Mystery Bowl

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Project by CharlieM1958 posted 1553 days ago 1451 views 1 time favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, it’s a mystery to me anyway.

I got this blank in a “grab bag” on eBay, and I can’t really identify the wood. The rim is maple, of course, but I’m not sure about the rest. It’s a fairly hard and heavy wood. Any guesses?

The finish is BLO, wipe-on poly, and finally a buff with rottenstone paste on the lathe.

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

39 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2273 days

#1 posted 1553 days ago

looks awesome.

I think it’s a part of the beautiwood specie or the sandduneswood

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14721 posts in 2300 days

#2 posted 1553 days ago

Nice looking bowl Charlie. I have a lot of that stuff. It is known as mystery wood. You have it ID correctly :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View SPalm's profile


4783 posts in 2506 days

#3 posted 1553 days ago

Very nice. That finish is really sparkly.

I have no idea on the species. Nice photos although.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1057 posts in 1833 days

#4 posted 1553 days ago

It’s a winner, Charlie! ;)

Maple and mystery wood is a great combination. You got a great finish on there, too. Don’t you love doing your sanding and finishing on the lathe?

View CharlieM1958's profile


15683 posts in 2843 days

#5 posted 1553 days ago

Yeah, it’s a pleasure when you can let the lathe do all the work. :-)

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

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 2790 days

#6 posted 1553 days ago

Nice one Charlie! I don’t see the remnants of any square corners anywhere! Nice looking finish also! It appears to be Osage Orange to me—-the mystery wood that is. Keep on keeping on

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View j_olsen's profile


155 posts in 1796 days

#7 posted 1553 days ago

Charlie step away from the dark side!!!! LOL
boxes – good
Lathe – bad

Kiddiing aside that is a beautiful turning—well done—I hope that when I start turning mine turn out half as good

-- Jeff - Bell Buckle, TN

View CharlieM1958's profile


15683 posts in 2843 days

#8 posted 1553 days ago

Jeff…Don’t worry, I’ve got two boxes in progress right now.

Ken, you may be right. I’ve never worked with Osage orange, but it does look a lot like photos I’ve seen of it.

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

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2654 posts in 2151 days

#9 posted 1553 days ago

A beautiful bowl Charlie, great wood combo! (whatever the bottom wood is)

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 2393 days

#10 posted 1553 days ago

very nice. i’ve turned a good amount of osage orange and it doesnt look like that, i would say either cherry or chump cherry

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12909 posts in 2607 days

#11 posted 1553 days ago

hardwood is probably a good guess… I like your workmanship

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Bearpie's profile


2586 posts in 1642 days

#12 posted 1552 days ago

Charlie, If no one comes up with identification just call it eBay wood for lack of better name! ;-) Wish i knew what it was and wish I could identify the wood I posted as unknown wood some time ago. Good luck in finding out what it is, it’s lovely wood.

Erwin Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Kristoffer's profile


670 posts in 1840 days

#13 posted 1552 days ago

Are you sure that it’s not American sycamore? Whatever it is, it’s beautiful and you’ve done great job working with it.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 2423 days

#14 posted 1552 days ago

Wow, you get something like this in a grab bag? How much? It is very pretty, no matter what mystery wood it is. LOL!!!!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View CharlieM1958's profile


15683 posts in 2843 days

#15 posted 1552 days ago

Allison, I got 8 blanks, 6” x 6” x 3”, for roughly $5 apiece, including shipping.

I went back and checked the auction, and the blanks were supposed to be walnut, beech, sassafras, and black cherry…. so this has got to be black cherry. They came sealed with quite a bit of wax on them, so they all look alike until you start cutting on them.

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

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