I knocked out this smallish, 7.5″ x 1.5″, Holly dish in about an hour. Holly is hard but it does not cut cleanly so a bit more sanding than I would like. I had an easier time with it this time around than I did the first few times I turned it. I think experience makes all the difference in knowing what to expect from a wood and how best to deal with its particular issues.
This blank shows a great deal of the common silvery blue fungal staining. It is almost impossible to keep Holly pristine white unless it is cut in the winter and immediately kiln dried. This blank was sold wet but sealed in wax. I allowed it to dry before turning it and it warped considerably which Holly is known to do. When making bowls this shape I don’t bother to round the blank down first since the roundness will come in as I shave up from the bottom to make the sloped sides.
This Holly took an amazing finish with no streaks of uneven color. I think that is a credit to a hard, close grained, and fine textured wood.
Since my experience of Holly this time was so much more positive I would consider working with it again. I may have more Holly in my stocks but I can’t say for sure as of yet. If I do that’s great but if not there are other woods I need to work with first before I buy anything!
Most cuts were made using the Easy Wood Tool system while final light clean up and finishing cuts were with a Robert Sorby bowl gouge. The work was done on my Robust American Beauty lathe. Forward chucking was in a Nova Chuck, while reverse chucking was done using a Nova Chuck with Cole Jaws. Sanding was with Gold and Green Wave sanding discs from Packard Woodworks. Final finish is Shellawax.
As always, I wish all my readers a great experience in whatever your wood working interests happen to be and to those who like working with lathes especially, do a good turn today!