Maple Hollow Form

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Project by Glen Peterson posted 12-25-2013 12:44 AM 1075 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


444 posts in 1677 days

#1 posted 12-25-2013 12:58 AM

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

View gwolfe1977's profile


228 posts in 1230 days

#2 posted 12-25-2013 01:21 AM

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

-- Gary,Nebraska

View HuckD's profile


298 posts in 1134 days

#3 posted 12-25-2013 02:07 AM

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

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View MW_Woodworking's profile


37 posts in 1110 days

#4 posted 12-25-2013 03:07 AM

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


2587 posts in 2604 days

#5 posted 12-25-2013 04:41 AM

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


1105 posts in 2849 days

#6 posted 12-25-2013 06:44 AM

That is beautiful

-- Vince

View deon's profile


2507 posts in 2445 days

#7 posted 12-25-2013 08:50 AM

lLooks very interesting, the butterflies add a nice touch

-- Dreaming patterns

View michelletwo's profile


2587 posts in 2435 days

#8 posted 12-25-2013 11:37 AM

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

View Ronald G Campbell 's profile

Ronald G Campbell

865 posts in 1424 days

#9 posted 12-25-2013 02:12 PM

Very well done a very difficult piece.

-- Ron Campbell

View PaintByLumbers's profile


29 posts in 1135 days

#10 posted 12-25-2013 07:52 PM

Nice work!

-- Sven Gasser

View ghost5's profile


302 posts in 1351 days

#11 posted 12-25-2013 10:23 PM

Very nice piece

-- Tommy,

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2509 days

#12 posted 12-26-2013 08:36 PM

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

34 posts in 1033 days

#13 posted 01-01-2014 12:53 AM

This piece is especially inspiring to me. Absolutely stunning.

-- Bret - Maverick Wood Studio

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