From Firewood to Beauty

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Project by poospleasures posted 09-03-2014 11:31 PM 1690 views 3 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend came by the other day and gave me some pieces of fire wood from his neighbors firewood pile. I’m not the most experienced turner and this was a real b——to do. I learned a lot of things with this project. This stuff was very punky and very difficult to get a smooth cut with even my best sharpened gouges. I had not used a skew the way you are supposed to but I had to learn as this was the only way to get a smooth cut on the outside. As for the inside I drilled some of it out and used a round nose scraper for the rest. Between sessions I loaded the rough chipped-out inside of the body, the lid and their outside edges with some old water base poly. This seemed to harden it a bit and after about three soakings it seemed to be stabilized somewhat and did quit chipping. After sanding a bunch it came out a lot better than I thought. The finial and the base are walnut dyed with black shoe dye. Hard to see the wood burned name and number in the black. All was finished with three coats of shellac. Thanks for looking. Comments if you like or dislike.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

17 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


1115 posts in 1039 days

#1 posted 09-03-2014 11:43 PM

Vernon, is that spalted maple ? The chunks look real nice but the cups are really nice. I’m guessing these are that project you mentioned – tthey look great.
I still haven’t found out what kind of wood I’m using

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - Your imagination is your only holdup

View doubleDD's profile


5049 posts in 1460 days

#2 posted 09-03-2014 11:55 PM

Great job Vernon. I dig the finial handle. I had some logs very similar to that. Next time use some sanding or lacquer sealer to harden it up. It works great.

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

View gfadvm's profile


14925 posts in 2107 days

#3 posted 09-03-2014 11:55 PM

Beautiful job!
That looks like spalted hackberry but could be maple. The grain is more ‘interlocked’ in hackberry, whereas maple is more straight grained.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1709 days

#4 posted 09-04-2014 12:27 AM

Whatever it is, it is very attractive—nice turning.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3538 posts in 1978 days

#5 posted 09-04-2014 12:40 AM

You did a swell job and it is a fantastic piece of wood.

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View DonDA's profile


143 posts in 2648 days

#6 posted 09-04-2014 01:33 AM

I have an old chunk of spalted maple that I’ve been looking at to figure out what to do with it. I think I just found a possibility. WHAT A GREAT JOB. Your results are spectacular. Having done a couple of projects with spalted maple, I empathize with your problems of getting a good finish.

-- Don, Saginaw Mi

View tomd's profile


2019 posts in 3187 days

#7 posted 09-04-2014 04:52 AM

Very nice looking turning, good job.

-- Tom D

View michelletwo's profile


2586 posts in 2433 days

#8 posted 09-04-2014 11:03 AM

super job on that punky wood. I use shellac to stiffen the fibers for turning. I prefer shellac to lacquer as lacquer fumes are toxic, and shellac is not

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 1387 days

#9 posted 09-04-2014 12:26 PM

Well done on this one that’s for sure!!!

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View Woodbridge's profile


3451 posts in 1835 days

#10 posted 09-04-2014 12:46 PM

beautiful work.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2284 days

#11 posted 09-04-2014 01:41 PM

This is absolutely beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View papajon's profile


54 posts in 1229 days

#12 posted 09-04-2014 02:04 PM

It looks almost identical to a couple of pieces of spalted hackberry I have drying in the shed.
Your finished product looks great!

View hoss12992's profile


3809 posts in 1310 days

#13 posted 09-04-2014 10:42 PM

That looks great. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Roger's profile


19706 posts in 2221 days

#14 posted 09-05-2014 11:46 AM

Wow! Nice save from the depths of fire. Tis a beauty!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 1137 days

#15 posted 09-05-2014 02:35 PM

I’m glad I came across this project. It is beautiful. Even more so, I have a bunch of Spalted Maple that I’m using for parts of my teardrop camper interior. I haven’t worked with it yet. Good to see how others manage it.

-- Marty, Ohio

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