Canarywood Bowl

Canarywood, usually from trees of the Centrolobium spp, is a tropical hardwood from Central and South America. I have worked with Canarywood in the past, mostly in pen blank form, but this is the first time I have successfully completed a bowl size piece using this wood. I was pleased with the ease of the overall process and satisfied with the outcome upon completing the work.2014-10-20 18.04.59

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Red Elm Bowl

I had occasion to purchase a rounded bowl blank of Red Elm sometime in the past. I have been letting it air dry through the wax coating that it came with and I felt the time had come to give it a try. It is always hard to tell what to expect from a wood that is waxed since the process fairly well obliterates the grain, texture and any figure that might be present. In the end, the wood was fairly plain but with a decent reddish color, hence the name. I suspect, although I haven’t conducted a survey to find out, that every woodturner with any experience has at least one wood that he or she just intensely dislikes for one reason or another. For me, that wood is now Red Elm.2014-10-19 20.16.13 Continue reading

Magnolia Bowl

For a native of the Western United States, Magnolia trees may not be a common sight and perhaps they remain completely unknown to many in the West. But in the East, and especially in the Southeast, Magnolia trees are common feature of both private yards as well as commercial or academic settings. The trees grow readily in the diverse climatic conditions of the Southeastern United States, they flower with large beautiful and fragrant blooms, and over time they can reach enormous size. So Southern are they that they are the official state tree of Mississippi, and they are native to the Southeastern United States.2014-10-18 22.12.23 Continue reading

English Walnut Bowl

I was fortunate enough, some years ago, to be given a several nice pieces of English Walnut. Several of them are spindle size but I also had at least one bowl blank size, in this case, about 8 inch square by 2 inch height. This piece featured wonderful figure and some bark inclusions, making it almost burl-like in appearance. I have been very pleased with the outcome of working with this piece of rather unusual wood. I have previously written in detail about this wood here.2014-10-17 20.28.10 Continue reading

Small Bubinga Bowl

My most recent project was turning a small bowl, or dish, from a nice 6”x6”x3” block of Bubinga wood that I had purchased at some time in the past. While I have worked with Bubinga as pen blanks in the past, this was the first time I experimented with a bowl blank size of this very beautiful and very popular exotic tropical hardwood.2014-10-12 21.46.47

A Bit About Bubinga

Bubinga comes from tropical equatorial Africa. There are several species within the Guibourtia genus of trees that may be sold as Bubinga. There are also other commercially important species within this same genus that are sold under other names, including Amazakoue. Some sources will refer to Bubinga as “African Rosewood,” and while Bubinga does often have a rosy coloration, it is technically absolutely not true rosewood. Only species within the Dalbergia genus are true rosewoods and these come from Central and South America and South Asia as well as Africa. Continue reading

Geographical Distribution

As the name implies, Rhodesian Teak is an African wood found primarily in present-day Zimbabwe (historically known as Rhodesia) as well as in other areas of so-called Gusu woodland ranging through Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia as well as Zimbabwe. While the proper scientific name of the tree which bears this wood is Baikiaea plurijuga, other common names in use, in addition to the most commonly applied moniker of Rhodesian Teak, include, but are probably not limited to: Mukusi, Rhodesian teak, Zambian teak , Zambesi redwood, Rhodesiese kiaat, Gusi, Umkusu, Umgusi, and Mukshi. Luthiers, specialist in musical instrument construction, often refer to the wood as both Mukushi and Zambian Teak.

Rhodesian Teak Stylus Pen
Rhodesian Teak Stylus Pen

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Commercial Segmented Bowl Blank

Some years ago, I had occasion to purchase some segmented bowl blanks from Penn State Industries. While this is not a vendor that I use routinely since I am not enamored of their shipping practices, I have on occasion purchased something from them that was unique. These segmented blanks, no longer available for purchase, were such a unique item.2014-10-10 17.54.52 Continue reading