Turning Archive 2005

Holly vase, knots, pith and all

Dave Smith, Longview, WA
>I turned this vase from the trunk of a holly tree. Pith in the bottom and about 10 knots around the side. I almost turned through the side when finishing the inside. A dead limb didnít survive the rough turning so there is a 3/16" hole about 1/3 of the way up the side.

Sides are 3/32" and less in some spots. The piece was rough turned to about 3/8" thickness then soaked in alcohol for 9 hours. Wrapped with paper and allowed to dry for several weeks. It was basically dry after 2 weeks as the piece only lost 0.15 ounces during the third week when I finished turned the top of the vase. It took a couple more weeks before I got around to turning off the tenon.

The vase is 8" tall and 3 1/8" wide at the base. The rim is 2 3/4" wide. All the knots and the pith remained in tack. Sanded to 600 on the lathe then hand sanded with the grain with 600. Finished with two coats of Rocklerís Gel Polyurethane. It weighs all of 4.35 ounces.

The missing limb looks like a black spot at the lower right.

Several knots that did not split and crack.

The pith is off set from center because I mounted the piece in the center of the trunk.

Top of the vase.

I need to get a longer hollowing tool or not make such tall vases.

Thanks for looking.

Dave Smith

Finally setup a photo booth in Longview, WA.

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