How an 11" bowl wound up as a 7" lidded box

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Blog entry by TheDane posted 07-26-2013 08:48 PM 1439 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our local turning club has a raffle every month where club members bring in wood, tools, etc. to be raffled off.

Last fall, I ‘won’ a large piece of ash that still had the bark on it but was already pretty dry. I Anchor-sealed it, put in the storage room, and checked the M/C every so often. It finally got down to about 9%, so I decided it was time to do something with it.

This blank was big enough to net out about an 11” bowl, but when I pulled it off the circle-cutting jig on my bandsaw, I noticed a kerf that had been cut diagonally into the bowl! I’m guessing it was a cutting error that was concealed by the bark, which maybe explains why it was donated to the raffle.

What to do? I considered trying to use CA or epoxy to close up the kerf, but the thought of a couple of pounds of ash flying through the air in the shop isn’t very appealing to me. Another idea was to widen the kerf and glue in a spline, but I couldn’t figure out how to cut such a kerf safely and clean enough to make a decent glue joint.

At last, I decided to do an angled cut with a parting tool along the same angle of the BS kerf and, effectively, take about half of the blank off.

When I got part way in, I hit a pocket of sap inside and a couple of small branch inclusions.

I cut in a good 2” with a diamond parting tool, then finished it with a hand saw.

I put a tenon on the bottom, turned it around, and spent some quality time hollowing it with a bowl gouge and my new John Jordon Hollowing Tool.

The grain was pretty coarse, so I got it as smooth as possible with the tool, then gave it a shot of sanding sealer. I let it dry overnight, but when I started sanding the next day, the paper was getting loaded up pretty bad, so I gave it another shot of sealer and put it on the shelf in my storage room to cure.

In the meantime, I turned a walnut lid and finial.

The whole thing is finished with a couple of coats of Mahoney’s Walnut Oil … in a few days, I will buff it out using the Beall Buffing System.

It isn’t the 11” bowl I had planned on, but nonetheless, I’m pretty happy with the result.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

7 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20743 posts in 3155 days

#1 posted 07-26-2013 09:31 PM

Nice job. Better to be safe than get hit with a piece of wood and take a chance on damaging the rest of the good wood!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View TheDane's profile


5459 posts in 3712 days

#2 posted 07-26-2013 10:21 PM

I did save the top section … a disk about 8” in diameter and just under 3/4” thick. It may become a lid a walnut bowl I have waiting to be turned.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3698 days

#3 posted 07-26-2013 10:34 PM

nice save

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TerryDowning's profile


1078 posts in 2167 days

#4 posted 07-26-2013 11:08 PM

Nice save and Nicely turned!!

-- - Terry

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10146 posts in 4102 days

#5 posted 07-27-2013 12:24 AM


I thought it was much smaller…. LOL

Very COOL…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View doubleDD's profile


7487 posts in 2092 days

#6 posted 07-27-2013 12:30 AM

I like it Gerry. The grain in the ash shows up nicely. Good save also. It could of ended up a pain in the ash. lol. Thanks for sharing.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2415 days

#7 posted 07-27-2013 01:42 AM

Great save. I love the contrasting wood and grain. Nice finale.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

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