A bowl out of Flame Box Elder

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Project by teenagewoodworker posted 12-24-2008 06:12 AM 3399 views 3 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey Guys, here is a turning I did out of flame box elder about a week ago. i really like it and i think that it came out great. i love the grain on it and the pictures don’t do it justice. I got the Blank from Kevin at Texas Timbers. and i would really recommend checking them out if you are a turner. i had it drying a bit around the shop for about 4 months so i decided to turn it. it is a beautiful wood but make sure to keep your tools sharp because it is very hard. especially when you are on the end grain you can get in a mess real fast. other than that it was really fun to turn and i am proud of how it came out.

31 comments so far

View Karson's profile


34984 posts in 3435 days

#1 posted 12-24-2008 06:19 AM

Great looking bowl. i’m going to have to find some of that wood.

It looks like it has the ambrosia beetle holes also. A great feature.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Robert Smith's profile

Robert Smith

102 posts in 2955 days

#2 posted 12-24-2008 06:23 AM

Great work,real nice grain.

-- Robert,

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 2757 days

#3 posted 12-24-2008 06:24 AM

Nice turning…and nice choice of wood too.

-- Martin, Kansas

View lew's profile (online now)


10610 posts in 2789 days

#4 posted 12-24-2008 06:39 AM

Great Bowl, Denis!

It looks like you got the walls really thin! That gives it a very light look.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2707 days

#5 posted 12-24-2008 07:06 AM

Nice Bowl, Denis!

View mmh's profile


3645 posts in 2756 days

#6 posted 12-24-2008 07:58 AM

That’s quite beautiful! I love the reds and yellows. Very impressive.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13978 posts in 3017 days

#7 posted 12-24-2008 03:02 PM

beautiful work.

will the color hold or will it darken over time?

the reds and browns are awesome.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View mikega's profile


81 posts in 2902 days

#8 posted 12-24-2008 03:20 PM

Very nice Denis! That’s some really nice box elder and your form looks great.

-- Mike

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

423 posts in 2732 days

#9 posted 12-24-2008 03:27 PM

Beautiful, this has a lot of character.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2802 days

#10 posted 12-24-2008 03:51 PM

THanks everyone!

Dan, I’m not sure how the color will hold. this is my first time turning box elder. so i guess i’ll just have to wait and see.

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 2972 days

#11 posted 12-24-2008 04:11 PM

Good looking bowl.

BTW- The color will hold pretty well ( a few years at least) if you keep it out of direct sunlight. If it is in sunlight, it will fade to a brownish red.

-- Steven

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2909 days

#12 posted 12-24-2008 05:53 PM

That sure is a beauty. Nice work young man!

View pat's profile


123 posts in 2750 days

#13 posted 12-24-2008 05:54 PM

sweet bowl Denny.

-- check out my amazing woodburning , Pat

View TexasTimbers's profile


67 posts in 2849 days

#14 posted 12-24-2008 06:02 PM

Excellent job Denis. You might tinker with your photo-taking a bit haha but the turning came out wonderful.

There are some things you can do to sort of “stabilize” the wood at home without sending it off to be chemically stabilized professionally. That is expensive.

One thing you can do is apply Klean Strip two part bleach prior to applying the finish. This is going to lighten the sapwood dramatically, but it will not bleach out the reds and pinks – in fact it will enhance them somewhat. Although it is a “poorman’s” way to stabilize the colors, the stuff is not cheap. You can however buy it in small quantities, and it goes a looooong way. I think the part number is WB-19

You do still have to keep it out of direct sunlight. Be forewarned though, if you do not want to change the natural cream colors of the sapwood, and possibly, partially lose some of the deeper richer reds, do not use the bleach kit.

I have used the bleach many times on our flame box elder and some hues react differently than others. The differences can be subtle or fairly dramatic. Many variables are in play just to name a few such as MC, density, degree of color intensity prior to treatment, the particular log itself, the part of the log the piece came from (quarter sawn, rift, plain), end grain vs long etc., ad infinitum. As with everything, experiment on a scrap piece with whatever product/process you are considering using on something.

Also note that, if you ever use the bleach on a project and end up not liking it, since it only penetrates to a shallow depth (which is also why you do not apply the bleach prior to sanding) you can always re-sand the wood, or for a turning just chuck it up again and turn a hair off and re-apply the fininsh.

Again you did a beautiful job. I would like to have some better photos if you ever get around to it, to put up on our Customer Projects page whenever we get the new site up.

Is the finish mineral oil?

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2802 days

#15 posted 12-24-2008 07:17 PM

the finish is just regular Arm R Seal. makes for a really nice smooth finish.

lew. thanks i like the thinner walls too. i think mine here are somewhere in between 3/16ths and 1/8” its really cool to pick it up too. its so light.

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