I have talked about Ambrosia Maple at some length in another post, not published as of October 27, but coming soon, so I won’t go on about the wood here.  2014-10-27 19.09.08

This wood was special because it was purchased in Louisville Kentucky while on a family visit trip.  There is a small local wood turning shop, Choice Woods, that was just setting up when I visited, that had a great deal of local woods for sale at very reasonable prices.  Oddly, they don’t seem to have a web presence at this time.2014-10-27 19.09.18

This bowl proved remarkably easy to make, the maple turned beautifully and the end grain sanded smooth quite easily.  Honestly, it was a joy to make and it is easily one of my favorites.

I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed making it.


Wenge Dish

Wenge is a very hard, very dense, and very colorful streaked hardwood from Africa. It is not often found in sizes adequate for bowl turning, and when it is found, it will come at a rather dear price compared to many other available woods of comparable sizing. I just priced an 8 inch square blank, of 3 inches thickness, at over $62, not including shipping. The piece I used was smaller, but it still retailed at the time I purchased it for about $40. But for its unique appearance, texture, and heft, it might be worth it.2014-09-25 20.37.43 Continue reading

Spalted Hackberry Bowl

I recently made a good sized bowl with a local wood, hackberry. While hackberry isn’t a particularly interesting wood, the spalting process gave it character that a piece without spalting would never have. The process of turning spalted wood, especially a wood that is soft to begin with, was not necessarily easy or without challenges, but in the end, I think the finished piece was worth the effort.2014-09-21 19.42.29 Continue reading


I had purchased a relatively small block of wood labelled Timborana at some point in the past, from where and exactly when are now mysteries. I had never worked with this wood before so it presented new opportunities and, it would prove, new challenges. While I am pleased with the end result, the process of getting to that point was not always easy.2014-09-21 00.54.29 Continue reading

Mulberry Goblet

Long ago I acquired several tall round blanks that were sold for the purpose of making lidded boxes and that was my original intention for the wood. However, I found that the process, despite having a book about how to do it and having one in person lesson with my Dad, was more difficult than I had imagined. I put aside the idea of making lidded boxes for a while but still wanted to do something with the wood on hand, so I decided to experiment with a new shape. I have not been displeased with the result.2014-09-16 14.22.03 Continue reading

Cherry Bowl

Cherry Wood Start
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Today I worked on making a nice little bowl from some cherry wood from South Carolina. It is nice to be able to work with a variety of local woods, similar in ethos to eating local produce, and fortunately for me, living in the eastern part of the United States opens up lots of options for nice woods that are quite local or regional in origin. Granted, I am from California and still have family there, so when they give me wood that is western United States in origin, I can still consider it local, so I win the best of both worlds! This particular bowl demonstrated two essential aspects of wood turning: wet wood shrinkage and end grain tear out. Continue reading

Highly Figured Chico California Walnut

While in Chico, California for the wedding of my sister, Kelly, I went out on the outskirts of town with Tim, my father Steve, and my uncle Don to a local seller of walnut timber. Chico has historically been an area where lots of nut trees are grown, including walnuts, for both commercial and ornamental purposes. As the trees age and become unproductive, or when homeowners wish to remove them for one reason or another, it is this man and his son’s business to remove the trees, cut them into timber, largely for the gun stock trade, and sell them. Occasionally, a walnut tree will prove to contain some pieces that have especially heavy and attractive figure and grain and these pieces will, of course, command a premium price. We purchased quite a few pieces of walnut timber and I kept several of the pieces for air drying before attempting to turn them. Continue reading