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20 posts 1 2

Walnut-crotch bowl

#266548 by BuckeyeDennis » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:00 am

Back in 2018, a friend of mine with a hundred-year-old house had a large walnut yard tree taken down. It was capital punishment for pelting his roof and siding with too many walnuts. He had the trunk and large limbs bandsawed into big beautiful slabs, beams, and boards. I had told him about the figure inside of walnut crotch pieces, but nevertheless they were headed for the firewood pile. So I brought them home for turning, and thanked my friend with a gallon of Anchorseal for the rest of his new walnut lumber.

Here's what the walnut crotch pieces looked like right after I chainsawed them in half.

Crotch flame walnut.JPG
Crotch flame walnut.JPG (1.16 MiB) Viewed 9830 times


Fast-forward to this last December, and my oldest daughter was wanting a nice wooden bowl for her new apartment. And I'd been wanting to try out my new-to-me Universal Tool Rest and new Pro Easy Rougher, not to mention wanting to make something with those walnut-crotch blanks. So I decided to turn her a bowl for a Christmas present. Problem was, I couldn’t get started on it until about a week before Christmas. So I researched accelerated bowl-drying methods, and decided to try the bury-it-in-desiccant method. Several reviews claimed that you can dry a rough-turned bowl in about three days, with little to no cracking. I was skeptical, but you'll see my results in the photos that follow.

Here's my daughter's bowl blank, trimmed down just enough to clear the way tubes, and mounted on a 6" faceplate. The rough blank started out at about 16” in diameter. To preserve as much of the crotch figure as possible, I used the center of the tree as the bottom of the bowl, and left some sapwood at the rim.

Blank on faceplate.JPG
Blank on faceplate.JPG (709.1 KiB) Viewed 9830 times


And here that blank is again, all trued up. Love that figure! The surface you're looking at will be the bottom of the bowl.

Trued up.JPG
Trued up.JPG (839.83 KiB) Viewed 9830 times


The blank was still fairly green when I rough-turned it. But after three days covered with desiccant in a plastic bag, the bowl weight had dropped by about 20%. An existing crack in the bottom of the bowl had opened a bit, another small one formed, and some slight checking appeared in the crotch-figure part. But there were no showstoppers, and some slow-curing epoxy penetrated and stabilized the cracks easily enough.

Then back it went on the lathe. While the bowl was still green, I'd been practicing trying to get good finish cuts, but kept having tear-out problems. But after the desiccant drying, I was able to get clean cuts with another new toy -- a Henry Taylor Kryo bowl scraper, burnished to form the sharpest hook that I could get on the cutting edge.

Here it is after finish turning and sanding to 220 grit, ready for the finish. Final bowl dimensions came out at 10-1/2” diameter, and 2-3/4” high.

Ready for finish.JPG
Ready for finish.JPG (655.61 KiB) Viewed 9830 times


Finish for the bowl was Minwax satin wipe-on poly, smoothed with 400-grit sandpaper every couple of coats. I didn’t get as many coats on as I wanted before Christmas morning, so my daughter got to decide on the final sheen. As it turned out, she preferred an even lower gloss. So I applied two or three more coats of the satin wipe-on poly, leveled the last coat with 600-grit sandpaper, and then rubbed it out with #000 steel wool.

In this next shot of the finished bowl bottom, you can see a little checking from the accelerated drying. An existing crack in the bottom of the bowl had opened up a bit, another small one formed, and some slight checking appeared in the crotch-figure part. But there were no showstoppers, and some slow-curing epoxy penetrated and stabilized the cracks easily enough. I'll be curious to see how the conventional three-months-in-a-paper-bag process compares on a future bowl.

Exterior1.JPG
Exterior1.JPG (575.7 KiB) Viewed 9830 times


And finally, the beauty shot. As this was only my second bowl, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to start with gorgeous figured blanks!

Interior1.JPG
Interior1.JPG (502.04 KiB) Viewed 9830 times

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266549 by rpd » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:27 am

Beautiful. :) :cool:

Walnut is my favorite.

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Ron Dyck
==================================================================
10ER #23430, 10ER #84609, 10ER #94987,two SS A-34 jigsaws for 10ER.
1959 Mark 5 #356595 Greenie, SS Magna Jointer, SS planer, SS bandsaw, SS scroll saw (gray), DC3300,

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266551 by charlesw » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:44 am

gorgeous.. Love walnut. Great score on the beautiful wood!
Charles

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266553 by RFGuy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:56 pm

Very nice! I love walnut. I only just got into woodturning some last year. I have a pile of mesquite that I want to use in an attempt to make a large bowl similar to this. I have the speed reducer and the UTR, but I am trying to build my experience up before I attempt a larger bowl. When I do, I hope mine turns out half as nice as the one you posted. In that 4th pic, your waytubes don't have a spec of dust but look like they have a mirror polish on them. Did you buff them or ???

