Ambrosia Maple Bowl

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Project by PetVet posted 08-26-2009 05:41 PM 3302 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife has already absconded this bowl to put potpourri in so no inside shots.
Turned out of an 8 inch square by 4 inch high ambrosia maple blank that I glued some lacewood on as a cap. Turned fairly easily and I was pleased with the pattern that developed. Is this from a worm, as there were some worm holes in the blank?
Friction finish.
Critiques? I am wondering if I shouldn’t venture out to different finishes, but the friction finish is so easy.

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

19 comments so far

View taidsturning's profile


233 posts in 3418 days

#1 posted 08-26-2009 05:52 PM

Beautiful piece. The picture looks like the wood has taken on a slightly purple color. Is that correct or just an artifact of the photographic process ? I don’t blame your wife for grabbing it up as a decoration for the house.

I don’t know what you mean by Friction Finish. The piece looks great, the only reason to pick another would be to be more protective of the natual colors.

-- Bill Roberts -- Steal one idea it's called plagerism. Steal a bunch - it's called research

View Walnut_Weasel's profile


360 posts in 3245 days

#2 posted 08-26-2009 06:35 PM

Wow, this turned out great!

-- James -

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3779 days

#3 posted 08-26-2009 06:37 PM

Wow, Rich!

You are right about the grain pattern, it is beautiful. I really like the contrast between the Maple and the Lace wood.

Your friction finish, was it done by using the shavings from the turnings? I use this method and it really adds a sheen to the piece.


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

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3511 days

#4 posted 08-26-2009 06:54 PM

Sorry about the colors. The maple is actually natural colored, I took this with my blackberry and it couldn’t compensate for the blueish green walls.

The friction finish is what pen turners use. It is shellac with emulsified wax in it. You apply it with a cloth or paper towel and apply enough pressure to heat the wood. It is quick and can be combined with a base layer of pure shellac or BLO. Some even use CA under it. The big problem I have with this finish is that it is soft. It will probably be okay for a bowl sitting on a shelf, but I have noticed that pens that I have turned will loose their luster fairly quickly. I may try spraying lacquer while on the lathe.

Lew, I have never tried the shavings, will have to do that. I do burnish with a paper bag after sanding, which is supposed to be like 1200 grit paper?

Thanks for the kudos guys, still learning, but am having fewer items flying around the workshop!

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#5 posted 08-26-2009 07:21 PM

This one is a real beauty, Rich. Great job!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View toyguy's profile


1654 posts in 3861 days

#6 posted 08-26-2009 08:06 PM

Very nice bowl…...... I am envious.

As for the finish, I have use some friction finish, mostly on smaller sized items. For bowls I like good old wipe on poly, but I am no expert on finish…that’s for sure.

What does interest me, is what tools you used for hollowing? I have not done too much hollow work, but would really like to try a form like this. My hollowing is limited to a few boxes and goblets.. The tools I have right now just won’t go over the tool rest far enough to try a turning of this nature….. ????

Great Job !

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3511 days

#7 posted 08-26-2009 09:50 PM

Thanks Brian,
This isn’t truly a hollow form, just bowl shaped inside. I am in awe of the turners that can produce a true hollow form of uniform thickness. I am not there yet. I use a tool Sorby makes that is fairly long, the metal shaft of which is flat on one side. The working end has interchangeable scrappers that you can use. The main one used for turning the inside is about 1 inch long and 1/4” wide with a radius turned on the cutting edge. You use it as a scrapper, working from the middle out. I pre-drill to the proper depth before I start to hollow it out.

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

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3357 days

#8 posted 08-26-2009 10:04 PM

Beautiful bowl Rich and an outstanding shape. I almost always burnish with shavings on my turnings, it does a great job.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3222 days

#9 posted 08-26-2009 11:36 PM

I love the ambrosia, nice shape. I turn a lot of bowls and stuff, I really like to put a layer of mineral oil on after burnishing with the bag, this brings out the grain, then while still on the lathe I hold my hand against the wood for friction, this brings on a nice shine with the mineral oil, kind of speed dries it. Then when everything is off the lathe and finished, I like to use a blonde shellac for lighter woods and the garnet for darker woods, when I apply them I use an old ( clean) piece of sock or t-shirt. I put on vinyl gloves then I use the rag to apply a little mineral oil, then the sam rag to apply a 2# cut of shellac, rubbing it in until the shellac kind or starts resisting. Then when the whole peice is done, I let it dry, I fold up the rag stick it inside the gloves, this keeps it from drying and use it again. I do this up to 10 times occasionally sanding with 300 grit every 3 or 4 coats. This is a cheapy cheapy form of french polish that leaves a nice deep shine that is hard and protective, At the very end I sometimes put it on the buffing wheel.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3222 days

#10 posted 08-26-2009 11:39 PM

Sometimes I just use mineral oil and then Bees Wax, while it is still on the lathe. the beeswax is soft but very waterproof. It has a nice natural soft feel, I use it for bowls I think will be handeled frequently.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3511 days

#11 posted 08-27-2009 12:31 AM

Thanks Andrew, I will try that on my next bowl.

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

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3581 days

#12 posted 08-27-2009 12:38 AM

Great looking bowl. I love the design and the way it flows. Yes the holes are worm holes. The oil and mess from the worms is what forms the ambrosia. A lot of people also refer to this as wormy maple.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3454 days

#13 posted 08-27-2009 01:29 AM

Outstanding bowl. An insparation to all turners. That ambrosia maple has great charector and color.

I like the lacewood cap. It sets the piece off nicely. Haven’t tried that yet. Maybe soon.

Thank you for the finnish info. That will come in handy.

Keep up the great work.


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

View Broda's profile


313 posts in 3542 days

#14 posted 08-27-2009 03:48 AM

On my turnings I use 2 sorts of friction polishes. EEE Ultra Shine and Shellawax
the EEE is an abrasive wax that continues your sanding from 600 grit to 3-4000 grit. you use this first and then put on the shellawax which is like shellac but in a friction polish form which is so easy to put on, and it dry’s instantly and you only need 1 coat.
read a bit more about it here

This is australian so I’m not sure if you can get it in the US but I very highly reccomend it if you can get it

PS. I am not affiliated with Ubeat polishes in any way

-- BRODY. NSW AUSTRALIA -arguments with turnings are rarely productive-

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#15 posted 08-27-2009 03:51 AM

This is eye candy wow great bowl

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

showing 1 through 15 of 19 comments

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