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Pitch Pocket in Bottom of Bowl

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by Russ Prior, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Russ Prior

    Russ Prior

    Nov 19, 2013
    Packwood Washington
    I'm new to this forum so I hope I'm not being repetitious. I made a bowl from the healed over stump of a Douglas Fir. I've seen this before where a tree is cut but the stump remains alive by using the root system of a nearby tree that was not harvested. But this one is unique in my experience. The stump completely healed over into solid wood. Except that there's a little pitch pocket (now crystalized) dead center in the bottom. I want to fill this with something so make a bowl suitable for salad. Any ideas?
  2. Ian Thorn

    Ian Thorn

    Apr 5, 2012
    Mosgiel New Zealand
    I'm not sure about the fir for a salad bowl because of the resin in the wood but I have used coffee grounds with Ca glue after turning and before sanding it finishes well and will look dark like the pitch.

  3. Laurence Giglio

    Laurence Giglio

    Sep 7, 2012
    Mesquite Tx
    CA glue works OK for hairline cracks, but for larger voids, the only way to go is epoxy. Then you can add all kinds of colorant. I work with mesquite and when you get logs of that it often has been subject to prairie or deliberate fires to control it, or water stress cracks that eventually fill with minerals. These dark lines when exposed can be scraped with a knife blade to provide a perfect colorant for darker voids. Coffee grounds, but I grind them finer with a mortise and pestal (dont tell the wife), super fine sawdust of different types of woods etc. Another trick is to make two different colorant epoxy mixtures, one say out of burn mesquite or walnut, another out of india ink or mahagoney and epoxy, apply some of each to the void, then using a stiff wire or dental pick, do a quick swirl or two or three in the void. You dont want a complete mix, you want it swirled, looking more organic than just a single color, so it appears as natural. This works well when you have an area larger than say 1/2 inch dia.

    Practice on a piece before you move to the main event.
  4. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

    Apr 9, 2004
    Plano, Texas
    Home Page:
    Another option to coffee grounds would be to use the dust and fine shavings from the wood you are turning and mix that with epoxy. It would still be a darker color, but not fully contrasting. You want an epoxy that takes long enough to cure that will allow the bubbles from mixing to escape while it cures.Wet wood is not what you want here.
    If you aren't in a hurry, 24 hour cure is a better option.
    CA is not archival, meaning in a year or two (maybe more), it will craze over, get brittle and just flake off.

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