Box Elder Bowl

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Project by NightOwl posted 04-19-2011 02:21 AM 2551 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

1566 posts in 3038 days

#1 posted 04-19-2011 02:45 AM

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 now time to work!!!

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2951 days

#2 posted 04-19-2011 03:33 AM

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

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View bobasaurus's profile


3393 posts in 3117 days

#3 posted 04-19-2011 03:33 AM

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 (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 3958 days

#4 posted 04-19-2011 03:50 AM

Wonderful combination of color and form. Very nice work.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3122 days

#5 posted 04-19-2011 03:58 AM


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

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 2785 days

#6 posted 04-19-2011 05:21 AM

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 @ used2btrees

View sedcokid's profile


2730 posts in 3532 days

#7 posted 04-19-2011 06:05 AM

Very Nice, Great color!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View a1Jim's profile


117032 posts in 3511 days

#8 posted 04-19-2011 06:20 AM

Beautiful bowl Bill a real work of art.

-- wood crafting & classes

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3621 days

#9 posted 04-19-2011 12:29 PM

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 2960 days

#10 posted 04-20-2011 12:48 AM

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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