Maple Natural Edge Bowl

I cut a few maple bowl blanks a couple of weeks ago out of some freshly-cut
firewood. The log was about 10" in diameter. I chainsawed the log down the
middle and bandsawed the pieces round.
I put the blank on the lathe and roughed a natural edge bowl. Then, I
placed it in a brown paper bag and set it aside for a few days.
Last Saturday, I mounted the blank on the lathe and began to shape the bowl.
It was still very wet and tearing on the interior end grain. I switched to
a 3/4" half-round scraper. It was tearing worse. Sharpened scraper. No
So, I set the blank aside to season further. Tonight, I mounted the blank
on the lathe again, sharpened my scraper and tried again. The bowl walls
were about 1/2" thick and the wood felt dry. More tearing. Sharpened
scraper again.
OK. I am taking light cuts. The scraper is razor sharp. The shavings are
so light and feathery they just float to the floor, but I still cannot get
rid of the tearing of the end grain on the inside of the bowl. The tearing
is too deep to sand out without going to 60 grit. Its better, but still
there! Am I still tearing, or is this damage I did to the wood while the
blank was still wet? Arrrrgggggh! Damn this hobby! Just when you think
you have something mastered, the wood humbles you again ! ! ! Help! Barry
Reply to
Barry N. Turner
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Hello Barry,
I doubt that it is you. Maple, in general, isn't really hard enough to be cut cleanly with a scarper, even a very sharp scraper. The tool to use is a very sharp bowl gouge, even then you may experience tear out in the end grain. Sandpaper may be your best bet.
Harder, denser woods such as some of the fruit woods, will respond quite well to a good sharp scraper. I still feel that the best cuts can be made with the bowl gouge even on those.
Fred Holder
In article , Barry N. Turner says...
Reply to
Fred Holder
(clip)Just when you think you have something mastered, the wood humbles you again ! ! ! Help! Barry ^i^^^^^^^^^ I don't know whether this will do you any good, but it is worth a try. Apply some lacquer sanding sealer or shellac to the wood, and they try some more light cuts. It has the effect of tying the wood fibres together, so they are more likely to cut clean, without tearing. This has helped me at times. You can also use this trick when you are sanding.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
===================================================== Barry, You need something to stabilize the end grain. There are several ways you can go, but some clear lacquer is probably the quickest thing you can use. Ca is also an alternative, but a bit more expensive for large areas. It's like stabilizing spalted wood. Anything you use for that should work in the area you're working on.
Ken Moon Webberville, TX
Reply to
Ken Moon
You need to cut the wood, not scrape. Get a gouge and get going. Some tools, angles and results pictured and discussed on
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've got three sizeable lumps of oozing spruce to cut, and my small-scaletest of yesterday demonstrated that only a shearing cut will do. Anybodyknow how it does in drying?
Reply to
On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 19:46:17 -0500, Barry N. Turner wrote:
This is where I usually stop, Shape it with a bowl gouge, get it to the correct shape, abd thickness and as smooth as possible on the face grain. There will be tearout on the endgrain. Then let it dry, I let it air dry, for a week or more. Then sand. Sanding before it's dry will load up the paper. Wet endgrain just doesn't cut! Wet anything doesn't sand!
Reply to
Mike Vore
Thanks Fred and George. Your suggestions will be put to work. I recently came into quite a large batch of Maple and am experiencing the same issues as Barry. However I've also had some hard Maple and learned that it is an entirely different beast than the soft variety.
Reply to
This may be another untested personal anecdote. I hand-sand just the two tearout spots (interior & exterior, wet or dry) while the bowl is still pretty rough. I use soft wax lubricated 100 grit paper. Then I continue finish cutting that's deeper than the two smoothed areas. Seems to reduce endgrain tearout spots in a cross grain piece, I don't know why. Arch
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