Today I had the good fortune of cutting up a bunch of American Tulip Tree bowl blanks. Called various things around here, such as Tulip Poplar, Tulipwood, Tulip Maple, this is supposed to be some good bowl turning material. It’s really a Magnolia family tree – I think the biggest of the Magnolias, and it ‘s called Liriodendron tulipfera. I’ve really admired these trees when I’ve come across them around town for the past few years.
I saw a craiglist post on the wood last week, didn’t get there til today, but I sure was pleased to see four very large rounds that were too heavy to be taken by the firewood hoarders (I’m one of them – just not at present). Unfortunately, the rounds were only 16-17” in length, but 29-30” in diameter! I would have liked to have them 20” or so long, just for the added insurance of getting big bowl blanks out of these. I don’t think these are going to chuck up all that well on my Jet mini lathe! But, by the time these are stable and ready to turn, I should have that bigger lathe – which one though? That’s another story. Back to the WOOD!
Here’s the truck back at home with the booty, half waxed – I think I got ten or so blanks, some of which I may divide into smaller blanks (after I took this shot, I peeled the bark off all the blanks in the process):
This chunk here is 16”x 27” – so I figure this will make a nice all heartwood bowl:
If you haven’t seen the leaves and flowers of this tree, they’re real interesting!
Here’s more info on Tulipwood, should you be interested:
-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA