This bowl is the slightly bigger sibling of the previous one, coming from the opposite side of the log. Honey locust is heavy, dense wood, and can be a bit of a challenge to work with; I had to stop and resharpen my tools frequently on this one. But the end result is worth the effort.
It’s just a smidgen over 12 inches diameter, and stands 5 5/8 inches high. Walnut oil finish.
Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is a non-native and invasive shrubby tree in North Dakota, and it’s making a nuisance of itself in the woodlot at my family’s farm. This bowl came from a sizable crotch piece that I cut and turned last fall, and finally sanded and finished last week. The wood is lovely, but it has a tendency to crack badly as it dries; this piece was no exception, and I had to fill several cracks with cyanoacrylate glue and sawdust.
I just finished a couple of silver maple bowls that I had roughed out back in July. The first one had the beginnings of some spalting, and when you hold it up to the light, you can see that there’s a bit of curl.
11 1/2″ diameter, 3″ high. Walnut oil finish.
The curl in the second one is more pronounced. I gave this one a little foot to lift it off the tabletop just a bit.
12″ diameter, 3″ high. Walnut oil finish.
Here’s a peek at the curl. I’m always tickled when I find some of that in one of the pieces I turn. It’s like unwrapping a present.
The tree I got this wood from was a larger mountain ash in our neighborhood that had started declining last spring, and my wife “volunteered” me to help the homeowners take it down. I guess I can’t complain too much; the wood that was still sound has some fine spalting.
A friend gave me a chunk of a Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) a few weeks ago. I rough turned this when the wood was still wet, and it turned pretty nicely. I put the bowl into a paper bag to let it dry a bit before finish turning it. What a difference a couple of weeks makes! Now that it’s dry, this stuff is HARD. It’s worth it, though; it has wonderful grain, and takes a beautiful finish.
Russian olive is an introduced species in North America–it’s native to western and central Asia–but it grows well in harsh conditions and poor soils, so it’s fairly common in my area. They never grow very large, and the trunks and branches tend to be crooked, so it tends to be regarded somewhat as a “weed” tree. But as you can see, for uses like this, it’s worth a second look!
One of my kids’ favorites when they were growing up was the PBS show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” And one of his songs that we adopted for our own started with the line “Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.”
Monday was our oldest daughter’s due date, and from a phone call earlier in the day, we had a feeling that things were going to start happening. So to keep my mind occupied, I mounted a large chunk of green ash (rescued from the curbside in our neighborhood) on the lathe.
The grain and color is everything I could have hoped for, and when you look inside…
…there’s some subtle curl.
11 1/2″ diameter by 3 3/8″ high. Walnut oil finish.