Historical site Walnut bowl - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-24-2011, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Historical site Walnut bowl

We had some severe storms move through our town last weekend and a big Walnut tree fell at a historical site that was founded in 1840. I talked to them and they gave me the tree so I told them I would make something to go in the museum out of some of it. Here is a roughed out bowl. It has alot of sapwood in it which I think adds to the piece. I should have it ready to donate in a few months.
Donny
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-24-2011, 08:58 AM
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Good looking bowl

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-24-2011, 11:10 AM
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Realy good looking. Anxious to see a pic when it is finished.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-24-2011, 11:34 AM
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Looks like a nice start to the bowl, and I like walnut with some sapwood around the outside for some contrast.

I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers of his car.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-27-2011, 11:31 AM
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Nice bowl and would like to see the finished product. But it brings a question to you'all. Do I see the pith in the bottom of this bowl? I am been told that the pith area is the weakest area of the wood? Thus, spliting the wood through the pith is preferred and turning only half the log makes for a stronger finished product. I have a walnut branch that is only 8" cir. and down. If I split out the pith area my ruff blank is going to be very small for a bowl. What is the rule of thumb for using the pith area. The harder the wood the better? Or???
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-27-2011, 12:26 PM
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You can tell by the curvature of the rings and the location of the sapwood that Don has split the wood through the center and what you are seeing in the bottom may be something like the center of a small branch as it exited the trunk, but more than likely it's just a trick with the light and that's just how the grain is oriented with the cutting.

You are correct in that you want to remove the pith, especially in green wood, to avoid any cracking or checking as the wood dries.

I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers of his car.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-27-2011, 12:39 PM
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I should probably let Donny answer but, at first glance it does appear the pith may be in the bottom of the bowl. I think this is just how the grain pattern shows in the picture. In the first picture the pith would be just off the top edge of the bowl at about the 10:30 position.
Your log you mentioned is not at all too small IMHO. Usually the log is split to prevent cracking since most originate from the pith. You will still have an 8” diameter bowl but maximum depth will be four inches. Most of my bowls that size are 2- 3 inches deep.
You can check your kitchen cabinet and get a general comparison of depth to diameter.
Donny doesn’t give a side view but it looks like the height is about ˝ the diameter.
Since you mentioned yours was a “branch” then it may have a lot of reaction wood (either tension or compression). Typically the pith is not in the center of the grain pattern so you wind up with a larger section and a smaller section. Some turners prefer reaction wood because of the grain pattern and the warping.
The picture below is of a pecan limb about 11” diameter. The pin (yeah a huge one inch one so I can’t lose it) is at the pith. The cut yielded a large section and a very small section.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-28-2011, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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The part at the bottom of the bowl is just not clean cutting. My tool rest seems to be just a tad too tall to get to the center the way I want to." The pith has been removed." After turning the moisture was at 38%. Now after the DNA soak and drying for an hour or so it is down to 31%. Hopefully by mid July it will be ready to finish.
Donny
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