Spalted Bowls and a question

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Project by RootandBranch posted 10-13-2015 12:51 AM 598 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I got this log. Was a floater in a lake, bro in law found it on the bank and brought it to me. Dry as heck when I got it and it’s been sitting for a year or so. Cut it up this past weekend and jackpot!. Spalted as all get out. So I cut it into blanks and turned a couple. Punky as heck and turned easy as chucking up styrofoam. I plan to use them as nut/candy bowls.

Question is, how would you finish them? Thanks

-- Don, -

8 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


5067 posts in 1465 days

#1 posted 10-13-2015 02:01 AM

Nice bowls and a great find. Personally my first two choices would be lacquer or shellac.

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

View JADobson's profile


657 posts in 1533 days

#2 posted 10-13-2015 03:58 PM

+1 for shellac.

-- James

View DCooksey's profile


35 posts in 518 days

#3 posted 10-13-2015 05:27 PM

My experience is that lacquer will maintain the lightness of the wood better than clear shellac, but either would work.

Great find. That reminds me…I saw a tree down in a nearby kettle. Hmmmm…...

-- There are rarely any mistakes made in turning, but there are a lot of on-the-fly design modifications!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7717 posts in 1802 days

#4 posted 10-14-2015 06:03 AM

Nice looking bowls. I’ve had mixed luck with spalted blanks, some fly off the lathe, too crumbly.


View RootandBranch's profile


240 posts in 526 days

#5 posted 10-14-2015 01:34 PM

Rick, These were pretty soft. My chuck wanted to chew up the tenon so I soaked it in CA glue and spun things really slow. The pucker factor was high until they got round.

-- Don, -

View parkprimus's profile


93 posts in 543 days

#6 posted 10-14-2015 02:31 PM

I am a fan of shellac and lac as well.

View oldnovice's profile


5655 posts in 2790 days

#7 posted 10-14-2015 03:41 PM

I am not going to chime in on the finishing just add the fact that these are good looking bowls. The spalting is outstanding!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1698 posts in 485 days

#8 posted 10-14-2015 05:56 PM

“These were pretty soft. My chuck wanted to chew up the tenon so I soaked it in CA glue”... That’s the ticket. Yay. A plinth will twist right off if you get a catch, otherwise.
As to finishing: I would Shellac/Sandpaper/Shellac/Sandpaper, on and on, intol the fibers are good and firm. Or, I’d give it a good BLO soaking (serves the same purpose). I understand Tung Oil, repeated repeatedly has a good buiild-up to the same end. Tung will darken it more than BLO. In any case, toughen it up, then shine it up. Encase it in either Shellac, WOP, Lacquer. Best advice is to type “Spalted Maple Bowls” into the search box here on LJs, and learn from you Buddies. Some of them are pretty good at this stuff. There are so many ways to finish a Thing. You just need to find something you like. I’m still flopping around, trying to find the “right way”. (Note: Lacquer has been outlawed in my state. So, I haven’t tried that.)
They’re lovely bowls.

-- Mark

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