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Buckthorn Crotch

A friend brought me some European Buckthorn to see how it turns. I have wanted some of this wood for some time but it is difficult finding large diameter pieces. The wood is very dense and beautifully colored. I selected a crotch shown in the photo below. I cut the wood approximately as shown by the inscribed circle and attached it to my Stubby 1000 lathe. The wood already shows nice colors and figuring. (click on an image to enlarge it)

This is one of many ways to turn a crotch. I wanted to turn a bowl that contained the centers (piths) of all three branches. This is a bit risky since I am turning green wood and expect to see some checking at the piths, but the effect of this type of turning can be spectacular. I had already turned a few bark edged pieces of this buckthorn to study how the wood turns and dries. Checking was minimal, especially when CA glue was applied to suspected areas. The wood is very dense so turning was a bit slow, similar to turning mesquite wood. The following images show the result of turning this crotch. These shots were taken right after turning and the wood is still quite wet. There is great figuring and colors! I applied thin CA glue to all of the pith areas, just below the bark edge, and on any dark areas suspected of checking. The bowl is about 10" in diameter and 7" deep. The wall thickness is ⅜". It will need months of drying in controlled humidity and temperature before finishing. I monitor drying wood by weight and observe it daily for several weeks. If checking starts, I stop it with some CA glue. This usually works well, but sometimes wood is so stressed it will just suddenly crack. I will add more photos to this post when the bowl is dry and finished. I expect this to be a spectacular bowl.

Images of the sanded/oiled bowl were added in the gallery below on December 12. The final dimensions of the bowl are 9" diameter, 6" max height, and 5/16" wall thickness.


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