Spalted Siberan Elm Bowl

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Project by Llarian posted 12-29-2009 06:36 AM 1915 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The beginnings of this bowl are referenced in my blog entry here:

I’m fairly happy with the form, which was the part I was least certain about going into it. The wood is gorgeous and I’d love to get my hands on more of it.

This was my first shot at turning green(ish) wood, and I clearly didn’t let it dry quite enough, there is a little warp in the edges. That said, the denatured alcohol soak method worked quite well overall. I did get a small crack near the base, but its fairly minor. The second bowl I used that method on has no warp, and I think the cracking in that one is due to not soaking long enough and not having even walls.

The finish is a gloss poly, which I’m still not sold on. Might go semi-gloss next time.

Since its one of my first “serious” efforts, its being given as a gift rather than going on Etsy or something. One of these days I’m sure I’ll make something I actually want to keep. But its so much more fun to make things for others.

(FWIW, I have a bandsaw now since I wrote that blog entry. It really does open up an additional world of turning)

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#1 posted 12-29-2009 06:42 AM

Beautiful nice job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3427 days

#2 posted 12-29-2009 07:02 AM

Outstanding turning in a great piece of wood. Great shape to the bowl. Love the grain in the wood.

Keep it up.


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

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3587 days

#3 posted 12-29-2009 08:04 AM

Great turning work. Beautiful wood grain.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View rdlaurance's profile


367 posts in 3343 days

#4 posted 12-29-2009 10:20 AM

Dylan, Love the color of the wood as well. Too bad you weren’t here in Sweden. Most of the elm trees here have already died or are in their last throes of death (diseased). There are literally hundreds of tons of these large trees standing dead and nude (spalting) over the whole landscape. I just filled my barn with the carcasses of nine big trees (30”+ diameter logs) last year, from our property. Future sculpture wood…. if it was cheap (but it’s not) I could send you some…..

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3195 days

#5 posted 12-29-2009 03:46 PM

Great job, would love to hear more about the denatured alcohol soaking process. I love the look of nicely finished elm, the interlocking grain is gorgeous, however very difficult to split.

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

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3071 days

#6 posted 12-29-2009 03:49 PM

Excellent job. The real beauty here is the wood itself. I often think that the job of a woodworker (especially a turner) is not to create beauty – but rather to reveal the beauty that is already present in the wood. You did that well.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 3603 days

#7 posted 12-29-2009 04:24 PM

Andrew: You can find some information here:

I’m trying it now with some truly green hornbeam I salvaged, so I’ll have a better report on what it’ll do in a couple weeks. I haven’t been able to completely avoid some cracking, but I’m also not convinced the cracks weren’t in the green blank as well.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

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