Spalted Maple Bowl with
Inlay - December 2006
this year I was the recipient of several chunks of a long dead maple
tree (thanks, Butch) that was still standing
when it was cut.
Some of the stuff was too rotten to use but other pieces showed
spalting and a bit of promise.
This is a section of the main trunk. The first order of
business is to split off the side branches.
That took about ten minutes with an electric chain saw.
laying on the floor looks like it has promise.
This is the chunk I think I will start with.
This wood is spalted and quite light. Some areas
and a little damp.
The piece will have to dry a while before I can do much with it.
The center is rotten down three inches or so.
I started by
flatting the end and then switched to the sides to get the chunk more
This is the end of day one. The center looks solid but the
shows significant spalting.
It is to the point where
the wood is
getting pithy but it has not yet gone soft.
I sort of forgot about
this chunk of wood and in the process of cleaning out the back of the
truck, I found this
under the spare tire. Spalted wood coming directly from a
dead tree still needs to dry so I got in the habit
of tossing them in the back of the truck for a year or so.
That usually does the trick.
One thing about spalted maple - it does turn easily. It took
about an hour to get the round into this
shape. Getting better at sharpening tools helps too.
The inside is a piece of cake. Two sections of the bowl are
in bad shape and rather than cut the blank
down to solid wood, I opt to leave a little bark, not worry about the
rim and gouge out the really rotted areas.
These areas get liberal applications of CA glue. It soaks in
like water in a sponge.
This entire area is in bad shape. It took half an hour or so
to clean out all the rot and another couple areas layering
in the inlay and CA glue. Malachite is used for the inlay.
I continue sanding the inside while waiting for the outside to harden
up. These Wave Sanding disks have
became a favorite of mine but I need to find a cheaper place to buy
them. Wood Crafters is a rip-off.
A day later and a couple hours of sanding produces a nice finish.
The outside is sanded to 400 grit and
the inlay is finished with a couple passes of 600 grit.
The bowl is finished with a clear urethane finish. It ended
up looking quite nice.