The Original Bowl:
Instead of revisiting these topics, I want to introduce the next experiment with green turning to final size, final sanding, and finish where the finish also acts as a water loss barrier, hopefully slowing water loss so that no cracks will appear in this piece made from Cucumbertree wood.
This is a much larger piece of Cucumbertree wood, measuring in final size at 7.5″ x 2″. There was some loss to rounding as the bowl initially measured 8″ round.
As was discussing in the previous post about this alternative method of green turning, this piece was turned to final dimension no greater than 0.5″, sanded, and finished with ShellaWax.
This piece, while of the same wood and same technique brings some unusual interest aside from size.
The knots, reddish-orange in color in the bottom of the bowl, and showing through on the reverse, make for a very interesting feature that reminds me of the prominent and highly popular knots looked for in Norfolk Pine.
There are other less colorful knots, including a large one on the sidewall that extends from top to bottom, that also make this an interesting and unique piece of Cucumbertree wood.
I’m pleased with the way this latest Cucumbertree experiment worked out and I hope you like it as well.
Whatever your wood working interests might be, have a great time doing it.
UPDATE AND ADDITION:
I completed another Cucumbertree bowl one later than the one above. It looks much the same so wondering it is wasn’t the same tree. Smaller than previous at 6″ x 1.75. Turned out quite well and I am pleased with the result for about an hour of effort.
Today I turned my final piece of wet Cucumbertree wood, actually my last piece period. The vendor from whom I have purchased it in the past is currently out of stock, which is unfortunate since I could use 7-10 pieces more.
This piece presented some unique challenges and some unique rewards. I noticed immediately that it was much lighter in weight than the previous piece the exact same size. That meant to me that the piece had either dried or it had rotted, which can happen with very wet woods.
Leopard Figure Cucumbertree InteriorIt would turn out that the later was the problem in that the end grain sections were punky, slightly rotten, and impossible to cut cleanly. Punky wood doesn’t cut, it literally chunks out, and repairing that is tedious. No tool that I tried could do other than chunk it so I had to laboriously sand it smooth. It is important to note that the non-end grain areas were not rotten at all. If the whole piece had rotted I would have had no choice but to toss it, but in this case I thought that with some effort I could salvage it, and I did.
The figure on this piece is something I have never seen with Cucumbertree and I’ve used quite a bit. The interior features a pattern that looks like leopard spots. It is very unique. I imagine it is part of the spalting, i.e. rotting process, but whatever created it, I think it quite striking. There are also a few very small reddish-orange areas that might be fungal discoloration.