Woodturning Wizard Wands For Young Wizards

Wizard WandsMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook – Best right here where you are!

My granddaughter is having a birthday soon; she requested a wizarding party and wizard wands for her and her friends. I’m happy to oblige but was hesitant to do an eccentric of off axis wand such as I did some time ago in:

So, I decided to make nice handles but find crooked shafts or blades from trees and shrubs in my yard.

Good turning.

Disaster Recovery – Woodturning Style x 3

Bowl InsertMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, or FaceBook – Best right here at As Wood Turns.

After I blew through the bottom of a beautiful bowl, I appealed for ideas on how to salvage it. The response was wonderfully broad and useful.

Some would re-purpose the bowl as a lamp shade with an LED light; Others as a bird bath, a canning funnel, or a wall sconce.

However, most involved filling the hole with different materials such as a matching wood, a contrasting wood, epoxy, colored resin, coins, medallions. Some would enlarge the hole before filling it; others would use it as is.

Still others would expand the insert downward ranging from a short pedestal to a longer stand. Another would turn a cone on which to set the bowl in random positions as moods change.

Yet others would expand the insert upward into a handle as a candy or nut dish, a jewelry bowl with ear ring holder. Such as variety.

In this video, I demonstrate three alternatives.

  1. A textured insert turned with the Infinite Axis Chuck from padauk with eccentric details turned on its upper surface.
  2. A cedar cone dyed contrasting blue as a variable stand.
  3. A cedar handle dyed contrasting blue to form a candy or nut bowl.

Which is best? It depends on the woodturner and what emerges from the ideas. All that is needed is a small spark of inspiration to create something new.

For video building the Infinite Axis Chuck, go to Shop Built Eccentric Chuck From PVC Fitting

The atomizer is a Richeson atomizer available at art stores or Amazon.

Good turning.

Dyed, Diet Bowl – aka Experimental Whoops

Pine dyed BowlMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook – Best right here.

With all the ideas from the Utah Woodturning Symposium, it’s time to implement some of them with this project.

The wood is the remaining pine slab from a previous project. However, it has a crack where the rim would be and several knots. Why not try to fill the cracks with lead free solder? And, why not try some color blending to liven up the top sided. And why not an oversized rim to emphasize the color.

Well, my soldering abilities were sorely tested by the cracks. But the color turned out nicely despite having to waste off that beautiful wide rim.

The biggest downer was tooling through the foot. It would have to be the very last phase of the project. I did not want a funnel. But my wife sees it differently. To her, it is a dyed, diet bowl. It effortlessly limits how much you put in it.

Woodturning Finishes & DIY Finish Accessories

Finish JarsMay also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo and FaceBook – But best Right Here.

It’s time for me to upgrade my wood finish containers.

I typically use walnut oil or a mix of beeswax and mineral for projects needing to be food safe. Otherwise, for large projects, I use walnut oil or lacquer or the beeswax and mineral oil mix. For small projects, I use shellac friction polish, lacquer, or the beeswax and mineral oil. The beeswax and mineral oil mixture also serves as a sanding media at times.

For the mix, I heat 1 pint mineral oil in a double boiler. To this I add 1/4 pound of beeswax chopped up. Once the beeswax is fully melted, I let cool but not harden then pour into a plastic container.


  • The finish jar kit is from Craft Supplies USA, costing about $12.
  • My spice jar is salvaged from the kitchen. Its brush cost about $1.25 for three.
  • The pint drinking jar is available from Amazon for about $20 a dozen plus about $2.50 for a average brush.

Good turning.

Inspiration From Grapes – Scrollsaw and Lathe

Grape Leaf Plate in MapleMay also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook – But best right here!

I got this idea from the Utah Woodturning Symposium, specifically Raleigh Lockhart’s presentation. It entails cutting a leaf shape on a scrollsaw then turning it on the lathe.

My leaf plate is a grape leaf about 6 inches in diameter and about 1 inch tall. It is turned from maple with a lacquer finish.

My process:

  1. Find a good shape from leaves in my yeard or on the internet.
  2. Prepare a pattern on my computer, including finding the center of the leaf.
  3. Preparing the wood and attaching the pattern to the wood.
  4. Sawing the leaf shape on the wood with a scrollsaw.
  5. Mounting to the lathe against a wood faceplate with tail stock pressure.
  6. Shaping the bottom and creating a mounting tenon.
  7. Reversing into a scroll chuck and shaping the top and interior.
  8. Reversing again to clean up the foot
  9. Sign the completed turning and finishing.

My wife likes this leaf plate. Therefore, it is a success. :)

Good turning.

My Rose Root Blossoms Into A Unique Vase

Rose VaseMay also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook – Best right here!

I dug up an old rose bush from my yard. (Please do not report me to the Rose Club). The root is large enough for at least a couple of turnings. But exactly what should I turn with this unusual wood. I consulted with another woodturner and finally decided on a first project.

This vase is about 3″ tall and 3″ in diameter. It is finished with walnut oil. I tried to preserve some of the bottom roots and voids between roots. I carved out the bark inclusions and did a lot of hand sanding.

It is a conversation piece.

Good turning.

Walnut Cross Grain Box – An Exercise In Mounting

Walnut Lidded BoxMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook — Best right here where you are!

I turned this walnut box and lid to answer a challenge from the Utah Woodturners Club. We were to turn a lidded box and bring it to the club meeting.

The box is about 5 1/2″ diameter by 3″ tall finished with lacquer. The wood is seconds from a gun stock supplier. Very pretty walnut. The finial is hazelnut.

This project has two challenges. First, a black streak runs through the 3″ thick walnut. I wanted to take advantage of this color. However, the black streak is also a hairline crack that has weakened the wood. I treated this crack several times with CA glue.

The second challenge is mounting the wood as turning progresses.

  1. Mounting the raw block with tail stock pressure while cutting a tenon on the top.
  2. Mounting using this top tenon while cutting an expansion mortise on the top.
  3. Mounting using the bottom mortise while parting the lid from the base.
  4. Mounting using the bottom mortise while hollowing the base.
  5. Mounting using the inside of the box while cleaning up excess CA glue from the bottom.
  6. Mounting using the bottom mortise while cleaning up excess CA glue from the inside.
  7. Mounting using the top tenon while turning the underside of the lid and turning a mortise on the underside.
  8. Mounting using the top tenon while expanding the last mortise to fit the chuck.
  9. Mounting using the underside lid mortise while turning the top.

Whew! a lot of mounts.

Good turning.

You Mean – That Wood Had a Platter Inside?

Pine PlatterMay also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. But best right here.

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.

Good turning.

Limbs Lashed Together For Rustic Wood Bowl

Hazelnut Lashed Log BowlMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, or FaceBook. Best right here!

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.

Good turning.

Peeps Do Not Fit In This Turned Easter Basket

Walnut Egg BasketMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook.

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.

Good turning.