Big spalted beech bowl

Some pics of a recently turned beech bowl.

This was made from a wind-fallen tree I chopped up about 3 years ago. I sealed the ends of some of the nicer logs and left them outside to dry out slowly.

This is the first bowl made from one of these logs, and I’m very pleased with the result – really nice spalting and not too many cracks, plus it was nice and easy to carve on the lathe too.

The unsorted selection of pics below show it on the lathe and on the log it came from, with the random traffic lamp for scale…

Beech Tree 2019

Recording progress on a large wind-fall Beech tree a neighbour has kindly let me have.

Most of this will be chopped up for firewood for next winter, but hopefully some of it will become bowls, planks, spoons, stools or other stuff over the next year – plan is to update this post with progress as that happens…

Some pics of the early stages and first few cuts:

This attempt at a panoramic pic shows the size of the tree better, pity I cut off the top of the photo though 🙁

Most of the first day was spent clearing the branches and chopping off the small bits in preparation to get at the multiple trunk sections next time.

And some shots of the first few tractor loads brought home and added to the woodpile – still nice and green….

Spalted Beech bowl – green woodturning

The weather’s finally warm enough for me to do some woodturning again.

I’ve been wanting to make some more “green” Beech bowls from the trees I chopped up early last year. Here are pics of the process.

chainsawed a “50p” shaped bowl blank from a slab of wood that’s been sitting in the shed:

quickly and easily made round – green wood cuts very easily, and smells good too!

spinning at about 2,000 rpm:really nice spalting all the way through: some homemade beeswax and oil applied, with help from a bit of heat: inside done too… and the underneath finished in the reversing jaws: all done – will try and let it finish drying out slowly to avoid serious cracking, but it’s bound to warp a fair bit…

Woodturning – ginormous Sycamore bowl

Last night I finished turning this large bowl from an even larger chunk of sycamore supplied by Home of Wood.

Here’s the finished beastie:

IMG_7752The blank I started off with was so large I had to swivel the head of my lathe sideways to get it turning. Once it was roughed and made round, I was just able to rotate it back over the bed of the lathe – there was no room to spare.

I kept as much of the width as I could, so the finished bowl is very nearly 12″ in diameter at its widest point.

Here are some pics of it mounted on the chuck & on the lathe.

IMG_7734 IMG_7737 IMG_7743 IMG_7745I used several thin coats of Wood Wax 22 for the finish on this one, which is a mix of beeswax and carnauba wax. It’s easy to apply and when you apply a little friction on the lathe (to generate some heat) it really brings out the grain and details of the sycamore.

IMG_7749After the ’22 was done I then applied a thin layer of Liberon Wax to seal it and provide a deep gloss finish, which should be reasonably hard-wearing.

IMG_7748Not sure the pics illustrate quite how large this bowl is, but it’s really pretty mahoosive!

IMG_7753 IMG_7755 IMG_7756 Much like the Woodturning – New Ash bowl I turned and posted about recently, there are some nice contrasts on the underside of this one.

I’m aware that if I’d gone a bit deeper/thinner on the inside this colour would have started to show through there too, which may have worked well, but I didn’t want to risk making it too thin. Or risk meeting the jaws of the chuck with the tip of my bowl gouge…

IMG_7763It covers a 12″ vinyl album pretty nicely 🙂


Woodturning – New Ash bowl

Ordered some new woodturning blanks from Home of Wood recently. Very pleased with what they sent – sizes and variety all exactly what I was after.

Here are some pics of the first one I’ve finished turning, an Ash bowl with some nice grain and range of colour, finished off with my homemade beeswax and oil mix:

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Green Woodturning bowls

Our neighbour let me chop up and use the wood from one of her Beech trees after it fell down in the wind.

I thought I’d try some “green” woodturning for a change and try to make her a bowl from her own tree to say thank you.

Here are some pics of the process.


The finished bowls…


Back to the start – a freshly chainsawed log – one half per bowl:


Gradually making it round:




Shaping with a bowl gouge – lots of knots and checks to work around:




One nearly completed bowl next to its sibling:


I turned them “extra chunky” so if they warped while drying I could reshape them


After a few months spent drying out (covered in sawdust under my lathe), I finished turning them and reduced the thickness.

Hopefully they are not going to crack or warp… time will tell!


The finished bowls – treated with a homemade mix of bees wax & sunflower oil: