Lignum Vitae Bowl

I’ve worked with Argentine Lignum Vitae in the past although I referred to it as Verawood.  Verawood and Argentine Lignum Vitae are different species but their characteristics are similar enough that they can be treated in one posting.

I LOVED working with Argentine Lignum Vitae!  This super hard wood cuts so cleanly that attempting to sand it is unnecessary which is a good thing because this wood is so highly oily that sandpaper gums up immediately.  Even Abranet screens suffer this fate.  In fact, Argentine Lignum Vitae is so oily that at times it is like turning a candle rather than wood.  To make the proposition all the more appealing is the delightful fragrance that is present when Argentine Lignum Vitae is cut or worked.  The scent, which is flowery and quite pleasant, will linger in the shop even after you are done working.

Lignum Vitae

This piece measures 5.5″ x 2.5″.

If you are looking for a hard, heavy, extremely clean cutting wood than you can’t do much better than Argentine Lignum Vitae.  Of course, it is important to remember that I am speaking from a wood turning perspective only.  Other types of wood working might prove very difficult due to the oily nature of Argentine Lignum Vitae.

All major cuts were made using the Easy Wood Tool system on my Robust American Beauty lathe, although I do use Robert Sorby bowl gouges for light final passes before sanding.  Forward chucking was in a Nova Chuck, while reverse chucking was done using a Nova Chuck with Cole Jaws.  Sanding was with Abranet screens 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!