Two Tulipwood Bowls

I wrote about the details of Tulipwood some time in the past so I won’t repeat myself here.

Apparently, I really liked working with Tulipwood in pen blank format and that experience continued through into the bowl blanks as well.  Tulipwood cuts quite cleanly, sands out easily, and takes a mirror finish.  And it smells nice too, having a distinct subtle floral fragrance when cut.


These bowls measure 5.25″ x 2″.

Note that the sapwood inclusions are intentional on my part.  Yes, if I had cut the blanks from the opposite direction, I could have cut off the sapwood but I like the contrast of sapwood with heartwood in most all blanks so I try to save it when I can.  And yes, I know that some wood turners think sapwood is ugly or waste wood, but to me it is beautiful in its own unique way.

If you have Tulipwood, by which I mean the Brazilian variety seen here, not American Tulipwood which is just common Poplar, treasure it and enjoy it because you can’t buy it anymore as Tulipwood, along with all true rosewoods of the Dalbergia genus, are CITES protected.  Brazilian Tulipwood was protected even before the genus wide restrictions went into place making it incredibly hard to source.  There are occasionally a few vendors that have some old stocks that have been seasoning that come up for sale rarely and this stuff sells out quickly when it is available so if you have the chance to snag some, take it.  I have a few more bowl blanks and a good stock of pen blanks too that I am hoarding at the moment.

If you want some spindle sizes, check out Griffin Exotic Woods as they still have some available.

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 Gold and Green Wave sanding discs as well as 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!