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Spalted Black Walnut Bowl/Platter

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Project by WoodArtbyJR posted 02-18-2014 03:23 PM 528 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been working on this for over a year. I received 2 slabs of spalted black walnut over a year ago from John at Tacoma Tree Salvage and Wood Works and the deal was, make him a platter and I could have the 2 slabs. When I got the slabs they were like old, dirty soaked sponges. They were so wet that they have been air drying in my shop for the past year. Part of that time this piece was soaking in polycryl. At times I wasn’t even sure I would be able to turn it as it was so soft. Polycryl soaking and 2 bottles of CA glue later and here are the results. I used the recess method to hold it on the lathe. If you look close you can see the VERY soft areas. These areas show up as wavy because they sand deeper then the hard areas. Kinda gives it character and uniqueness. I’ve sanded it to 400, applied a coat of walnut oil, 2 coats of Arm-R-Seal and now I’ll finish it off with several coats of walnut oil & bees wax.
Working with this on the lathe I learned real quick, PUT YOUR RESPORATOR ON DUMMY. The dust was NASTY. I’ve worked with natural edged bowls a lot in the past and this was a lot like that. The difference in weight distribution because of the different densities in the wood was just like an uneven piece like a natural edged piece. I was also worried that it would fly apart because of the rottenness and softness but it stayed together. CA glues is great stuff (another respirator moment).
Thank you for looking and as always, comments and questions are always welcome.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington





12 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

14333 posts in 1003 days


#1 posted 02-18-2014 03:24 PM

Very beautiful work, awesome wood.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4971 posts in 1242 days


#2 posted 02-18-2014 04:23 PM

Love me some grain patterns, what a beaut.

View LesB's profile

LesB

1067 posts in 2108 days


#3 posted 02-18-2014 06:22 PM

Well done.
I have worked on wood in that condition in the past with mixed success. Now I have concluded it is not worth it and my time is better spend on wood in better condition. It is a challenge however.

-- Les B, Oregon

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1481 posts in 1770 days


#4 posted 02-19-2014 12:49 AM

Beautiful piece. A lot of effort, but sometimes that is what it takes. I was given a couple of slabs of local spalted maple a few years ago. It too was soaking wet. I made some beautiful boxes from it. The tree guy was amazed that it could be used. You were brave to put it on the lathe.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and so little time!

View Vince's profile

Vince

959 posts in 2094 days


#5 posted 02-19-2014 10:21 AM

Very nice looking platter

-- Vince

View NaptownWood's profile

NaptownWood

256 posts in 538 days


#6 posted 02-19-2014 02:37 PM

looks like a well crafted piece of art.

-- Witty signature line still pending

View SugarbeatCo's profile

SugarbeatCo

126 posts in 933 days


#7 posted 02-19-2014 11:00 PM

Nice!!

-- Always one more tool away from being an excellent woodworker...

View Josh Carte's profile

Josh Carte

221 posts in 345 days


#8 posted 02-20-2014 02:23 PM

That is some beautiful wood…. And the workmanship is wonderful as well :)

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/JoshCarteArt

View WoodArtbyJR's profile

WoodArtbyJR

428 posts in 1630 days


#9 posted 02-20-2014 04:27 PM

LesB, I thought about scrapping it but decided not to. Happy now I didn’t I still have a 4’X4’X4” slab to do something with. Thank you all for the kind comments. It was quite a challenge with the softness. Some products worked, & some didn’t. Polycryl is a LOT of work and the jury’s still out on that one. CA is great, just expensive.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15883 posts in 1531 days


#10 posted 02-20-2014 04:29 PM

That sure is a pretty one. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11252 posts in 840 days


#11 posted 02-25-2014 05:08 PM

Excellent turning, it came out really gorgeous. Like the shape and those grains and figures look stunning.

View WoodArtbyJR's profile

WoodArtbyJR

428 posts in 1630 days


#12 posted 02-25-2014 05:16 PM

At the end, it was till soaking up the oil in the soft areas and you could see it clearly. The fix, I went with a pen turners finish to seal those areas. I used CA glue on a rag and wiped it down. It came out with a little gloss finish but the soft areas are sealed up and it has a nice smooth finish. I wiped the entire inside and outside down with the CA. Think I may use that method again in the future if the need arises.

-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

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