top of page

Turning a Green Log

Turning a bowl from a green piece of wood is fun and exciting; one never knows exactly what shape will emerge until the wood is on the lathe and the turning progresses. There are many ways to turn a bowl from a green log; here’s one way that seems to work for me.

From the pictures above, I’ve taken a green piece of ambrosia maple obtained from a friend who runs a sawmill in Prince William County, VA. After sawing it into a square piece with my chain saw, I used my band saw and a circle template (made from ¼” plywood) to cut the piece into a cylinder. Using a faceplate, the rounded rough piece is then mounted onto the lathe and the outside/bottom shape is created. A tenon is also made that will secure the piece to the lathe with a jaw chuck when it is reversed for turning out the inside of the piece; once reversed, the inside is turned leaving a rough turned bowl (in this case; see pics above).

Then the slow drying process starts; the green rough turned piece is put into a paper grocery bag (not much mystery here) along with some of the shavings; the throat of the bag is closed and the bag is set aside on a shelf; here’s where patience comes in as it may take 3-4+ months of slow drying, depending on the size of the bowl, to bring the moisture down to ambient levels (this time is used to create other “stuff”; the shop looks like a little cluttered with a bunch of dated bags piled all over the shelves). After the wait, final turning and sanding is done and each piece is signed on the bottom and turned over to the finishing department (my wife) who then applies the 5+ coats of finish over the next 2-3 weeks. Then the piece is done!!

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Social Icon
bottom of page