Remount and Finish Bowl – No Rush To Finish Russian Olive


Russian Olive Bowl

May also be viewed on YouTube.

This bowl is turned from Russian olive from Idaho. It is generally considered a weed tree, planted for wind protection. It is now classified as a invasive species.

My sons’s in-laws had not qualms over cutting down with the tree. I rescued several chunks from the burn pile to take home and turn. I’ve never before turned Russian olive. Looking at the log’s end grain, all that I could see was a medium brown color.

When roughing the bowl, the wood seemed somewhat dry – definitely not as much water as other woods I’ve rough turned. I roughed it out anyway, waxed it and set it aside to dry.

After a couple of years, it’s ready to remount and turn. Since I did not then keep the nub on the bottom to mark the center, I used my cole jaws to reform the tenon. This had a disadvantage in that now I had to turn the exterior while mounted in a 4 jaw chuck. This meant that I was trapped between the headstock and the bowl. I felt constrained.

Still, I did complete the bowl and soaked it in walnut oil for a finish. The bowl is ten inches in diameter and about two inches in height.

Many would find fault in the soft sections of the grain. They sanded away creating a wave pattern. However, I like the result and may want to magnify the effect in future bowls.

Woodturn A Cherry Goblet Wood’n U Like A Toast

Cherry Goblet

May also be viewed on YouTube.

This goblet is turned from a large chunk of cherry given me recently from someone who saw my work in a GEARS exhibition, mainly a metal working show. I’ll give him the goblet in appreciation for a large cherry stump he gave me after the show.

The goblet is 5 inches tall and about 3 inches in diameter. It is finished with shellac friction polish. A goblet is a great exercise, combining skills from a finial and end grain hollowing.

Woodturn Natural Edge Fig Bowl – My Smallest Yet?


Fig Limb Bowl

May also be viewed on YouTube.

This is another project from pruning my fig tree. It is a bowl turned from this small about 2.5 inch diameter limb.

This project was a challenge due to its size. It is too small to mount in my standard chuck jaws. I have smaller jaws but I do not trust a tenon that small to not shear while I’m turning it. So, after some consideration, this video shows how I turned this small limb bowl. With its natural edge and small diameter, it is cute.

The bowl is about 4 inches long, 2 inches wide and 2 inches tall and finished with walnut oil. It will need more hand sanding when the wet wood dries.

Woodturn Natural Edge Fig Mushroom – Not For Soup


Mushroom From Fig

May also be viewed on YouTube.

My wife’s sister asked me to turn a mushroom for her. Right now I have cuttings from a fig tree in my front yard.

Why not a natural edge mushroom from this fig. Figs and mushrooms both have nice flavors for cooking, why not see how they go together for a gourmet chef?

The end result is about 3 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. The bark and limb make a nice irregular natural edge. This mushroom is finished with walnut oil – another flavorful cooking item. :)

Since this wood is wet, it will dry, shrink, distort and crack for more character and personality.

Woodturn Natural Edge Winged Tea Light From Fig

Fig Tealight

 

Also may be viewed on YouTube.

This wood came from a fig tree in my front yard. It’s a small limb but had to go. I’ve never turned fig nor heard of anyone turning it. But why not try.

Although it’s small, it is large enough for a simple tea light. I did not want to just rip the limb in half. I wanted the top surface to be the natural bark from the fig then bend around to a flat on the bottom. This tea light base is 5 inches long and about 2.5 inches in diameter. The light is a battery operated LED tea light. I’d never put a wax candle in a wooden holder.

Since the wood is very green or wet it did not absorb much walnut oil. After it dries, I’ll apply more oil. then we’ll also see how fig turns out.

Woodturn Cherry Box From Wet Wood


Cherry Box

Also can be viewed on YouTube

I started this project in July 2013 when I helped a friend cut down a large cherry tree in his back yard. I turned some of the wood into cylinders starting to make small boxes. But the difference is that the wood was very fresh and wet. Knowing that it would shrink and distort as it dried, I left the walls thick but did bore out the inside. Then I wrapped them up with the bored out ends exposed and left them to dry–hopefully from the inside out.

Now with the wood dry, I remounted the pieces to re-trim the tenons, and finish turn the box.

I used gouges, a skew, and a square carbide cutter. I used a mixture of mineral oil and beeswax both as a sanding media and as a finish. The box is about five inches high and two inches in diameter. The joint has a nice vacuum friction fit.

Woodturn Rustic Cedar Natural Edge Coasters

Natural Edge CoastersThis project is relatively easy, a great way to practice with natural edge forms without the risk of a bowl. These coasters are wet, freshly harvested, cedar. After slicing a limb into discs, I started them drying with a quick soak in Denatured Alcohol to accelerate the drying process. They had lost about 30% of their weight before I started turning them.

Then in a quick but repetitive process cut a mortise on the bottom, smoothed the rim wood and smoothed the top surface.

Later I realized that they were reversible — the mortise was large enough to hold a cup or mug.

These coasters are irregular size between 3 and one half to four inches and finished with walnut oil.

Green Woodturning Techniques – Alcohol Soak & Walnut Oil Finish

I’m experimenting with two techniques for my woodturning: one for drying wet or green wood; one for finishishing.

For drying a bowl after rough turning the bowl blank, I’m using denatured alcohol (DNA) for an overnight soak, then drying the bowl in a controlled environment such as a brown paper bag.

For finishing, I’m following a practice I saw at Mike Mahoney’s shop — soaking the finished project in walnut oil expecting deeper penetration of the oil into the wood.

As these are experimental techniques, I welcome comments and suggestions.

For both processes, I’m using large plastic bowls with lids to hold and store the alcohol or oil.

Remount And Finish Woodturning Alcohol Soaked Green Bowl

Green Birch BowlI rough turned this birch bowl about six months ago from a fresh green trunk a friend found for me. At that time, I did not expect much from this bowl thinking that birch is a fairly blond wood without a lot of character.

To expedite the drying process, I soaked this bowl overnight in denatured alcohol then left it to dry in a brown paper bag. Originally, the rough bowl weighed 3,760 grams. In ten days, it lost 952 grams or 25% of its original weight. Then I was distracted by life and did not weigh it again for four months at which time it then weighed 2320 grams having lost 38% of its weight.

To finish woodturning the bowl, I followed a typical process: 1) re-mount to refine the mounting tenon; 2) shape the exterior; 3) reverse onto the tenon to shape the bowl’s interior; 4) reverse again to remove the tenon and form a foot. I power sanded each section after tooling.

After all turning and sanding, I soaked the bowl overnight in walnut oil then drained and wiped off the excess. The bowl now weights 1180 grams — final turning removed nearly half of the wood from the rough blank.

The final bowl is beautiful — far exceeding my original expectations. Natural staining and other coloration really dressed up this bows into a masterpiece. Finished, it is 11 inches in diameter and 5 inches high.

Woodturn A Natural Edge Cedar Limb Bowl

Cedar Limb BowlI have a lot of wood to clean up from cutting down an Atlas Cedar in my back yard.

For this project, I’m using a whole section of limb for a small but deep natural edge bowl. This small bowl is about 6 inches long by 4 inches wide by 3 inches deep. I tried to finish it with walnut oil but the bowl was so wet, no oil would stick. I’ll let it dry 3-4 weeks then re-sand and finish it.