Cedar of Lebanon & Ambrosia Maple

IMG_2369My wife is hosting a jewelry party for a friend tomorrow. They will be using a couple cutting boards, cheese plates, and bowls I’ve turned over the last couple of weeks for their displays.

I picked up two blanks from Case Woodworking Supply the other day when I was picking up some Maple for a communions set. I went ahead and turned the two blanks for them to use, as well.

I turned the first bowl from an 8″ x 3″ piece of Cedar of Lebanon. I’ve never worked with Cedar of Lebanon, but I really enjoyed how it turned.

I turned the second bowl from an 9″ x 4″ piece of Ambrosia Maple to go along with cutting boards I turned from the Ambrosia Maple cut offs. I’m starting to realize why Ambrosia Maple is popular with woodturners. It’s great to turn, plus there are some awesome patterns in it.

Maple Communion Set

IMG_2352After working with some Maple this weekend, I felt comfortable moving forward with this Maple Communion set.

The chalice is about 9″ tall and 3.75″ in diameter. The paten (plate) is 9″ in diameter.

Turn really nicely and there were no difficulties with the sanding/finishing.

Here are a few more pictures of the chalice and paten:


Working with Maple

IMG_2300I’m in the process of rough-turning several blocks of wood I’ve been given by friends. I should be able to finish those pieces in the next few months once they dry. In the meantime, I’ve been exploring different species of wood since woodturning is still a new hobby.

Another pastor asked me to turn a communion set for him. Since most of the wood I’ve found or been given is still drying, I looked to buy some kiln-dried wood I could use for the project. Earlier this week, I made trip to Case Wood Supply to see if they had something appropriate for the set. I found some Maple that looked promising for a nice communion set.

I discovered a couple different types of Maple while I was at Case and my curiosity the better of me.  I was able to spend the morning on the lathe and turned some of the wood.

I’ve been wanting to work with Ambrosia Maple for a while now. It appears to be a pretty popular wood among woodturners. After purchasing the Maple for the communion set, I noticed a stack of boards off to the side. The owner told me they were a stack of cut offs from a larger order of Ambrosia Maple. I decided to get an 11″ x 28″ board just to see how it would turn. The first piece I turned was this 11″ Lazy Susan.

The same boards also produced this 11″ cutting board/cheese plate. I was surprised by the amount of character in this particular section of the board. I used a cutting board conditioner, which combines bees wax and mineral oils, on both of the pieces, but a bit more was revealed in this piece.

I, also, came across a blank marked as “Select Maple.” I had never heard of Select Maple. I wanted to see the difference between this “Select Maple” and the Ambrosia Maple, as well as the Maple I would be using in the communion set. I discovered a crack in the wood when I began turning the piece, so that was certainly disappointing. Also, I fought with a lot of tear out on this one. I had to drop down to 60 Grit sanding paper and I was still not able to get the surface I wanted on it. But, the coloring is pretty cool on it!

All in all, it was a fun morning in the wood shop!

BTW, the other night I turned an extra piece of the Maple I purchased for the communion set. I wanted to get a feel for the wood and what to expect before I started turning. I kept it simple and turn a basic cutting board. And, I am pretty impressed by the difference in the three types of Maples.

Sycamore & Hackberry Bowls

The Sycamore bowl is about 4″ in diameter. The grain pattern is pretty interesting on it. I’ve not worked with a piece of Sycamore, but I really like the color tones and grain pattern. Certainly will be looking to work with more Sycamore.

I’ve worked with a local hackberry in the past (i.e. – Sugarberry), which was actually spalted. I’m not sure where this piece of Hackberry was cut, but it made for an interesting looking bowl. The dark patches emerged during the finishing process, which was unexpected. The spalted hackberry I’ve worked with in the past did not have these dark patches. I actually really like the dark spots, though, because they brought out more character in the piece.

Pecan Bowl & Cedar Bowl – 9/2

IMG_2046I was able to turn two bowls over the holiday weekend. Both bowls were cut from larger pieces of wood from Hampton County, which were given to me by a couple of friends.

The first is a piece of Pecan. It is about 8-9 inches in diameter. I think it has a pretty awesome grain pattern. I finished it with a solution of mineral oil & beeswax. Overall, I was pleased even though I had a couple issues with tear out.

The second bowl is cut from a juvenile cedar tree, which lends the pinkish hue to the bowl…where as, older cedars have darker heartwood. I was really pleased with this bowl – there were some cracks/checks in the wood that I feel adds additional character to it.

Cedar Bowl – 8/1

IMG_1733I was able to get a little time in the wood shop this morning before heading out to make visits. The past month has seen some extremely humid mornings, but today was unusually comfortable for this time of year which made for a pleasant morning.

I returned to a piece of the cedar found on Edisto Beach. This particular piece had a limb coming out of it,  which made for an interesting design on the outside wall of the bowl.


Life Resurrected: Being Alive to God in the Simplicity and the Subtly of a Strawberry

Strawberry“I thought to myself, ‘This is the best strawberry I’ve ever had in my life.” Not because of where it came from, but because of what it came to represent for me…In that moment, I tasted what God has to offer: the beauty of the now; the very natural; the blessing of what is already before us. And, there before me was the beauty of God’s creation, the beauty of God’s presence, in a simple strawberry.”

Continue reading