Wavy White Oak Bowl

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Project by PetVet posted 08-03-2009 12:45 AM 2807 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I really liked the grain on this blank, and being a newbie to turning, bought it and brought it home. Little did I know that white oak is right below tungsten carbide on the hardness scale… At any rate, I got it turned and made my first attempt at inlay with glitter and super glue. Thanks to Trifern for sharing his aniline dye technique!

Wavy White Oak
Aniline dyes: black, sanded, yellow, sanded, then mahogany on the outside.
Friction finish
Size: 4” X 10”

Constructive criticism is always greatly appreciated. I need help from those of you with more experience if I am ever going to learn. Thanks!

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 08-03-2009 12:47 AM

Hey Rich
That’s super wood and beautiful bowl

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View lew's profile


12099 posts in 3777 days

#2 posted 08-03-2009 01:41 AM


This turned out really great!!

I admire you for having the courage to try the dyes and inlays. I feel happy when I get the ridges sanded out.


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

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3435 days

#3 posted 08-03-2009 01:48 AM

Rich another great looking project.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View David65's profile


190 posts in 3307 days

#4 posted 08-03-2009 01:57 AM

Very nice work I like the grain patern and dye.

-- David '65

View Alan 's profile


51 posts in 3939 days

#5 posted 08-03-2009 05:08 AM

Nice job. I like the shape and flow of the design and the wood has a nice grain and color to it.

I’m not sure where the analine dyes came into play. On the outside? I hope you don’t mind a couple of suggestions. Maybe do a little more sanding on the inside. I noticed some lines that look like sanding marks. You might be able to sand those out by hand with the lathe off. I’m still pretty new to turning and one thing I’ve learned is that you can’t always get the sanding marks out with the piece turning on the lathe. I’ve spent hours, days, weeks (no, not really) trying to get sanding marks out with the lathe running, and sometimes all it takes is to take it off the lathe and hand sand it. Don’t expect the the lathe to take care of all the sanding for you. It’s a finesse thing that can be very frustrating, especially to beginners like us. Time and experience will show the best way to do it.

Also, when you photograph things, leave more space around them so you can really see them. Except for detail shots, it really helps to be able to see the whole piece with some air around it. Photograph your main or “money” shot with the piece at its most flattering angle, one that shows off its features to its best advantage. Then you can show some of the details in tighter shots. It’s also better if you can use a very simple, plain backgorund, like a curved piece of photo backdrop paper. It’ll make your piece the center of attention without any distracting textural stuff going on in the background.

Keep up the good work and let’s see more.

-- Alan Carter,

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3452 days

#6 posted 08-03-2009 07:52 AM

Very nice turning. Love the grain. Have also learned that white oak is like rock. Have a couple of more pieces I got to practice on. ( worng choice to practice! )

Very nice. Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3509 days

#7 posted 08-03-2009 03:21 PM

Alan, thanks for the suggestions. I need to spend more time sanding, and will try your suggestion of turning the lathe off to do it. I also think I am going to invest in a clip on light to better see the small ridges that are left.

The dye process is the one described by Trifern that he uses on his turnings. I used a water based black dye first, and then sand fairly aggressively. This leaves the dye in the grain only. Then I did a yellow dye, but didn’t sand very much afterwords. Just enough to get rid of any raised grain. Finally on the outside I did a mahogany stain, again followed by a light sanding. It really gives the wood almost a hologram effect. It changes color as you turn the piece. Pretty neat.

Again, thanks for your help.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4001 days

#8 posted 08-03-2009 04:41 PM

All I can say is WOW!

That is a beautiful bowl.

Fantastic job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Jesse's profile


66 posts in 3240 days

#9 posted 08-03-2009 07:32 PM

The finish is amazing, I would not have guessed that it was Whtie Oak.

How do you apply the dye, is it sprayed or hand applied?

-- Jesse, Hopewell Jct., NY

View redalan's profile


10 posts in 3252 days

#10 posted 08-03-2009 10:01 PM

great job on the bowl I 2 need towork on my photo taking skills as for the sanding try a power sander u can get them at woodturner catalog 30.00 bucks 4 the kit (including shipping) it will help u more than u know

-- Southernboy woodworks

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3509 days

#11 posted 08-03-2009 10:29 PM

Jesse, I have the dye already mixed up and in bottles. I just put a small amount on a paper towel and run the lathe at slow speed. I get it thoroughly saturated, and then use a piece of grocery bag to “burnish” it dry. Then I sand. It is amazing how quickly it will dry with the heat generated by the bag, and gives a fairly smooth surface. Don’t burn your fingers though!

Southernboy, thanks for the link. I am all about power sanding :)

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3845 days

#12 posted 08-04-2009 02:10 AM

Just a very attractive turn. The shape and rich color is eye candy. Nice work and thank for posting. Blkcherry

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4268 days

#13 posted 08-04-2009 05:00 PM

Beautiful turning, much better use of dyes than my first try. You did a remarkable job. Kudos.

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

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