Maple Hollow Form

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Project by Glen Peterson posted 239 days ago 735 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was an interesting project. I’ve loved hollow forms since taking David Ellsworth’s workshop several years ago. I began turning this odd lump of wood a few years ago, when it was somewhat green. I couldn’t figure out what to do with it so I put it aside until I found the right inspiration. The section of maple log contained big voids, rot, butling, insect trails, spalting, a variety of colors, and lots of cracks. Several weeks ago (Nov 2013). I threw it on the lathe. After years in the barn it has dried and substantially changed shape. I started shaping the exterior and soon became nervous that the wood was too unstable to hollow without it coming apart. There is a large fissure that goes more than half way around the form and from the bottom almost to the top. You can see it in the photos. I’ve never used butterfly keys in a round turned form, but thought they were the only way to hold the piece together. It has 3 bubinga keys that are about 1.25” long. It was a fun challenge to carve straight tenons for the butterflies in 3 very different curved surfaces in some unstable wood. The keys were about 1/2” thick at first. The project also required lots of CA glue, as bits broke off during turning, and just a few prayers. I’m glad I have CA deactivator since I glued fingers together more than once. The final form is about 6” high and 8” in diameter. The mouth is about 2.5” in diameter, and was part of a void. The vessel’s thickness is about 3/16” throughout. It has 2 coats of Waterlox that I wiped off before it had time to dry, and later rubbed gently with 0000 steel wool. I really like the shape, but the color and character of the wood wasn’t really apparent until the finish was applied. I thought about adding wax or buffing, but I think I like the matte finish. Any critiques welcome.

P.S. I’m adding dates to projects. I realized I couldn’t remember the years I made some of the earlier project posted here.

-- Glen

13 comments so far

View Deycart's profile


377 posts in 883 days

#1 posted 239 days ago

That is a very sweet turning. I am not a super interested in turning, but man that thing looks great.

View gwolfe1977's profile


224 posts in 436 days

#2 posted 239 days ago

It turned out great. The rot and major voids really give it character. Nice job!

-- Gary,Nebraska

View HuckD's profile


205 posts in 339 days

#3 posted 239 days ago

You’re a brave man. I would have never had the confidence to attempt that. Good job…beautiful results.

-- Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.

View MW_Woodworking's profile


22 posts in 315 days

#4 posted 239 days ago

That is really cool, so interesting, great job.

-- Matt ~ "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything.” - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898), author

View bobasaurus's profile (online now)


1216 posts in 1809 days

#5 posted 239 days ago

That’s really interesting with the butterflies. Never seen that before on a round object. Nice job… you’re brave to turn such a sketchy-looking piece of wood on the lathe, but the result was worth it.

-- Allen, Colorado

View Vince's profile


948 posts in 2054 days

#6 posted 239 days ago

That is beautiful

-- Vince

View deon's profile


2171 posts in 1651 days

#7 posted 239 days ago

lLooks very interesting, the butterflies add a nice touch

-- Dreaming patterns

View michelletwo's profile


2222 posts in 1641 days

#8 posted 239 days ago

you are much braver than I. A dangerous turning to make. Congrats. Getting those keys in was challenging. Great job

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

View Ronald G Campbell 's profile

Ronald G Campbell

557 posts in 629 days

#9 posted 239 days ago

Very well done a very difficult piece.

-- Ron Campbell

View PaintByLumbers's profile


23 posts in 341 days

#10 posted 239 days ago

Nice work!

-- Sven Gasser

View ghost5's profile


281 posts in 557 days

#11 posted 238 days ago

Very nice piece

-- Tommy,

View mafe's profile


9483 posts in 1714 days

#12 posted 238 days ago

Wauu what a turning, that must have kept you on the toes.
Happy new year,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bret Glaze's profile

Bret Glaze

27 posts in 239 days

#13 posted 232 days ago

This piece is especially inspiring to me. Absolutely stunning.

-- Bret - Maverick Wood Studio

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