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A Load of Box Elder Logs

I often get contacted by a person with a load of wood for turning. These calls seem to come at perfect times when I need new wood, magically out of the blue. I love box elder wood with some red staining. Here are images of some of the logs and a great piece cut from just above the root. The logs were marked by Greg from Chisago Center, MN, showing me the wood before I saw it in person. That helped deciding on which logs to get when I make the 250 mile drive from my home. To give you an idea of size, log "8" is about 17" in diameter and 5ft long. The large piece near the root is about 30" in diameter and 2.5 ft long. My truck was filled up with pieces I thought best for turning.

I selected one of the crotch pieces labeled "A" for my first turning from this wood. The following images show the trimmed crotch on the lathe and the resulting bowl. The bowl is about 12" in diameter and 8" in height. Box elder wood is very stable and even though this bowl is full of centers of three logs, a few drops of thin CA glue prevented any cracking during several weeks of drying under controlled humidity/temperature. This bowl has some nice feather figuring and good (but not great) red colors.

A few days ago I selected the large log labelled "8". The colors looked nice and the heart shaped shape called for an end grain turning. I cut a 7"thick slab from the end of this log, mounted it on the lathe with a face plate in the center of one face, and turned it. The following photos show the result. As expected, nice shape, nice colors and nice patterns. The red patterns in these logs are long rays that run parallel to the axis of the log. An end grain turning shows the ends of the rays, like bird's eye figuring, but these rays are not thin so we get red blobs rather than red dots. This bowl has a maximum diameter at the top of 17", 13" minimum diameter at the top, and is about 7" deep. I will be turning more end grain bowls from this log and from log "7". Thanks for reading about my wood turning. I am having a lot of fun making interesting bowls.

Below is a video of the top view of this bowl.


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