Turning Archive 2005

Textured Walnut bowl *PIC*

Dominic Greco in Richboro, PA
>Hi Everyone,

Here is another bowl I just finished up. Something I didn't realize until I was writing this up was that this bowl featured techniques I learned from many others turners.

  • Dave Smith: Alcohol Soaking

  • Eugen Schlack (from WOW): Texturing

  • Art Liestman/Wally Dickerman: Design Advice

  • Russ Fairfield: Wet sanding technique

This made me stop and think about just how much I've learned from other turners. And no small amount of this exposure came from WoodCentral. This makes me real glad that I stumbled onto this place back in 2000. :>)

This bowl was roughed out many months ago and alcohol soaked. However, it sat for a lot longer than I had planned. So when I finally got to it, it was really dry.

To be quite honest, I screwed up on this one in many ways. I didn't get rid of enough of the pith when rough turning. I ended up with a bunch of checks and cracks about it. To compound matters, I didn't follow Dave Smith's procedure correctly. After removing it from the alcohol bath, I allowed this blank to drip off overnight, and then promptly forgot about it for a couple days! Couple this with the pith rings and you get one cracked bowl!

During the finish turning process, I was about to fill the cracks with CA glue and sawdust when something Art Liestman said to me popped into my head. He was paraphrasing Wally Dickerman's philosophy, "Good enough is never good enough." I decided didn't want to produce something that looked half-assed. With that in mind, I turned away all the cracked area and ended up with this rather shallow bowl.

I used my shop built texturing tool to add the texture. To give the textured area a bit more definition, I added a bead to define a border. What surprised me about the texturing was not so much the surface, but how much darker it appeared after a finish was added. It looks like I scorched the area. I'm actually pretty happy with the results.

Walnut and I have a love-hate relationship. I really love the dark rich color, but hate the end grain! On some pieces, no matter how you shear scrape the end grain never comes out as smooth as you want. This is where I usually turn to a solution I learned from Russ. I wet sand with a mix of 50% mineral spirits and 50% varnish (McClusky's in the Red Can. The type with Alkyd Resins in it). This mixture stiffens up the end grain perfectly, fills the pores with the slurry, and leaves me with baby smooth finish. The only down side is that the bowl needs to sit for several days before you add your first finish coat.

When it came time for finishing, I also choose to try something a bit different. I gave this bowl a coat of Watco's Danish Oil and allowed it to dry for a week. Then I buffed it with Micromesh used a tack rag to clean it off. Another coat followed and the procedure was repeated twice more. I was going for an ultra smooth, yet semi gloss finish. I think I succeeded.


Outer dia.: 9 1/4"

Height: 1 3/8"

Wall thickness: 3/16"

Base dia.: 3 1/4"

Sanding Method: Wet sanded to 1200 grit

Finish: (3) coats of Watco's Danish Oil

Final: Renaissance Wax

I'd appreciate any comments you'd like to make on the shape and proportions.

Thanks for viewing.

See ya around,

My ugly mug


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