Thursday, April 14, 2011

From A Cupped Piece of Cherry

  Selecting and cutting into a new piece of wood is always a crap-shoot.  You pick up a piece of timber, go over it carefully for flaws like knots, cracks and defects barely visible, then you select a portion of it with prominent grain patterns or unusual color, and decide how to mount it on the lathe.
  This time, I was holding a bit of a cupped piece of cherry about nine inches wide. It had a slight yellow tinge to it, with prominent cathedral grain through its center.  I carefully placed my compass to establish the workpiece avoiding small pin-knots and a lengthy crack, drawing a circle all the way to both edges to get the full effect of the piece.  Then to the bandsaw for prep work, and the workbench to plane a section flat and pre-drill for faceplate holes, then the lathe. The crusty surface texture came off to reveal a beautiful, fine-grained swirl of color, and voila! a shallow, curled-rimmed bowl was born, through four hours heavy labor:

Cherry, 8-1/2" diameter, by 1" deep

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