If At First You Don’t Succeed… My Green Natural Edge Cherry Bowl

Natural Edge Cherry Bowl

May also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook – Best right here.

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.

Fears conquered.

Good turning.

Fruit Salad – Dry Spaulted Apple From Green Natural Edge Cherry

Spaulted AppleMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, or FaceBook. Best right here.

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:

  1. My DIY pyrography power supply as described in “Home Made Vaporizer for “Pyrography”/Woodburning
  2. A DIY Pyrography pen as described in “DIY Pyrography Pen And Tip For My Woodburning
  3. A commercial small ball tip for the pen
  4. Head mounted magnifying setup from Treeline.

This is overkill for simply signing but a great setup for woodburning or pyrography.

Good turning.

Lessons Learned In Turning Knotty Green Cherry Bowl

Cherry BowlMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook – Best right here!.

I have a bunch of fresh green cherry. All of it has been ripped in half and the ends sealed with end grain sealer.

But before it dries too much, I want to turn a bowl. However, my selected piece of wood has some issues. The biggest issue is a broken limb coming out from one side. The limb is a combination of old dry shattered wood, green wood, end grain. I don’t know how deep this mess goes.

Maybe I should have cut it away before turning or trashed the block of wood to begin with. That is certainly an option.

However, I’ll work the issues as they come to bear. In this case, this approach did not pay off.

The bowl is cherry with walls just under 3/8″ about 8″ in diameter and 2″ tall. The wood is still very green and the bowl feels wet and heavy. It is sanded with beeswax and mineral oil. I’ll store it for a month in a paper bag to moderate its micro climate. Then I expect it will have warped to some degree, but it will also feel dry and much lighter.

Good turning.

Christmas Ornament Challenge Results 2016

Announcing the winners from the 2016 Christmas Ornament Challenge.
The Challenge Playlist is at this link.

Thanks to each craftsperson who submitted their orn0ament and video.

Thanks to sponsors for providing wonderful prizes.

Thanks to each viewer who nominated their choices in the Viewer’s Choice.

Thanks to everyone else who viewed and appreciated the creativity and effort that went into these ornaments.

Thanks to Carl Jacobson for co-hosting the challenge.

Bumpy, Tipsy, Wood Tube From Green Cherry

Cherry Warp TubeThis video may also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. But best right here where you are!

At the invitation from fellow woodturner, Sam Angelo, I turned this 2″ by 7″ tube from fresh wet cherry. This project is fun because when the turning is finished, I go to the microwave to heat it up. With a couple of excursions through the over, the tube warps and takes a shape of its own. The shape is only somewhat predictable.

The wood blank is cut cross grain from one half of a log at one side of the pith.

My process is:

  1. Rough turn and cut a tenon on one end.
  2. Reverse mount
  3. Finish rough turning
  4. Refine exterior.
  5. Drill and hollow from one end. Best tool for this task is a square corner box scraper.
  6. Reverse the wood into deep shark jaws. Some protection for the exterior may be in order.
  7. From scrap, turn plugs to fit both ends of the tube.
  8. Remount between centers and refine the exterior. Remove any marks and defects. Reduce to desired wall thickness.
  9. I cut beads on the exterior to further refine the exterior and to reduce the wall thickness. The thinner the wall, the more it may warp.
  10. Wrap packing tape around both ends wrapping tape around into the inside. This protects the ends from drying too quickly and catching fire.
  11. Microwave on high for a minute. Remove and check progress.
  12. Repeat until the wood is dry.
  13. Optionally, add finish.

My DIY steady rest and new box scraper came in handy for this project

Good turning.

Preparing Green Cherry – Not Solely For Bowls

Cherry SpindleMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook. Best right here.


To view Christmas Ornament Challenge entries – click here.


Not every project results in a beautiful object. Some I do well in advance with a beautiful object in mind. This is the case in this video.

I was given some fresh cut or green cherry logs. I promptly ripped each in half through the pith. Some I cut into bowl blanks.

