Turning Archive 2004

Maple burl "art" bowl *PIC*

Dominic Greco in Richboro PA
>Hi Everyone,

Below is a picture of a Maple Burl Bowl I finally completed last night. This is yet another item turned from the wood left by WC's own "burl fairy", Bill Grumbine. To be accurate, this is a burl from a Ambrosia Maple as evidenced by the coloration and the beetle/grub holes. And yes, it won't hold soup. So it must be "art". :>)

This wood was cut wet from the burl and roughed to shape. The roughed-out form was alcohol soaked and allowed to dry for a couple weeks. Now with a burl, I normally wouldn't be as concerned with the wood movement. The grain is so uni-directional, that wood movement is not as critical as bowls turned from "non-burl" (is that a word?) wood. But this blank featured a small burl section as well as a larger, normal grained area. So I figured that I'd be safe rather than sorry and soak it.

After it was dry enough, I turned it to final shape only to realize that a huge knot went right through the side of the bowl. I attempted to fill the void with Inlace. I say "attempted" because as I was final turning it, the chunk of inlace came loose, and with a hearty "CHUNK!" embedded itself in the ceiling above my lathe. I intend to leave it there as a reminder why I wear a full face shield while turning.

After I recovered from the shock of feeling/seeing a turquoise colored shiruken (Ninja throwing star) whiz past my face, I decided that the void shall remained unfilled. I've never turned a "artsy" bowl. Maybe this was sign to do so now.

Since this wood heavily spalted, it was somewhat punky. I sanded to 320 grit and then applied a coat of Zinsner's Bull's Eye Sealer to help mitigate this. The bowl was then power sanded to 600 grit. I continued sanding from 1500 to 12000 grit using Micro Mesh.

Once the inside was completed, I reversed the bowl using a vacuum chuck and parted off the tenon. To give the base a bit more detail, I burned a series of concentric circles.

After sanding, I applied several flood coats of Watco's Natural Danish Oil and allowed it to cure for several days.

Using a trick I learned from my recent pen making spree, while buffing I skipped the tripoli compound, and went straight to the White Diamond. I also skipped the carnuaba wax as well. Instead, I gave the bowl a coat of Renaissance Wax and then buffed it. I found that this wax resists finger prints to a greater degree than just carnuaba.

So,.....what do you think?

Maple Burl Bowl Specs:

Outer dia.: 10 1/4"

Height: 3"

Wall thickness: 3/16"

Base dia.: 2 1/2"

Sanding Method: Sanded to 12000 Grit.

Finish: Watco's Danish Oil

Final: Buffed with White Diamond, then Renaissance Wax

Thanks for viewing.

See ya around,

My ugly mug


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