Bird’s Eye Maple Dish

Honestly, I work with Bird’s Eye Maple so often that I am running out of ways to make unique titles to describe the pieces.

I have previously written, in detail, about Maple as a wood.

This relatively small dish measures 7 inches across by about 1 3/4 inches tall.  Despite it’s small size it is rich in both bird’s eye and flame, some call it tiger stripe, figure as well.  The color variation seen in the interior but more strongly on the exterior bottom could be the result of a fungal infection in the wood either during growth or during drying, or it could represent the heartwood/sapwood junction.  Unlike in most woods, most maple is cut from the sapwood so my first guess would be that we are seeing the generally darker heartwood in this piece.  Regardless of the source of the color difference I think it really adds something to the character and appeal of the piece.

This bird’s eye maple piece was quite easy to make, taking less than 2 hours of my time.  For such a small investment of time I am quite pleased with the results.  As far as process is concerned, the blank was first jointed and then planed to ensure flat parallel surfaces for mounting.  The blank was mounted on an aluminium face plate from Craft Supplies USA using standard wood screws available from any Lowe’s or Home Depot.  First the edge was cut to ensure a uniformly round piece and a divot was cut in the bottom of the blank for the chuck mounting.  The blank was then mounted in a Nova Chuck with 50mm jaws.  Both the interior and the exterior were cut and shaped using Easy Wood Tools.  Finish sanding was done with Green Wave sandpaper from Packard Woodworks.  The final finish is Shellawax from Australia.  All lathe work was done on the Robust American Beauty lathe.

This bird’s eye piece was a joy to make as it presented to no complications or difficulties.  I greatly appreciate the strong figure it shows and even though it is small I think it is a very nice addition to my body of wood lathe work