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A live edge bowl turned from spalted maple sourced from a “free firewood” Facebook marketplace advert. The 29 year old tree had been cut into 2 foot sections that had been stacked in the open for 9 months.

This was the fifth bowl that I ever turned, and the first with a live edge. I only attempted the live edge because upon inspection of my blank, I realized there would be a large worm-hole in the center of my foot if I turned it with the heartwood-up.

Approximate dimensions are 12cm wide x 10cm tall and wall thickness is 4 – 6 mm.

A live edge spalted maple wood hand turned wooden bowl.

It was turned on a Harbor Freight mini lathe starting between centers. One of the low sides is higher than the other, as my first attempt at centering was extremely unsuccessful, as were my 2nd – 10th.

That said, I was pleased that I could improve my orientation each time by measuring the clearance of the rim compared to the tool rest, withdrawal the quill and reposition with respect to the live center.

After the outside of the form was shaped with a bowl gouge, I cut a tenon in what would become the hollow, changed to my Oneway woodturning chuck while keeping the same orientation, and shaped the foot.

After lightly sanding from 100 – 360 grit in 4 steps, I then flipped it, rechucked by the foot, and hollowed the center with 3/8″ bowl gouge.

I then sanded to 360 grit and finished with several light coats of a 1.5# cut of shellac, using 0000 steel wool between coats were needed.

The piece was turned the first week of Feb ’22 and given to my wife for Valentine’s day.

It is displayed in this picture on a black walnut cake plate that I turned for her for a Christmas present.

Artist: Hubert Gill

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