A stunning example of Wormy American Chestnut wood bowl. Typically one will find wormy chestnut with a bug hole or track here or there. This wood is full of character by way of hundreds of bug holes and tracks.
The wood used to make this bowl is near extinct old growth American Chestnut wood. The American Chestnut tree went near extinct about 100 years ago due to blight. Find more info here at the ACF. The trees are found now and again, but quickly die off due to the blight.
This particular piece of wood was found in the back of an old sawmill in Grafton, New Hampshire called the Kimball Mill. It is currently undergoing renovations by our local preservation society.
Old growth American Chestnut is very hard to find and very valuable. Even more so when it has this amount of wormy character in it.
The “worm” holes, made by bugs after the tree dies due to blight are what gives this bowl all it’s unique character. The holes created by the insects go all the way through the bowl; one can even hold the bowl up to the light and see straight through the holes in then bottom of the bowl. (Last photo)
Wood Turned Wormy Chestnut Bowl
The bowl measures 13 inches in diameter and was hand turned on my wood lathe. I took extreme care while turning, keeping the wood spinning at low speeds. Slow and steady I cut the wood with chisels into a beautiful bowl shape. It sits on a foot which raises it up off the table and invites the viewer to pick it up.
I deliberately left the top rim of the bowl “natural”, exactly the way it was cut 100 years ago and left to dry. The air drying process 100 years ago allowed the wood to warp, which is a distinguished characteristic in this bowl. Along with the warping from the drying process, the rim also shows you some of the original sawmill blade marks along the top edge. It’s very cool to look at, and a great conversation starter.
When I say this bowl is full of character, I really mean it!
The only moisture in the wood is from ambient moisture in the surrounding air, meaning it’s surprisingly light to handle.
After cutting the bowl to it’s final shape, I carefully and meticulously sanded every inch by hand from 120 grit sandpaper through 600 grit sandpaper. Between each grit of sandpaper, I cleaned dust from the holes with compressed air.
After sanding the bowl, I engraved my insignia on the bottom and did one final clean out of all the bug holes and tracks. I did this using compressed air and a toothpick which cleaned out 99% of the holes.
After the holes were cleaned up, I applied three coats of quality polyurethane for a lasting luster.
Many many careful hours went into saving this piece of very rare wormy chestnut wood and crafting this beautiful wooden bowl.
You will certainly enjoy this wormy American chestnut wood bowl in your home as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
Enjoy free priority mail shipping via USPS.
Thank you for supporting small businesses like mine. I know you’ll love your new bowl.
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