 inches tall and about 1 1/2 inch in diameter finished with shellac. The lid’s interior is 1″ diameter. The base’s interior is 7/8″ diameter.
- Prepare the body then part off the lid portion.
- Hollow the lid.
- Fit the lid to a tenon on the base.
- Using the base as a jamb chuck, finish the lid.
- Hollow the base
- Mount the base to a jamb chuck and finish the base.
Where I live the snow has melted and early flowers are blooming. I have spring fever especially from being cooped up after my ski accident.
I found a hazelnut sucker I pruned off last spring and determined to turn a bud vase to welcome spring. The hazelnut was a perfect size for a small bud vase that could keep some of its bark as a natural edge.
Hazelwood is very light colored. I plan to use any I can salvage as a replacement for holly.
My bud vase is about 4 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. It is finished with shellac friction polish.
I welcome spring.
My grand-daughters convinced my to learn to ski.
But, I had a disagreement with the rope tow.
Now I have a cracked rib and have to take a break to heal.
Unfortunately, break activities do not include woodturning Yet!
My last attempt to turn a natural edge bowl from fresh green cherry ended in a near disaster. Half of the almost finished bowl hit me in the face. Fortunately, I was wearing my full face shield.
I cannot fear to turn a natural edge bowl. So I’m back at the lathe again quickly to conquer my fears and successfully turn my natural edge bowl.
This bowl is 11 inches in length and 9 inches across. A natural edge bowl never appears round. It is 4 inches tall. After rough turning the bowl, I waited two days before sanding to avoid sanding extremely wet wood. Than sanded it, turned the foot, and finished the bowl. In the two days, the bowl had started typical warping. It will continue to distort for a few weeks. It is finished with walnut oil.
I started turning a natural edge bowl from Cherry. Alas, it did not survive. But I did survive despite a hard knock to my face shield.
So I switched to a dry block of spaulted apple that I have from a woodturning club meeting.
This apple bowl is finished with shellac buffed to a nice sheen. It is about 6″ in diameter and almost 3″ high.
To sign the bowl, I used:
- My DIY pyrography power supply as described in “Home Made Vaporizer for “Pyrography”/Woodburning“
- A DIY Pyrography pen as described in “DIY Pyrography Pen And Tip For My Woodburning“
- A commercial small ball tip for the pen
- Head mounted magnifying setup from Treeline.
This is overkill for simply signing but a great setup for woodburning or pyrography.