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American Elm Carved/Turned Hollow Form

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Project by Dave2D2 posted 1006 days ago 1664 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was someone’s firewood at one point. It’s the only elm I’ve ever turned, besides a smaller one that I got the same day, which became my first turned/carved project. Alas, I lost the pics of it. I just completed this piece on Monday or so this week. It is 13.5” tall and a little over 8” diameter. And it will have a lid one day…..

I don’t know if all elm is rock hard like this or not, but this was a major major pain. Elm turns great though, on center. With a good wide scraper, you can actually make the inside of your hf’s shine. I guess this piece had more wood to remove than any other, which is why it was so tough to complete.

To illustrate the process should anyone else be interested in the method, I start between centers, and round it off. Then I stare at if for hours hoping the wood will “talk to me” lol, and when it doesn’t (it never does), I decide on a shape. I turned a tenon on the top (before any shaping of the hf), and put it on a big chuck I have and pull up the tailstock, get my dimensions, and started turning the outer profile of the legs. With that done, I remove the tailstock, and set my steady rest up. Then I hollow the space inside the legs, up to the bottom of the hf. I left enough meat on the feet to attach my chuck to it, turned it around, brought up the tailstock and shaped the hf, then repeated the hollowing with the steady rest in place.

When I’m done turning, I’m left with a solid piece, hollow on top and bottom. I draw my leg design on the wood itself, then I drill holes all along the legs in the waste part. I used my jigsaw to cut out the waste, and all the holes keep me from tearing up my B&D cheapo jigsaw, because there’s only a small amount of wood between holes to actually cut. Once the waste was gone, I began shaping by using a mix of carving chisels mainly, with small carbide burrs to even it all out, followed by 10 years of hand sanding, at least, haha. Anways, thanks for the kind welcome here! I hope I can contribute some of my own knowledge and experiences here, instead of just devouring all the info this site has on it.





12 comments so far

View LittlePaw's profile

LittlePaw

1565 posts in 1577 days


#1 posted 1006 days ago

It IS a very interesting looking “Bowl”? The longer I look at it the more it reminds me of a Chinese Temple Lion with the upper body missing! Whether you agree or not, it is still a very well turned and carved piece. Well done, Dave!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Dave2D2's profile

Dave2D2

17 posts in 1007 days


#2 posted 1006 days ago

Haha, thanks. I don’t know what to call it.

View bobasaurus's profile (online now)

bobasaurus

1123 posts in 1683 days


#3 posted 1006 days ago

Looks kind of like a jelly fish. Nice work. The leg carving is a marvel.

-- Allen, Colorado

View woodworkerscott's profile

woodworkerscott

352 posts in 1313 days


#4 posted 1006 days ago

Very cool. Thanks for sharing the process.

-- " 'woodworker'.....it's a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View Thaqeb Alserhan's profile

Thaqeb Alserhan

87 posts in 1135 days


#5 posted 1006 days ago

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2105 posts in 1515 days


#6 posted 1006 days ago

you have officially earned the title of ; producer of weird! beautifully done! whatever it is!

-- We call the destruction of replaceable human made items vandalism, while the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources is called development.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

14580 posts in 1366 days


#7 posted 1006 days ago

That is very unique and the wood is beautiful.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2424 posts in 2585 days


#8 posted 1006 days ago

Very interesting! I always appreciate when a maker shares their methods, as most turners first thought is, “okay, how’d he do that?” That is some pretty deep hollowing in a narrow space, I think. You did great on it. And combining carving with turning is almost always a winner. Very attractive!

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1191 posts in 1974 days


#9 posted 1006 days ago

your 10 years of hand sanding paid off… remarkable work… very clever design and use of tools. The elm looks great.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15543 posts in 2717 days


#10 posted 1006 days ago

Incredible amount of work in that piece, but the end result was worth it. Beautiful!

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14397 posts in 2175 days


#11 posted 999 days ago

That’s is what I thought when I saw it; WORK, Work, work!! nice job.

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

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2071 posts in 1139 days


#12 posted 999 days ago

Very nicely unique. The someday lid could be a head of something.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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