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.
My workplace holds an annual basket raffle to raise funds for the United Way, and my boss and I are collaborating on a “Game Day” basket. Our “basket” is actually a cooler, filled with a bunch of snacks, some swag from North Dakota State University–Go Bison!–and this chip bowl decorated in Bison green and gold.
It’s silver maple, with some eye-catching chatoyancy and crotch figuring on the interior.
The stripes were added with marker and the finish is a durable carnauba/beeswax blend. 10 1/2″ diameter, 1 7/8″ high.
I rescued a few large green ash logs off the curb last week, and while most of it is destined for our firewood pile (green ash is dandy firewood), I sawed a few bowl blanks from one of the larger pieces.
Update: Here’s the outside cleaned up, sanded to 400 grit, and with an application of walnut oil finish. (I’m planning to add a pyrography texture between those dark lines.)
Update 2: I didn’t expect to see that much curl figure in this.
I modeled this silver maple bowl after the stoneware bowl my mother always used for making bread dough. Mom’s is a bit larger than this, but I think I came pretty close to the basic proportions (although I’m operating purely from memory).
This was twice turned, and after the rough bowl dried, it was the most lopsided one I’ve done yet.
8 3/4″ diameter by 3″ high. Walnut oil finish.
Another silver maple bowl that has a beautiful chatoyance. It’s not the ripple that you see in curly maple, but it’s striking. I’m doing a little experiment with this one: it’s finished with walnut oil, which takes a little longer to cure but is completely food-safe. (Note: pretty much every finish is “food safe” once it’s fully cured, but walnut oil starts out food safe, since it is food. But it also has the advantage of being able to cure to a solid finish without going rancid.)
UPDATE: This bowl is available on Etsy.
10 1/8″ diameter, 2 1/4″ high.
Interior shot of that figure.
I’ve been working with quite a bit of green wood recently, which means that I have to turn bowls twice: once to rough out the basic size and shape, and then after a period of controlled drying, once more to correct for the warping that inevitably occurs when wood dries. Here’s a bunch that I finished over the weekend:
Back row, left to right: Birch – 7 3/4″ x 2 3/4″, Silver Maple – 9″ x 2 1/2″
Middle row, left to right: Ornamental Pear – 8 3/8″ x 2 1/2″, Ornamental Pear – 8 3/4″ x 2 1/2″
Front: Birch – 7 1/8″ x 1 3/4″
I’ve been working with some silver maple that a friend gave me–they had to cut down a large tree in their daughter’s yard, and offered me some of the larger branches. It’s still quite wet since it was just cut, and so if I turn things to their final size, the pieces will warp as the wood dries.
So I’ve been turning the pieces to close to the final size and shape I want.
Moist, green wood like this turns nicely, and the ribbons of shavings that come flying off the end of a good sharp gouge makes this process a lot of fun. I finished four bowls this morning, and put them into paper grocery bags to help slow down the drying process. (If wood dries too fast, you’re more likely to get cracks.) It will probably take a couple of months until these are ready to finish.