This project started when I was gathering hickory about a month ago at a relative’s house. While pillaging the fallen trees on his property that had fallen victim to heavy rain, he mentioned a cherry tree that had also fallen about two months prior. My knees went weak. I started to drool a little at the thought of a cherry tree that was ripe for the taking.
Once I located the tree, my knees lost that weak feeling and the lust for a truck load of cherry vanished like a clay pigeon getting shot from station 8. The tree was severely rotted and under heavy insect attack. I was able to pull a few usable pieces from the tree. The following details the rough turning of a cherry bowl.
It will never cease to amaze me what can be created from a rough and seemingly lifeless piece of wood. I’m glad I took lots of progress pictures of this piece so that you can see the amazing transformation from nearly scrap to a beautiful piece of art.
My spur drive hasn’t arrived yet, so I’m still stuck to using the worm screw in the scroll chuck to start off this piece. I used two tools for this piece. The main tool used is my 5/8 bowl gouge by P&N, I also used my hollowing tool for the inside of the piece.
I had initially thought to make a lid and base for this turning. After getting the piece round and seeing the grain structure, it “told” me “no lid” in a faint voice.
I honed in the shape by bringing in the opening size until I was happy with the bark contrast on the rim at the top. Generally, when a piece has the bark on it, the rough surface of the bark is left. This is called a natural edge turning. I tried something unconventional and shaped the bark layer. As you can see, this gives an interesting contrast to the rim of the bowl.
With the outside shape finalized, I moved on to hollowing out the inside. I used the scorpion hollowing tool made by Don Pencil. This is a great tool for hollowing open forms and closed forms alike.
Here are a slew of photos of the piece fresh off the lathe. I used a new-to-me method to dry the bowl. I soaked it in a bath of Denatured Alcohol for two days, after which I wrapped the outside in heavy paper.
Maybe this will be the first piece for sale…That is if my wife doesn’t hide it from me when it’s finished.