Roebling Bowl 2014 #1 - 100 Year Old Reclaied Douglas Fir

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 167 days ago 573 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The first bowl in the Roebling series … these are reclaimed Douglas Fir beams collected on various scrapping and salvage expeditions around Trenton, NJ. These beams are over 100 years old, heartwood four inches thick and at least fourteen inches wide. They stink when you turn them, the old oils, solvents, and turpentine scent is quite prominent!

Mike and I worked on this one, he decided to spiral cut the back after I cut down the top section and cut the bowl shape. Unique, different right?

Then we decided to give it a little extra color by burning the edges and bottom to create some highlighting and texture the grain. That caused some fires to spark up, as the oils, and whatever (who knows what?!) is soaked into these beams during their life under the wireworks factories.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

7 comments so far

View grizzman's profile (online now)


6787 posts in 1902 days

#1 posted 167 days ago

ive had lots of the southern yellow heart pine that was like this, except it was 3 and some 4 hundred years old, i still have some, and consider it the most beautiful softwood in this country…have fun with this old wood, the bowls are very nice…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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Eric M. Saperstein

740 posts in 1846 days

#2 posted 167 days ago

Thanks – didn’t count the actual tree rings in the boards, we don’t have a whole cross section. I can imagine if the heartwood is this wide the whole tree must have been huge! These were cut over 100 years ago for the Roebling construction. Amazing that this stuff has seen some serious history in terms of steel. Some our nation’s great bridge cabling was likely made atop these bowls!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View tomakazi's profile


644 posts in 1881 days

#3 posted 167 days ago

Great use of some very old wood, you gotta love it.

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View Rick's profile


6455 posts in 1631 days

#4 posted 167 days ago

Very Nice Bowl!

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View Brett's profile


881 posts in 1358 days

#5 posted 167 days ago

Dude, your on fire! Whew, it’s just the wood. ha ha

I thought that it was alot smaller than it is by looking at the project pics. It really a nice large size. I really like this style of bowl, good job! Way to use that reclaimed lumba!

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

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14114 posts in 1402 days

#6 posted 166 days ago

Way kool. Fire it up..

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

View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 774 days

#7 posted 163 days ago

Awesome shape on that bowl. The pretty grains really stand out. Great job!

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