Weeping Willow Mortar and Pestle

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Project by JamesVavra posted 12-08-2009 06:08 AM 2615 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mortar and Pestle in Weeping Willow (Salix Babylonica). The mortar is about 7” in diameter and 5” high. It will be a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law, who is a pharmacist.


8 comments so far

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3333 days

#1 posted 12-08-2009 06:21 AM

Fantastic turning. Love the color and grain. Nice shape, great design. I am sure she is going to love it.

Keep up the great work.


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

View a1Jim's profile


116900 posts in 3479 days

#2 posted 12-08-2009 06:21 AM

Looks great wonderful wood too.

-- Custom furniture

View LesB's profile (online now)


1543 posts in 3345 days

#3 posted 12-08-2009 07:46 AM

Nice job. The color is outstanding. I’m sure she will appreciate the give.
As a practical matter do you think the willow is a bit soft for actual crushing and muddling things together?
I have made some from harder fruitwoods like pear and apple that worked well.

-- Les B, Oregon

View stefang's profile


15784 posts in 3236 days

#4 posted 12-08-2009 11:42 AM

Fantastic wood grain and color. I haven’t seen willow turned before, but it looks amazing. Good turning and nicely proportioned. My daughter-in-law is a pharmacist too, but she is getting a breadbasket!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4063 days

#5 posted 12-08-2009 01:05 PM

absolutely stunning!

I love willow; I love willow; I love willow :D
the boxes that I made when I first started here were all from willow—it is such beautiful wood!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Roper's profile


1384 posts in 3615 days

#6 posted 12-08-2009 04:07 PM

ver nice, i love the colors, what kind of finish did you use?

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3218 days

#7 posted 12-08-2009 04:50 PM

Roper -
The finish is a pretty liberal soaking of minwax clear gloss lacquer cut with about 30% lacquer thinner. After drying, I take the shine off with some 1500 sandpaper and then hit it with a couple of coats of Johnson’s paste wax. The lacquer does not seem to darken the wood at all.

She collects mortar and pestles; I can’t imagine she’ll ever try to put it to practical use. But you’re right – it’s way too soft for that. I have another one in Bois D’Arc (maculara pomifera) that is going to my future brother-in-law (he’s graduating from pharmacy school this spring) that probably is hard enough to use but, again, it’s really just for show.

It’s pretty wood and I have a few large bowl blanks roughed out. A couple of them have some very nice curly grain that is just amazing.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3590 days

#8 posted 12-09-2009 03:07 PM

”The pestle is about 7” in diameter and 5” high”
WOW , that’s huge !! How big is the Mortar (bowl) ?
Very nice turnings and a great gift : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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