Box Elder Bowl

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Project by NightOwl posted 1228 days ago 1729 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It has been a while since I’ve posted any projects so it is time to start getting back to it.

This is a bowl carved from a crotch section of a box elder tree. The wood had been sitting outdoors for over a year and shows signs of spalting. The structure of the wood was compromised as well resulting in consistent tear outs and raised end grains. I stopped carving when the wall thickness was just under a half inch thick. To finish I sanded the bowl down to about quarter inch wall thickness with a power sander to eliminate the tears and end grain issues. I wet sanded up to 1000 grit and then buffed/polished to a shine.

Wood: Box Elder from North Carolina
Height: 4 inches
Width: 6 inches
Weight: 6 oz
Finish: Tri, white diamond, wax finish on the outside. Mylands friction wax on the inside of the bowl.

Thanks for looking!

-- Bill

10 comments so far

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1481 posts in 1738 days

#1 posted 1228 days ago

That is pretty. I have just ordered a 12” x 4” Box Elder blank from Jeremy at I hope it is as nice as yours. thanks for the tip on how you dealt with the soft wood and tearout.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and so little time!

View Bearpie's profile


2586 posts in 1651 days

#2 posted 1228 days ago

This wood is awesome, and you did a great job on it!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View bobasaurus's profile


1235 posts in 1817 days

#3 posted 1228 days ago

That is one fine looking bowl. I’m just starting to turn and always have issues with end grain smoothing. What are you using for wet sanding? Maybe mineral spirits and oil? It sounds like the best way to seal up flaws in the wood.

-- Allen, Colorado

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 2657 days

#4 posted 1228 days ago

Wonderful combination of color and form. Very nice work.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#5 posted 1228 days ago


-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View learnin2do's profile


866 posts in 1485 days

#6 posted 1228 days ago

Wow! -you made the best of that! I’ve been working with wsome of that spalted elder lately, and it is hard to get a good patch of the pretty without losing it! That is just beautiful!

-- christine

View sedcokid's profile


2672 posts in 2232 days

#7 posted 1228 days ago

Very Nice, Great color!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View a1Jim's profile


112016 posts in 2210 days

#8 posted 1228 days ago

Beautiful bowl Bill a real work of art.

-- Custom furniture

View Dusty56's profile


11644 posts in 2321 days

#9 posted 1228 days ago

Thanks for the tips on saving the bowl …this is beautiful : )

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

View NightOwl's profile


48 posts in 1660 days

#10 posted 1227 days ago

Thanks for all the great compliments!

@bobasaurus – I used mineral spirits for the wet sanding. I’ve used both mineral spirits and water on pen turning but find the oil works well for bowls.

-- Bill

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