From Firewood to Beauty

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Project by poospleasures posted 09-03-2014 11:31 PM 1949 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


1635 posts in 1554 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 - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View doubleDD's profile


7216 posts in 1975 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


14940 posts in 2621 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 2224 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

4139 posts in 2493 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


166 posts in 3163 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


2135 posts in 3702 days

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

Very nice looking turning, good job.

-- Tom D

View michelletwo's profile


2717 posts in 2947 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 1902 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


3535 posts in 2349 days

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

beautiful work.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View helluvawreck's profile


30485 posts in 2798 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 1743 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


3995 posts in 1824 days

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

That looks great. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Roger's profile


20916 posts in 2735 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 1651 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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