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📶RF Guy

Mark V 520 (Bought New '98) | 4" jointer | 6" beltsander | 12" planer | bandsaw | router table | speed reducer | univ. tool rest
Porter Cable 12" Compound Miter Saw | Rikon 8" Low Speed Bench Grinder w/CBN wheels | Jessem Clear-Cut TS™ Stock Guides
Festool (Emerald): DF 500 Q | RO 150 FEQ | OF 1400 EQ | TS 55 REQ | CT 26 E
DC3300 | Shopvac w/ClearVue CV06 Mini Cyclone | JDS AirTech 2000 | Sundstrom PAPR | Dylos DC1100 Pro particulate monitor

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266554 by BuckeyeDennis » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:30 pm

Thanks guys! I did indeed feel very lucky to get all those nice pieces of walnut. The rest of them are now squirrelled away up in my garage attic, with AnchorSeal on the ends. They should last me for quite a while.

RFGuy, I simply polish my SS tubes with JPW every now and then, nothing special. But when I took that particular pic, I had just finished cleaning up in preparation for applying the finish to the bowl. (I see that I even had the wipe-on poly already out on the bench behind the bowl.) My theory is that the less dust there is in the shop, especially near the workpiece, the less dust I'll get in the finish. So to prep for finishing, I run the overhead air cleaner, and Hoover the dust off of the floor and the machinery using a shop vac with a dusting brush. BTW, if you were about 1900 miles closer to Columbus, I'd love to trade you some walnut for some mesquite. I've been seeing gorgeous mesquite projects over at LumberJocks.com.

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266555 by Mjrinor » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:44 pm

Dennis,

This is absolutely gorgeous!!!! Wow, wow wow! You can't go wrong with walnut, it's one of my favorites as well.

I have a great interest in turning- it was the reason I got my SS in the first place. This really makes me want to get my SS restoration finished so that I can try my hand at this. I can only hope, with lots of practice, I'll be able to acheive something like this. The wood is stunning, looks like your cutting and placement (pardon me, I'm probably not using the correct language) of the blank was perfect as this piece really showcases and captures the wood's figure.

Thank you for sharing, it provides great inspiration!

P.s. would you have any recommendations for an interested beginner? I'm not sure if your self taught- but if that is the case, do you have any resources you could point to that helped? Perhaps a website, YouTube video, or book you found helpful? If not, no worries- just thought it'd be worth asking as it appears you've got this turning thing down to a science! Thanks in advance for your consideration.

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266556 by Hobbyman2 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:45 pm

Very nice!!

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Hobbyman2 Favorite Quote: "If a man does his best, what else is there?"
- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266564 by BuckeyeDennis » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:05 pm

Mjrinor wrote:Dennis,

This is absolutely gorgeous!!!! Wow, wow wow! You can't go wrong with walnut, it's one of my favorites as well.

I have a great interest in turning- it was the reason I got my SS in the first place. This really makes me want to get my SS restoration finished so that I can try my hand at this. I can only hope, with lots of practice, I'll be able to acheive something like this. The wood is stunning, looks like your cutting and placement (pardon me, I'm probably not using the correct language) of the blank was perfect as this piece really showcases and captures the wood's figure.

Thank you for sharing, it provides great inspiration!

P.s. would you have any recommendations for an interested beginner? I'm not sure if your self taught- but if that is the case, do you have any resources you could point to that helped? Perhaps a website, YouTube video, or book you found helpful? If not, no worries- just thought it'd be worth asking as it appears you've got this turning thing down to a science! Thanks in advance for your consideration.


Thanks for the compliments! But once you see what true expert turners can do, you'll recognize me for the novice that I am. :)

I am indeed self-taught. Or more accurately, I've been taught by a random assortment of YouTube videos and turning blogs. But I just recently discovered two great sites, each with loads of expert turning information. Check 'em out:
https://turnawoodbowl.com/
https://www.docgreenwoodturner.com/

The experienced turners here usually recommend joining a turning club if you really want to become proficient. I haven't done that yet, but hope to someday.

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266565 by john » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:13 pm

I echo all the previous posts, Beautiful, Gorgeous, Walnut is great, etc.

Great Job!

I only wish I could "turn" out something like that.

John

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Re: Walnut-crotch bowl

#266578 by algale » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:00 pm

Wow, Dennis, that's beautiful!

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Gale's Law: The bigger the woodworking project, the less the mistakes show in any photo taken far enough away to show the entire project!

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