Spalted Maple Bowl with Inlay - December 2006

Earlier 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.  
The piece 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 are  hard 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 centered.

This is the end of day one.  The center looks solid but the top shows significant spalting.  
It is to the point where the wood is getting pithy but it has not yet gone soft.

To be continued...........

June 2008

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.  

Back on the Lathe

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.

Turning the inside

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.

Sanding out the Inside

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.

Sanding the Outside

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.