Bud Vase from Chinese Elm

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Project by Cliff posted 09-26-2015 02:59 AM 724 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a very rough looking stumpy bit of Chinese Elm from my Neighbours tree which was cut down a couple of years ago. Something told me to Rough it down and see if it was worthwhile attempting to create a Turning from it. At first I had great visions of trying to be artistic and hopefully making the splits, lumps and bumps, voids into something attractive…..alas!!!!! The more I Roughed it down the worse the inside of the wood was. I am, sure that an experienced Turner could have brought the good features more to view than a novice such as myself. However, the end result is a small Bud Vase.

7 inches tall (18 cm ) 3 inches (7.5cm) across the Base 1 3/4 (4.2cm) across the top of the lip.
Six Coats of Danish Oil was applied with a piece of cloth (bits of and old Tee Shirt cut up) Sanded between the first three coats very lightly with a fairly fine sand paper.

One very important lesson that I learned was…..Not only was I glad to b e wearing a full face guard, but next time the loose bark will be removed first. It was quite scary when the chunks of bark dislodged and went flying and whistling around the shop banging into the walls.

It was a fun project and kept me off the streets. Thank you for looking and Kind regards to all LumberJocks.


-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

11 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


1777 posts in 1682 days

#1 posted 09-26-2015 04:19 AM

I think it is neat and will beautifully display 1 to 2 roses! Any color will do.

-- just rjR

View doubleDD's profile


5044 posts in 1459 days

#2 posted 09-26-2015 04:45 AM

Turned out really cool Cliff. I don’t see any cracks in it unless you filled them. I noticed the top has a burnt look to it, did you torch it? I would have to say you brought out a lot of the character in that piece. I agree, when taking off any bark , it’s a good idea to wear a mask. That stuff goes everywhere.

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

View Cliff 's profile


854 posts in 1140 days

#3 posted 09-26-2015 05:11 AM

Hi ralbuck. Thank you for your nice comments,



Dave, thank you. There is still a small crack up near the lip. Might be hard to see in the photo. No didn’t use any filler and the burnt look would I think be due to the dark colouring in the wood. Thank you for the nice comments, much appreciated.

Kind regards,


-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View CFrye's profile


8548 posts in 1256 days

#4 posted 09-26-2015 10:24 AM

Don’t sell yourself short, Cliff. You brought out the amazing grain in that piece! I’m interested, what method would you use to remove the bark? Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Cliff 's profile


854 posts in 1140 days

#5 posted 09-26-2015 11:19 AM

Hi Candy. Yes the Chinese Elm does have a very nice grain. Well the Bark was really quite easy to remove because the logs had been sitting on my wood rack for a couple of years and the climate where I live in Queensland Australia is Sub Tropical and I think this was why the Bark was actually starting to come away from the trunk of the logs as it was drying out naturally. So when the bark started exploding while I was Roughing down I realized that I could remove it with the Lathe turned off and the wood held between Centres, it was a piece of cake to just tap it away with and old screwdriver and a light hammer. I don’t think all wood bark would be that easy to remove as some barks seem to be glued on don’t they. But for the safety factor I certainly learned a good lesson.
Looking forward to seeing more of your projects. Kind regards,


-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2259 posts in 3100 days

#6 posted 09-26-2015 12:10 PM

That is real nice Cliff, sure has great grain and you finished if off well. Great way to learn a lesson Cliff is trying to dodge the shrapnel that flies around. Your getting skilled on the lathe now mate.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16763 posts in 2522 days

#7 posted 09-26-2015 12:16 PM

Beautiful base, cliff. that grain is a real eye catcher. You never know what is in a piece of wood until you get into it!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View hairy's profile


2374 posts in 2948 days

#8 posted 09-26-2015 04:39 PM

Nice work,Cliff!! You certainly get some interesting wood down under. Keep up the fun, and stay off the streets!

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2283 days

#9 posted 09-26-2015 08:13 PM

This is a beautiful piece. Nice work.

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 Cliff 's profile


854 posts in 1140 days

#10 posted 09-26-2015 11:11 PM

G’day Bob. Thank you for your comments, much appreciated. Yes it is surprising the grain patterns in the Chinese Elms. I would have thought they would have had a milky white colour. There are still have a few small logs left from when my Neighbour cut their Elms down. I will have to have a good think at what projects could be attempted with them… is your gardening going???.....I recall you mentioning that you may need to trim some branches from the Elms in your yard. A good way to combine Gardening and Woodwork Ha, ha.
Thank you Mate. Kind regards,


G’day Jim. Thank you for your nice comments. I now understand what woodworkers mean when they find some nice grain/pattern when they delve right into a piece of wood. Thanks Mate.

Kind regards,


Hairy, Thank you. Your comments are always encouraging and appreciated…..I will take your advice and stay off the streets.
Kind regards,


-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Cliff 's profile


854 posts in 1140 days

#11 posted 09-27-2015 01:23 AM

Charles. Thank you for your nice comments and your encouragement.

Kind regards,


-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

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