Red Oak Bowl

IMG_2388A couple of weeks ago, I cut a piece out of the trunk of a Red Oak that fell during Hurricane Matthew. I am in the process of cutting and rough turning the Red Oak. A nice size burl was on the side of the trunk. I cut it out the other day and started to rough it out. Once I cut into the wood, I discovered a rather large cavity inside of the burl. So, this afternoon I went ahead and finished it. I tried to get the walls as thin as possible to keep the bowl from cracking or warping too bad…time will tell.

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.

Two Bowls

Spent a little time in the shop this morning while the twins were taking their morning nap. I worked with two Alexis of wood which I’ve never before turned. Both of these trunks were cut from trees that fell during Matthew on a parishioners property.


The above shows the piece of Swamp Chestnut Oak when I first placed it on the lathe. It looked fairly white, so I was surprised by the diversity in grain pattern after turning.


Black Cherry is pretty common around here, but I have not had a chance to turn any until today. The above is the piece of Black Cherry prior to turning…

Both of these logs were extremely green! I knew I should have rough turned them and let them dry out before finishing them. I have a good bit of both tree and I was a little to excited to see how they would look after finishing. These will probably get some cracks or warp, but that’ll be okay. Now I know what to expect with the wood.

Oak Candle Stick & Cherry Cutting Board

I had a lot to say yesterday in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas – What’s More and Parenting in a World of EvilI’m likely not done reflecting upon that events and the multitude of acts of evil in our country and our world in the recent past. But, I needed to get away from it all last night and decompress…so, I went to the wood shop!

I worked on two different pieces last night – a candle stick and a cutting board.

Several months ago I cut an oak log into several blanks and then stored them away.  I came across one of them a couple days ago and I thought it would be fun to do something different with it. It turned out to be this candlestick holder. The wood was a little punky, but it was a fun project to get my mind off of things. And, my wife liked it enough to add it to the mantle…

This cutting board is turned from Cherry. I actually purchased this wood for a communion set, which I finished over the weekend. I had this piece of Cherry left over from the project. I really liked the grain pattern that was showing and I did not want to cut deep into the wood and risk removing this pattern. Rather than turning it into a large plate/small bowl, I turned it into a cutting board to retain the pattern.

Cutting Boards

The first of these cutting boards is turned from a piece of Zebrawood. It is about 9″ in diameter. The second cutting board was turned out of Maple and Poplar. It is closer to 12″ in diameter. Both of them were finished with a cutting board conditioner.

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.