Myrtle Bowl

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Project by Reaper621 posted 01-16-2012 06:19 AM 1411 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my second myrtle bowl, I think my 5th or 6th overall. The learning curve… she is a pain in the butt.

I finally got to make one without a base, just used a little different technique. As usual with bowls, I wanted it to remain food safe. So this bowl has three coats of walnut oil as a finish. It smells great, in my opinion. Little bitter, but nice. If anyone has any reason not to go this route, please, let me know. I’m always open for suggestions.

I bought this blank at Rockler. Little did I know that Rockler sells bowl blanks green, unless you buy from the big box of “we had this crap local”. So I will report back here if there is any cracking in this bowl, but I doubt it, because my larger myrtle bowl (see prior projects of mine) is still in great shape. I tried to make a goblet from osage orange (4th pic), and it checked so bad it split in half just sitting there, a week after the picture was taken.. Does anyone know how long I should keep a bowl blank in the wax before turning? (By the way, it isn’t hollow because one of my screws cracked while trying to hollow it out. I took it off while waiting for my jawed chuck to arrive.)

-- Laywer by day, Carpenter by later in the day.

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3721 days

#1 posted 01-16-2012 06:58 AM

Beautiful Bowl ,love that myrtle wood. Good Job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View LesB's profile


1816 posts in 3587 days

#2 posted 01-16-2012 07:47 AM

Cracking can frequently be a problem in turning wood that has not been kiln dried. There are a number of ways to deal with it but one method for smaller pieces is to microwave them in a brown paper bag. A full explanation can get rather long so if you can’t find information on this method send me a personal message and I will explain further.

-- Les B, Oregon

View paplou's profile


324 posts in 3488 days

#3 posted 01-16-2012 03:21 PM

I turn green bowls leaving them 5/8s thick then set them on the shelf for six months, then finish turning them to size. I put on a thick layer of bees wax mixed with BLO to let them dry.


View ed220's profile


624 posts in 3537 days

#4 posted 01-16-2012 03:48 PM

Nice turning. Love the color !! Great job !

View Cousinwill's profile


131 posts in 3034 days

#5 posted 01-16-2012 03:59 PM

Nice looking bowl

-- William from the oldest town in Texas

View Reaper621's profile


125 posts in 2474 days

#6 posted 01-16-2012 04:57 PM

I’ll have to try both methods. I’m extremely hesitant to put a block of wood in my father’s 800 dollar microwave, so that will have to wait a couple of weeks – when I move out and can do whatever the heck I want with my own microwave. I really need that jawed chuck, too…

-- Laywer by day, Carpenter by later in the day.

View LesB's profile


1816 posts in 3587 days

#7 posted 01-16-2012 07:07 PM

I have been using the microwave to dry wood for several years without an incident. It doesn’t even cause much of an odor. The purpose of the paper bag is to contain the water vapor (steam) so it acts like a steam kiln, keeping the surface of the wood moist while the inner water gets cooked out. The whole idea is to balance the moisture from the inner wood to the outer surface reducing stress. I heat the wood until I can just barely hold it with my bare hand and then let in cool (in the bag with the top open a little bit). Then I repeat the process until the wood is dry. It does help to partially turn the piece to shape as PAPALOU suggests. If I see small cracks developing I glue them with THICK super glue which usually stops them from getting worse and I can cut through them when I put the piece back on the lathe. Some wood will warp a little but that will happen no matter how you dry it. I haven’t lost a turning yet with this method.

-- Les B, Oregon

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3011 days

#8 posted 01-01-2017 09:43 PM

This is a beautiful bowl and so nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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