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Tree to Bowl

Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
293
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317
Location
Columbia, TN
This isn't exactly a project, but I figured I'd take you on my Sunday journey. I found a tree behind the house that Picture This identified as a butternut. Picture This has a hard time differentiating walnut and butternut, but I decided to cut it down and see.

The tree is 20" diameter at the base. My chainsaw is 16". It was a lot of work.

IMG_20240211_120133.jpg

Step 1, Fell a Tree
IMG_20240211_121410.jpgIMG_20240211_121631.jpgIMG_20240211_141445.jpg

No comments on my chainsaw skills, please. ;)

That last picture sure looks like walnut.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
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317
Location
Columbia, TN
Step 2, Make a Bowl Blank.

As is my tradition, when I cut down a tree, I turn something from it right away. I found a couple of smaller crotches that would have been about 20' up in the tree.
IMG_20240211_133647.jpg
Taking advice from someone here (sorry, don't remember who), I cut one side thicker than the other. I decided to turn the smaller (skinnier?) side first. It's the one on the left.

Make it round and mount it.
IMG_20240211_124719.jpgIMG_20240211_125158.jpg

I use the spur center a lot.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
293
Likes
317
Location
Columbia, TN
Step 3, Turn a Bowl

I forgot to get a picture after I completed the outside. I subscribe to the "leave a mass in the center" philosophy when turning the interior. Why? Less wing flex, among other things.

IMG_20240211_131805.jpgIMG_20240211_132546.jpgIMG_20240211_132549.jpg

A lighting artifact makes the outside look like a different color. I think the light on that side is set to a warmer tone.

Ready to start drying. It's very wet, of course, so it will take a bit. I microwave dry most of the time. Should be dry in the next couple of days, though. Starting weight right off the lathe is 303 grams.
IMG_20240211_133329.jpg

An that's where I'm at! Stay tuned.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
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Location
Columbia, TN
I had a small crack develop. I sprayed the surface with spray lacquer. It looks like I got a little CA staining anyway.

The last weigh was 242g. Should be able to start sanding this afternoon.

crack.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2023
Messages
293
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317
Location
Columbia, TN
Tried and True applied. This is a good bowl, but not a great bowl. I knew the small crack would show, given the wood color, grain, etc. I also have some spider cracks on the outside that weren't apparent until the oil went on. I dried this bowl just a little too aggressively.

Note the bad toolmarks on the foot. I didn't pay enough attention when I turned the outside. Once I got it back on the lathe, I was tempted to take a gouge to it. I've done that before after drying a once-turned bowl and the results are usually poor. MUST pay attention to those things early on. Still learning.

I lost some bark but most folks wouldn't care about that. I give my bowls to friends and relatives at this point in my "career".
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The timestamp on the photo where I started cutting the tree down was 12:01 PM Sunday. The timestamp on these photos is 8:00 PM on Monday. 32 hours from live tree to bowl. I don't recommend that, but it's my tradition. :cool:
 
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