My first natural edge bowl

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Project by Steffen posted 06-22-2007 10:47 PM 3163 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started this project about 3 months ago. I rough turned it from a log I picked up from one of my insurance wind claims (I can’t wait until the next windy season). I don’t know what kind of wood it is and neither did my insured (any suggestions?).

I rough turned two blanks but one of them I cut a little too close to the heart wood and it split at the bottom. This one was free of splits and I through it on the lathe and this was the result. This wood took finish in a weird way. The finish seemed to create a little gray-black marks on the fairly light colored wood. I don’t know if the color was already there and the finish enhanced it or what. As you can see there is a lot of dark grain in the wood.

These bowls are fun but you sure hold your breath a lot when you get out to the edge.

ps. The very first bowl I ever turned is in the upper left corner of the photos.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

17 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3130 days

#1 posted 06-22-2007 10:58 PM

Did you cut the log before turning to get that shape? Or did you do it while turning in some kind of way? It really looks very professionally done. Was the wood green when you turned it or had it been drying? I guess it was green since it split on you. If green, you may want to try soaking it in dishwashing liquid and water for a while before trying to dry completely. You’ll have less spliting problems.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 2856 days

#2 posted 06-22-2007 11:04 PM

Nice bowl!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 2855 days

#3 posted 06-22-2007 11:08 PM

Thanks for the drying tip. I cut the small log in half on my band saw and then cut it lenghwise to make the dimensions as even as possible. I did rough turn it green and then wrapped it in newspaper and placed it in a paper bag on the shelf of my shop for 3 months. I think the other blank cracked because there was too much heart wood in the middle of the bowl and I was experimenting with wrapping one blank in newspaper and the other in cloth rags (cloth rag blank split).

It’s amazing how well blanks dry with newspaper wrapped around them. If you remember the lidded bowl i did out of Ambrosia Maple…it was a very wet blank which I rough turned and then wrapped in paper. It was dry in about a month.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2980 days

#4 posted 06-23-2007 12:11 AM

L-O-V-E it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 2816 days

#5 posted 06-23-2007 12:29 AM

That’s awesome for a first natural edge bowl; it has that “bird-beak” style. I have yet to turn a natural edge bowl, though definitely have an interest in it! Don’t know what kind of wood that is, but re: the color…someone once told me that you have to cut Holly open at the right time of the year (growing season) to get that pure white wood that Holly is known for (inlay stock), otherwise it’ll turn gray when you open it up. It must “oxidize” in some strange way? That could be what’s going on here?

I love windstorms…fall and winter is my favorite time of year!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2905 days

#6 posted 06-23-2007 12:30 AM

Very nice….on my list of things to do some day.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3146 days

#7 posted 06-23-2007 12:50 AM


-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Napaman's profile


5379 posts in 2896 days

#8 posted 06-23-2007 01:40 AM

Very cool…LJ—Tony just wrote a blog called “Tree Cutting” where he used this link to research the type of wood he had since he received some free fallen wood—-he may have some tips on how to research this…but here is the link he gave in his blog:

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Napaman's profile


5379 posts in 2896 days

#9 posted 06-23-2007 01:41 AM

woops…that is actually the link straight to his blog…either way you will find his link there…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 2855 days

#10 posted 06-23-2007 02:29 AM

Thanks for the tip Matt. We’ll have to hook up for some coffee after I move up there…

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 2816 days

#11 posted 06-23-2007 03:09 AM

It may be hard to i.d. without having a sample of the leaves…though you could examine it’s cellular structure on the end grain to pin it down! Your local library may have a copy of THIS

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 2855 days

#12 posted 06-23-2007 03:15 AM

Thanks for the tip…maybe I’ll take a picture of one of the other logs I have and post it.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 2816 days

#13 posted 06-23-2007 03:17 AM

do it! that’s a good idea too!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3066 days

#14 posted 06-23-2007 06:47 AM

I’ve been turning for some time now and have yet to come close to anything that good Steffen. Have you ever seen any of Steffen Hatchers work. Truely amazing. So is your bowl. Very nice, wish I could watch you make it. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 3025 days

#15 posted 06-23-2007 12:24 PM

Hi Steffen;
—-I really love these live edge bowls and you seem to be doing a great interpretation with them according to the wood!

Also I will give you a great link here that I use sometimes for understanding the cellular makeup of wood. A Common Name Index to American Woods by Romeyn B. Hough or you can also try here and there are 14 volumes here at the site; Romeyn B. Hough's American Woods, Volume I .

I like this site as it shows the different views of the wood in ’transverse section’, ’radial section’ and ’tangential section’ which allows me to do three cuts on a piece of wood that I am looking to identify.

Thanks for sharing your work with us!

-- --frank, NH,

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