Star Trek NG Alien Probe Appeared In My Mind

Alien ProbeMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook – But Best Right Here!

While watching a rerun of Star Trek Next Generation, I saw an alien probe with an interesting shape. After the episode, I just had to go back and look at that probe again. My thought – can I make a woodturning that looks like that?

My probe is about 13 inches long and 4 inches in diameter. Each cone is about 6 inches tall and 2 inches in diameter. Each cone is a perfect cone. The probe is finished with lacquer.

The cones mount to a center piece about 4 plus inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. I made a drilling and mounting template in Powerpoint to guide drilling each mortise. To avoid a more difficult layout, each mortise was drilled from the same side and entirely through the section.

To cover the opposite side of the mortise from the cone, I turned little medallions from padauk on my Infinite Axis Chuck. Each medallion has two or three mini features on different eccentric axes.

Links to noted videos.


Remount & Finish Turning Wet Apricot Bowl

Apricot Bowl This video may also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook – But best right here.

Five years ago, I scored a batch of fresh green or wet cherry wood. One block looked very promising – it was a crotch with some beautiful crotch figure. I mounted it and started to turn it. I was shaping the exterior when a large piece separated and conked me in the forehead. I hit the floor; wood hit the ceiling; and the lathe started dancing across the floor. I managed to turn off the lathe and collect my wits.

The piece that flew off weighed 10 to 15 pounds. Turns out, there was a very deep bark inclusion. The wood separated along that bark line.

Fortunately, I was wearing my full face shield. The face shield absorbed most of the force. I suffered only a compression bruise right in the middle of the forehead. Without the faceshield, I would have been seriously injured.

This apricot wood is from the same tree, the same trunk. When I see apricot, I cannot help thinking of that day at my lathe. My own Post Tramatic Stress Disorder.

I rough turned this block of cherry wood about at that same time. Then, weighed it at 669 grams and painted it with green wood sealer. For a long time, I stored it in a kraft paper sack. Later, it migrated to an open shelf.

In real time, I decided to finally finish the bowl. It had lost 32% of its original weight and distorted somewhat. I sanded off the peaks on the rim, pressed the bowl against a wood faceplate to trim the tenon. Then went on to finish the bowl with walnut oil. It is seven inches diameter and 2 inches high.

Links to noted videos.

Good turning.

Back To My First Love – Turning Green Cherry Bowl

Cherry Bowl

Video may also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, or FaceBook – Best right here!

I obtained the wood for this bowl last December. At the time, I ripped the wood in half through the pith, waxed the ends, and stored the wood in plastic bags. Then due to my accident, I could not turn the wood as quickly as I wanted to and it stayed in the plastic bags a very long time. I feared that it was ruined. But when I opened the plastic, the wood was still in good shape.

So, off to trim the wood at the bandsaw and turn this 8″ by 3″ cherry bowl finished with walnut oil. The wood still has at least 20% of its weight to lose as moisture. I’m storing it in a plastic bag wrapped in a paper towel. The plastic has a loose seal to let some moisture escape.

This bowl will warp but probably not drastically. It is and will be beautiful

Good turning.

At Last My Rose (Root) Blossoms

Rose Root VaseMay also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, or FaceBook – Best right here where you are!

As my regular viewers can attest, I’ve made several attempts to turn the root of rose bushes with varying degrees of success and varying degrees of difficulty. In this video, I’ve pressed forward with a new, freshly dug rose root section.

Well, I still had some difficulty with this instance. The root did not yield the diameter of wood that I anticipated once I turned it down to remove most of the bark and bark inclusions. I also had unfortunate results with mounting green wood to a waste block even with using a tenon.

That aside, this is my best vase yet from the root of a rose. Persistence is paying off.

Other roses:

Good turning.

Woodturning Out-Of-Round Bowl

Odd Walnut BowlMay also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook. Best of all is right here!

After watching Guilio Marcolongo demonstrate at the Utah Woodturning Symposium, I took to heart his statement that not every woodturning project must be round. He does some nice work by figuring out different ways to hold his work.

Back at my shop, I found a chunk of walnut that could serve well for my experiment with out-of-round turning. My general plan was a triangle but with arcs instead of sides. No plan works out perfectly and my bowl turned out even more misshapen than planned.

The bowl is approximately 7 inches by 5 inches and about 2 inches high, finished with lacquer and buffed to a high gloss.

I think there is a better way to go about this type of project. I’m pondering it and I will find a way.

Good turning.

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.