Apple bowl. Too rotten?

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Project by murch posted 04-29-2012 01:16 PM 1645 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is from a chunk of fallen apple tree. My friend said it had been out in the wet (this is Ireland) for
over 3 years. I have enough blanks for about 6 more but I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble.
I have turned good apple blanks before and was delighted with the results but I think this looks
kind of crappy in comparison.
What do you think? It’s finished with 2 coats of poly.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

16 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29878 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 04-29-2012 01:44 PM

If you were able to work it then it’s not to rotten. Nice looking piece. If you have enough for a set, someone would love them.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View hairy's profile


2765 posts in 3680 days

#2 posted 04-29-2012 02:35 PM

I’m with Monte, if you can work it, it’s not too far gone. Many folks put CA glue on punky wood to keep it together.

That will be a fine bowl for fruit or bread. Nice work!

-- My reality check bounced...

View TheDane's profile


5524 posts in 3811 days

#3 posted 04-29-2012 03:04 PM

I found a piece of punky birch on my property last year … it was pretty far gone, but I turned it anyway. When I got it to a rough bowl, I soaked it in shellac (Zinsser’s sealer) overnight, then let it cure for a few weeks before I put it back on the lathe.

The result was one I am really proud of …
Click for details

This process was suggested by a mentor of mine in a turning club I belong to. He routinely soaks rough-turned blanks in denatured alcohol for a day or two to stablize the wood and draw out moisture. He lets it dry in a brown paper bag for a day, then wraps it newspaper for a week or two before he puts it back on the lathe. He suggested I use shellac to add some body to the wood fibers.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View TimWood's profile


196 posts in 2389 days

#4 posted 04-29-2012 03:35 PM

I agree with Monte, if you’re able t work with it, it’s probably good. Spalting gives it character!

-- Tim Harrelson

View DocSavage45's profile


8702 posts in 2990 days

#5 posted 04-29-2012 04:17 PM

When I start my turning, my hope is to produce something at least half as good. Learned something because you asked the question. thanks everyone. You may find imperfection,and others will see beauty.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View branch's profile


1142 posts in 3302 days

#6 posted 04-29-2012 04:54 PM

hi good looking bowl i like it if it stays together when you are turning it it is worth turning it it is always nice to make something nice out of what some people calls scrap timber or firewood go for the next 6 have fun
know what you mean about Ireland great place to live but it rains a lot

View LesB's profile


1818 posts in 3591 days

#7 posted 04-29-2012 05:19 PM

I think the colors make the bowl distinctive. I’m not fond of turning “soft” wood either but if it is just small spots the CA glue does help firm them up. I have notices that sometimes when I treat soft spots with CA it heats up and puts out a vapor that makes my eyes burn so be careful. For a finish I use a commercial salad bowl finish that provides a hard durable surface and makes the bowl more functional for a variety of uses. Varathane also works.
Here in western Oregon our weather is also quite damp, especially in the winter and spring. Apples do better in a dryer climate so I’m sort of surprised you have many apples growing in Ireland. It takes a lot of spraying to control the diseases.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Sodabowski's profile


2375 posts in 2981 days

#8 posted 04-29-2012 07:29 PM

Yep, looks nice :)

@ Gerry: Thanks so much for the advice you provided us with about handling wet or chewed-up turning blanks!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 2397 days

#9 posted 04-29-2012 08:29 PM

great character in the bowl! I like it

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3593 days

#10 posted 04-29-2012 09:49 PM

That looks pretty nice to me.

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3131 days

#11 posted 04-30-2012 02:08 AM

i don’t know what your seeing, but it looks great to me.
does this wood turn well?

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2454 days

#12 posted 04-30-2012 11:33 AM

Great looking bowl, the applewood has a lot of character to it. Nicely done.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 2772 days

#13 posted 04-30-2012 11:59 AM

Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. It’s part of what makes LJ’s a great site.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View kapanen's profile


121 posts in 2930 days

#14 posted 05-01-2012 01:43 AM

I like it… simple in form, and the wood is stunning. Being able to take something that is in the process of returning to dirt, (decaying) and make something that will look good, and have function!....what more can you ask for….awesome.
Oh and I forgot….was this found wood? Heck I have spent good money on spalted (half rotten) wood before.

-- "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"....Pablo Picasso

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 2772 days

#15 posted 05-01-2012 05:29 AM

Kapanen – part of an old apple tree that blew down. Some of it was VERY spalted but
most is just about usable.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

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