Sweetgum Natural Edge Bowl #1

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Project by palaswood posted 12-05-2013 11:42 PM 905 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a bowl I turned from green sweetgum or liquidambar, which I got from a tree removal crew who posted on CL. They were still working when I showed up. I was on a bicycle so I stashed two big crotchwood pieces in a nearby bush until I could get my buddy who has a truck to come get it. I cut the smaller one in half with a handsaw, took a piece that I thought would produce a nice feather pattern and then cut down the middle of that and it had some nice coloration. I still have the other half. This bowl came from the left piece.

Midway through as I got deeper into the bowl I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my lathe tools. I went with the Benjamins Best which is basically the cheapest high speed steel set you can buy. I let the bowl sit in a paper bag until they arrived a week later.

A few cracks developed in the sides since turning it but that’s to be expected. I don’t mind them. Finish is just tung oil. I’m overall quite pleased with how it came out. This is my first natural edge bowl and my 3rd bowl since I started turning this past spring.

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA,

14 comments so far

View Nazair's profile


43 posts in 1472 days

#1 posted 12-06-2013 12:20 AM

Very nice, good job.

-- Naz

View facecarver's profile


154 posts in 492 days

#2 posted 12-06-2013 01:28 AM

Way Cool,I like the way it tuned out too !!!

-- Dennis Stallings; I am what I am,And that's all what I am...

View bigogre's profile


373 posts in 965 days

#3 posted 12-06-2013 03:37 AM

I really like the natural edge on that bowl. What is liquidambar and where does it grow?

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

View doubleDD's profile


3094 posts in 859 days

#4 posted 12-06-2013 03:48 AM

Very natural. Nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View kiefer's profile


3557 posts in 1483 days

#5 posted 12-06-2013 04:11 AM

Nice find ,turned into a beauty .
Good eye picking the blank .

-- Kiefer 松

View waho6o9's profile


5590 posts in 1393 days

#6 posted 12-06-2013 04:43 AM

Sure looks nice, good job!

View aussiedave's profile


3046 posts in 640 days

#7 posted 12-06-2013 11:40 AM

Very nice bowl Joseph you did a nice job in turning it…well done

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View JoeinGa's profile (online now)


4051 posts in 823 days

#8 posted 12-06-2013 11:15 PM


-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View hunter71's profile


2228 posts in 2003 days

#9 posted 12-07-2013 01:42 AM

Looks great.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Xyloid_Curt's profile


117 posts in 903 days

#10 posted 12-09-2013 12:23 AM

Nicely done.

-- Xyloid Curt "Exposing the hidden beauty in wood"

View Roger's profile


16024 posts in 1620 days

#11 posted 12-09-2013 02:11 PM

Very awesome bowl.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View palaswood's profile


818 posts in 567 days

#12 posted 12-09-2013 05:56 PM

Thanks everybody for your comments!

I plan on blanking up the remaining, larger crotch wood log this week, and I’ll post more bowls as I go. Since its Christmas time, I’m focusing on ornaments and things lately.

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

12496 posts in 1922 days

#13 posted 08-19-2014 03:14 PM

Beautiful bowl, Joseph. I have two set of Benjamin’s Best tools and they work real good for me. I bought a second bedan,too. I use that to hog out the centers of bowls- what a workhorse!!

Once you get the piece that far on the lathe, it is a good idea to rough turn it to a uniform wall thickness and then it will tend to warp and not crack. I have had several crack overnight when I just roughed the outside so now I cut out as much of the center as I can before stopping.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View palaswood's profile


818 posts in 567 days

#14 posted 08-19-2014 05:39 PM

Thanks Jim, and I re-learned that lesson on a spalted oak bowl im working on.

Check it out – checking badly on the side showing in the top of the pic. I didnt hog out the center and this is what happens… :(

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA,

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