Yellow Cedar Footed Bowl

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Project by BarbS posted 03-11-2011 08:30 PM 1538 views 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is Alaskan Yellow Cedar (thanks, Autumn) that is 10-1/2” in diameter and about 3” high. It caused me a lot of grief with tear-out and having to sand it for days, because it is such soft wood. Even my fingernails would put dents in it, and the sandpaper edges continually marked it and I had to back-track to re-sand and take care of it. The wood is absolutely glowing beautiful with oil on it, though, and worth the effort. I tried to put a light pecan stain on the inside for contrast to the outside, but changed my mind after (hah) and did my best to sand it out, so it is very lightly stained on the interior, then Beal-buffed and waxed. It’s about 1/4” thick at the widest wall point, and is rock steady on the table, ready for apples or anything else heavy. I love this wood; and, I hate this wood! It is difficult to work, but the warm glow when finished is a very warm, welcoming look. All comments welcome!


21 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4299 posts in 2849 days

#1 posted 03-11-2011 09:04 PM

you have done very well here Barbs, I love the form, it is different than your normal bowl variations
great “glow” to the timber :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View bobkberg's profile


439 posts in 3100 days

#2 posted 03-11-2011 09:59 PM

Yes, a beautiful piece of work. I understand your feelings about having a love/hate relationship with some stuff though.

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2686 days

#3 posted 03-11-2011 10:39 PM

You sure did get a nice finish for all your trouble. It is a lovely bowl. I like the beads on the rim.
I have the same love hate relationship with Cottonwood.

-- Barbara

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4112 days

#4 posted 03-11-2011 10:42 PM

Thanks, everyone. Those aren’t beads on the rim, but V-grooves with stain in them. I had too much flex and wobble on the rim to try for beads. The rim is thin because I had initially tried to put chatter work on that wide rim, but it was far too soft a wood for a chatter tool, so I had to cut it all back and sand again. This thing was a trial, but I wouldn’t give up!


View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2681 days

#5 posted 03-11-2011 10:45 PM

I really like the smooth finish with the perfect amount of sheen. Great job!

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2686 days

#6 posted 03-11-2011 10:46 PM

Well then, I like the grooves with the stain in them. :-)

-- Barbara

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4427 days

#7 posted 03-12-2011 12:36 AM

That is a fantastic looking bowl. A great creation.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3908 days

#8 posted 03-12-2011 01:13 AM

Hey Barb,
That is very nice. I really like it.

You and your chatter tool. Someday I will …...

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4006 days

#9 posted 03-12-2011 01:38 AM

Hey Barb;

I have to say you seem to be a natural at turning. This is really beautiful.

I like the ridges you put on the top.

Fantastic job!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4112 days

#10 posted 03-12-2011 03:45 AM

Thanks guys, I’m glad you like it.


View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#11 posted 03-12-2011 04:10 AM

Really spectacular , love the sheen and classic shape. Great job Barb

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3553 days

#12 posted 03-12-2011 04:42 AM

I really love the style you have put in this bowl! Looks great! I have used some very soft wood also and found that when I got to where I wanted to start my sanding I first put a coat of finish, (oil base), on the turning. It seems to harden the wood so I could continue without those finger nail marks, a sort stablizing. Again, I really like this bowl!

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

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2824 days

#13 posted 03-12-2011 04:51 AM

Barb, I share the love part of your relationship with Yellow Cedar, I could never hate it. It is one of the world’s great boat building timbers. I love the aroma, the oily sheen when it comes out of the planer, the top of the chart rot resistance and the amazing strength. I’m surprised that you found it soft. It may be that you got lower altitude material. The good Y.C. comes from 3000’ and up.

Enough of that. very nice bowl.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4112 days

#14 posted 03-12-2011 05:05 AM

Thanks, all. Paul, I keep hearing how other’s Yellow Cedar is harder, and I’m amazed. This stuff dents so easily it is fragile to handle when raw wood. Maybe the tree growth is the difference in what I’m hearing. And Kindling, thanks for the tip. Actually, after hearing you say that, I realized my later sanding, after the first oil layer, did go better than the first, before oiling. If I use more, I’ll do that, and hope for better results. Thanks.


View Vicki's profile


1099 posts in 3371 days

#15 posted 03-12-2011 06:52 PM

That is a beautiful piece. So warm and inviting.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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