However, some I left long and turned into long cylinders for later projects. Each was waxed. I’ll leave them to dry until needed. When I want to use one, I’ll weigh it on about a 2 week interval. When it stops losing weight, it will be dry.

Future spindle projects in the making. Stay tuned.

Good turning.

Viewers Choice – Christmas Ornament Challenge 2016

May also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook— Best right here.

What a fantastic challenge. This video shows all ornaments that were entered into the challenge.
We invite you to vote for your favorites. This is an experiment – we hope it works.

Here are the guidelines.

  1. Review this video and the ornaments. These are in random order but the number in this video corresponds to order in the official playlist. Note which that you’d like to see the video for.
  2. View the supporting videos from your list. The video should be part of your decision.
  3. In a comment below this video, enter up to 5 numbers that represent your favorites in order from 1 to 5. The number must the number given in the upper left corner of each display in this video or the playlist order number. List your favorite by number first; second favorite by number second and so on up to five ornament entries. Please do not include titles and names – we’ll only look at the numbers so make sure they’re in your order.
  4. Only one comment with selections per person. Multiple selections will be ignored.
  5. You have until the 15th of December to make your vote.
  6. We’ll announce the results from this video with Carl and Alan’s selections as soon as possible.

Playlist via AsWoodTurns:
http://www.aswoodturns.com/challenges/christmas-ornament-2016/

Playlist via YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4W9FE566kZhAdzbt9715eEOupHJXXjwg

Good turning.

Adaptable Abstract Sculpture Desk Toy (“Thingey” or MetroGnomes)

Abstract Art or Desk ToyMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. – Please stay right here!

Where do project ideas come from? Anywhere! This is inspired by a large object outside a building between the San Diego airport and the rental car center. I hope someone from San Diego can tell me what it actually is.

The largest one is about eleven inches tall and three inches diameter. It is cedar finished with beeswax and mineral oil. This is a set of three.

My vision is of a desk toy where I can play with their position and change it at will.

Apparently what I saw were “MetroGnomes”. Thank you John Fisher for identifying them. Thank you San Diego for inspiration.

Good turning.

Traditional Hollow Globe Christmas Ornament

Traditional Globe OrnamentMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. But, Best Right Here.


To view Christmas Ornament Challenge entries – click here.


In a recent comment, a viewer asked if I was going to use my shop built hollowing tools to turn an ornament this year. Well, I had not intended to, since I was busy exploring hollowing through larger, more convenient holes.

But I took it as as challenge and made this traditional globe ornament.

To me, a traditional globe is designed to hang from a Christmas tree and consists of
1. A hollowed body of somewhat globe shape. Almost anything goes here and has been the target of a lot of creativity in Christmas Ornament Challenges,
2. A top finial – either short or long.
3. A bottom finial – Usually longer than the top finial.
4. (Optionally) spacers between the finials and the body. Often, these provide a colorful transition element between smaller dimension expensive finial wood and the body.

So. Challenge accepted – challenge met. :)

Good turning.

Atomic Christmas Ornament For 2016 Ornament Challenge

Atomic OrnamentMay also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. But, Best Right Here.


To view Christmas Ornament Challenge entries – click here.


This Christmas season I’ve largely avoided hollowing through small holes. This ornament is another such project where I prefer to hollow through the largest opening possible. In this case the largest opening equals the diameter of the ornament.

For accent the walnut blank was sawn at a random angle; the cut was cleaned up and a strip of oak glued in the kerf. I repeated this process a couple more time before mounting to my lathe.

On the lathe, I used the perfect sphere process to yield a ball, However, before sanding the ball, I parted it in half one more time – at a random angle, Then again after hollowing the two halves, I glued in a strip of oak into the kerf.

After that I returned to the perfect sphere process to sand and finish the ball.

For hanging on a Christmas tree, I mounted a small loop of copper wire.

My walnut and oak ornament is about two inches in diameter. No fancy finials for this ornament.

Good turning.