Cottonwood Revisited

A Cottonwood Bowl with Pyrographed Chatter Work

A Cottonwood Bowl with Pyrographed Chatter Work

My last post showed a bowl with a post in the middle that can be used as a handle. As stated, the purpose of the post was to cover/hide where I cut through the bottom of the bowl. As is usually the case, the first iteration of an idea is not always the best. I do admit that not all my improvements have much to recommend them. But in this instance, the improvement was genuine.

Cottonwood tends to fuzz and takes some careful attention to clean up. Yes you can sand it to get rid of fuzzed grain, but I don’t like sanding. I have been able to use a round-nose scraper in shear position to leave a good surface. So I thought about trying a cabinet scraper with a rounded end.

With the lathe running at a moderate speed, I hand-held the scraper in shearing position against the interior of the bowl. (The left hand provides the fulcrum while the right hand holds onto the back-end of the scraper.) When the scraper started vibrating, I knew what I would see when I shut down. So I went over the area a couple of times to deepen the pattern. When I shut off the lathe, I had some nice spirals, which I burned with a pyrography tool to highlight. I like the results.

Ellis Hein
Author of the Woodturner’s Project Book

About Ellis Hein

I am a woodturner and the author of The Woodturner's Project Book. I have a life-long interest in the gospel preached by George Fox and the early Quakers. You can see some of my material on that subject at
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