Silver Maple Bowl .0015

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 01-12-2016 05:06 AM 1327 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s amazing how much difference a change in lighting makes. The 3rd. 4th, 5th, and 6th photos are the Thing in its true color. I just really dug the composition of the first two.
This is the first completed of two Bowls I rough-turned shortly after the trees were cut down. I did everything right. I stashed them away in a box of shavings, Then I got them out yesterday and found that they were both horribly oblong – this one, the worst-so. Thankfully, though, they weren’t cracked. So, I started with the other one by mounting it on my pin jaws, using the cutoff that was still in the 2” jaws from the Camphor bowl I just did. I needed something that would stand the bowl out away from the jaw face, so I opened up said cutoff to fit over the pin jaws. It worked well enough to turn an inny/outy and finish the bottom. (It was lovely.) Until it stopped working when the foot twisted off. Not to bother. It was an inny/outy, so, I expanded the chuck into the outy, and carried on. There was a flat side (still is) on the bowl. I had visions of going all egg-shell on it, creating a translucent opera window, of sorts, on the flat spot. I broke the window. Back in the box it went, and out came this one, which had no flat spot, and was, also, begging me to go all egg-shell on it. I did okay. I only opened it up in a couple places. I don’t mind. I did manage to get it quite thin, without rooeeening it. That was one of my two major objectives in doing this. The other was to get something that I could use to see just how pretty this Silver Maple (Live wood) could be.

I didn’t finish the inside or the bottom, considering my main objectives, the third of which was to get something “done” in a day or less.

Did I mention that I’d sharpened my tools? I did. They’re as close, now, to “scary sharp” as I’ve ever managed. Including my home-made hollowing tools and newly-reground fingernail gouge. What a striking difference! Now, I can say, with confidence, that I know how it is that other people make turning look so easy in the videos. A little grinding, a little diamond plate (about ten minutes per tool), and, voila!, I was making it look easy.

The best photos I got of the finish were while it was still on the lathe, and the sun shone.

And this is what I saw just after I put the SD card in the computer.


-- Mark

15 comments so far

View CFrye's profile


10490 posts in 2045 days

#1 posted 01-12-2016 05:20 AM

Very nicely turned, Mark! The lighting and composition on the first two images is artsy. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View lew's profile


12441 posts in 3960 days

#2 posted 01-12-2016 05:56 AM

The most beautiful sunsets and sunrises I’ve ever seen were off of the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Constellation in the waters near North Vietnam. It always seemed paradoxical to me- such beauty among such destruction.

I like turning maple. the close grain and color contrasts can make som beautiful turnings.

Nice work!

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

View BobWemm's profile


2559 posts in 2131 days

#3 posted 01-12-2016 07:24 AM

Pretty cool Mark.
Looks like really nice wood.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2301 posts in 1268 days

#4 posted 01-12-2016 07:24 AM

Thanks, Candy. That look surprised me, in a pleasurable way. It’s almost B&W, but, not quite.
Lew, I have about two tons of the stuff, and am itching to get at least one of my chainsaws working. I’ve started making a huge mess with Peach, now.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2301 posts in 1268 days

#5 posted 01-12-2016 07:27 AM

Thank you, Bob. Yes, it’s stunning. And, when I get a handle on the egg-shell turning thing, I plan to go to town with it.

-- Mark

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2597 posts in 3889 days

#6 posted 01-12-2016 07:36 AM

Very nice Mark but are you going to post two ton of Maple projects? I was just getting over the Fucis but well done, like the contrast in the pictures.
Hey Lew, agree with you, they were great sunsets up there, I was on HMAS HOBART and shadowed you guys a few times.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2283 days

#7 posted 01-12-2016 08:11 AM

Funky shape of the bowl; reminds me of some glass light shades hanging from the ceiling when I looked up before I put my head back, closed my eyes and slept in grade school. Probably explains why I don’t have a high paying job. Back to the bowl, that is some great looking maple with the spalting in it. I like turning maple, too. It just leaves a smooth finish if turned right and great détails, too.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2301 posts in 1268 days

#8 posted 01-12-2016 08:54 AM

Mip, there’s no spalting. The dark spots are knots. The tree was just cut down a few months ago, and hasn’t had time to fester. I have so much of it, though, that I don’t doubt that there’s likely some of that glorious natural occurrence in my future. Thanks.

-- Mark

View blue77's profile


140 posts in 1113 days

#9 posted 01-12-2016 09:54 AM

One day I’ll get my tools scary sharp… one day.
Cool looking bowl love the knots and color in it.

-- I make bowls and spoons.

View Tooch's profile


1823 posts in 2081 days

#10 posted 01-12-2016 10:18 AM

Nice work Mark. Its amazing how a finely sharpened tool can actually be safer to use than a dull one. Less effort to use means better technique = less accidents.

Nice looking bowl, too.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View jeffswildwood's profile


3610 posts in 2182 days

#11 posted 01-12-2016 02:49 PM

Mark, the bowl is beautiful! Thanks for posting this as right now I have 18 boards of silver maple curing at the lumber yard. The trees blew down this summer and I managed to get some cut. I hope my wood is as pretty as yours. Everyone said silver maple is not a pretty wood, you proved them wrong and I hope I do too.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3992 days

#12 posted 01-12-2016 03:10 PM

Excellent shape and media. That wood looks amazing. As advice (its free so take it or leave it) it seems to me that it might improve the piece by turning it around and removing the tenon on the bottom. You could also round over that sharp edge.

View John's profile


1310 posts in 1475 days

#13 posted 01-12-2016 08:36 PM

Beautiful bowl and sunset. Nice to see a different shape Mark. That is “scary thin”.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21748 posts in 3310 days

#14 posted 01-12-2016 11:34 PM

Nice unique design, Mark!!

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

View Grumpy's profile


24668 posts in 4056 days

#15 posted 01-13-2016 12:24 AM

Great choice of wood Mark.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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