Wood Turning Process
This is a Cherry Log prior to rough shaping

The Process:

The process for most turned Artwork starts with a natural piece of North American native wood. It can be walnut, cherry, maple, cedar or any other kind of wood you may see on the US east coast. The rough piece is usually a large cross section of a tree including the bark.

I closely examine the wood to choose the best possible angle to turn the wood so that it will show the natural curves and color of the grain. I cut away parts of the log to get a general shape for the design I have determined is best suited for that piece of wood. Once the rough shape is completed I screw a faceplate to the area of the wood that I plan to cut away. This allows me to form the bottom and sides of the piece first.  Then I rough out the general shape of the entire piece.



The general rough shape is gouged out on the lathe when the wood is still very wet inside. The reason for this is that if the wood is too wet when formed it will dry out and will crack  (the cracks are called checking). The roughed out blank is then removed from the lathe and coated with a type of wax that seals the blank and allows it to slowly dry over a long period of time. Some of these blanks take a year or more to be ready for final shaping and finishing. The amount of moisture in the wood must be monitored closely and when the blank is ready it’s put back on the lathe for final shaping. When the final lathe work is finished the piece must be sanded and an appropriate finish applied.
Rough gouged blanks awaiting final turning

The Natural edge process is slightly different. Instead of the wood being formed into a blank and then seasoned its seasoned in its natural form. The logs are cross cut and then the ends are coated to seal the wood.
The log is drilled so that it can be threaded onto a chuck connecting it to the lathe.
A revolving cone center pushes against the other side of the log for stability during the rough shaping process.
The Log is slowly rough shaped by removing the bottom of the piece. A base is formed so that once the rough shape is completed the piece can be reversed and the inside of the bowl shaped.
Notice that the bottom of the piece is rough shaped but the top side of the piece is untouched and will be the next step of the artworks shaping process.
Now the inside of the bowl is being shaped & the excess wood removed slowly to form the inside of the bowl. Notice that the cone center support is still  used to support the piece while rough shaping is being done.
Now the center of the bowl is removed & the cone center removed so that the final shaping of the interior of the bowl can be completed.
Here is a finished natural Edge Bowl. The bark is Chemically reinforced so it wont detach easily and it has a hand rubbed oil finish.