Bowl made of mystery wood - any guesses?

  • Advertise with us
Project by Acts65Woodworks posted 05-17-2017 08:54 PM 1225 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found a local tree cutting service that leaves all the trees they cut down in a pile in front of their building for people to take for firewood. Most of the pieces are too big for me to do anything with since I don’t have a chainsaw but I managed to find some nice smaller pieces that I can cut down with a handsaw until it fits on my bandsaw.

This is my second attempt at turning a bowl. The wood had a punky spot that resulted in a large chunk flying off the lathe (fortunately I learned to stand off to the side from the many videos on Youtube). I really like the grain pattern and the variation in colors. Any idea what kind of wood it is?

Thanks for reading

-- Steven, California,,

7 comments so far

View richardchaos's profile


156 posts in 136 days

#1 posted 05-18-2017 12:42 AM


View EricTwice's profile


212 posts in 289 days

#2 posted 05-18-2017 12:59 AM

Might be a walnut, I’ve seen walnut with that kind of grain and color variations, I’m not that familiar with the woods of California

did it turn you black when the wet wood got on your skin?

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View ralbuck's profile (online now)


3416 posts in 2022 days

#3 posted 05-18-2017 03:19 AM

Just call it mystery wood and enjoy the beautiful bowl ANYWAY!

-- SAWDUST is THERAPY without a couch! just rjR

View LesB's profile


1284 posts in 3199 days

#4 posted 05-18-2017 05:07 PM

The wood looks like it came from the Acacia family. Probably Black Acacia which is common in Calif.
I have turned it before and it does have some striking colors. I found it very heavy, hard, and dense wood.

My step son who runs a small custom mill in the Santa Cruz, CA area has given me some boards he has cut from these trees. I haven’t come up with a project to make use of them yet.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Gary's profile


1244 posts in 4080 days

#5 posted 05-19-2017 01:06 PM

My first thought was Acacia.
Given your location, it’s a good possibility.

-- Gary, Florida

View Lazyman's profile


1200 posts in 1143 days

#6 posted 05-20-2017 12:24 AM

Nice bowl. I found some elm once that looked very much like that? The heartwood was very punky but once it dried, it made a beautiful bowl.

BTW, you can buy a cheap electric chainsaw for well under $100 and even cheaper at a garage sale or on craigslist. If you are going to use it at home anyway, it is a lot less trouble than a gas one and with that company’s wood pile you could be turning bowls nonstop.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View David's profile


74 posts in 1783 days

#7 posted 06-06-2017 12:12 AM

Might be Black Locust “Robinia pseudoacacia” If it had grown in a high mineral area (dried steam or river bed) it can be very dark. No matter what wood it is beautiful. Nice work!

-- "A man that works with his hands, knows his soul" " Have Fun, Go Fast, and Take Chances for Christ's Sake!!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics