Transforming An Old Fence Post Into A Rustic Fence Post Vase

Fence Post Vase

I’ve invited Russ Coker from a local club to turn one of his favorite projects, a fence post vase. He salvages old fence posts from Wyoming that are mostly cedar and turns them into a vase. The wood is weathered and very, very irregular.

His process is:

  1. Mount the wood between centers.
  2. Evaluate the wood for features and where to turn.
  3. Glue down any loose wood with CA.
  4. Turn a vase neck.
  5. Turn a dovetail mounting tenon and remount the timber to a 4 jaw chuck.
  6. Drill the top.
  7. Flare the hole and form a neck.
  8. Sand the turned areas.
  9. Apply a solution of boiled linseed oil to the weathered wood.
  10. Apply French polish to turned areas.
  11. Saw off the tenon and sand the base.

His primary tool is a large skew. He does not want to call it a weed pot because a fence post vase sells much better.

This piece of wood was scary due to its shape but turned out beautiful.

Be Safe.

11 Responses to “Transforming An Old Fence Post Into A Rustic Fence Post Vase”

  1. Larry Vice says:

    Thanks for sharing your friends turning of the old fence post. I enjoy you sharing more of others ideas and projects. I am fairly new at turning. I just purchased an old Craftsman Lathe and as of now most of my tools are hand made from files and concrete chisels and other hardened steel. I only have Social Security to live on so my funds are very limited. I did make a vase out of an old 4×4 fence post that I think came out O.K.. At least my girlfriend likes it! I used your friends ideas on the shaping of the neck and top flair. I don’t have a jaw chuck so I had to drill by hand and wasn’t able to bevel the opening.
    Thanks for having this website and I truly enjoy your work and you are very clear to understand. Keep up the Great work! Larry Vice

    • Alan says:

      A tight budget often invites creativity — maybe not as “well-done” as store bought but all the same useful.
      Instead of a 4 jaw chuck (which I do recommend) you may have to glue the base into a waste block similar to a jamb chuck.
      The downside – having to wait for glue to dry. But if you make your own threaded wood faceplates, you can have things drying while you work on something else.
      Good turning.

  2. Randy Cosgrove says:

    Very, very interesting.

    Always nice to see someone being creative.

    I’d like to see more of this type of thing.

    Not that I don’t find your projects interesting but the more ideas the merrier.

    Thanks for all your efforts.
    Randy Cosgrove

  3. Harvey Rogers says:

    I enjoyed this video; it’s nice to add variety by showing what other turners do.

  4. Richard Pyle says:

    I enjoyed watching Russ, it’s encouraging that he doesn’t give up at the first sign of disaster

    • Alan says:

      I sure thought he would have either scrapped it or re-designed it. Like you, I’m glad he kept going.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Alan Stratton

  5. Keith TYler-Smith says:

    Hi Alan

    Really enjoyed your guest wood turner, making a vase from a 100 year ole fence post. Very inspiring if a little scary.

    I think it’s a great idea to have wood turning guests. I for one really appreciate it along with all the projects that you have demonstrated.

    best regards

  6. Sam Bullard says:

    Russ and Allan You have just solved a challenge that I have been searching an answer> I have my Dads push plow which reaching 90-100 years old a very weather. The last 20 years they have been setting out in the Fl weather unprotected, now I believe that I can restore them to a functional use. This was a very informative segment. Yes I would like to see other turners on As Wood Turns
    Sam B