Here's our first large project of the year: a flower vase for dried flowers out of black walnut. I have a large chunk that I am going to turn into a flower vase for a family member who is ill at the moment and can use a little cheering up.
Plans and discussion
I have this large left over chunk of black walnut that I'm going to first turn into a cylinder on the lathe and then shape it into a flower vase.
Black walnut is of course a really lovely wood and it has been used in fine furniture and accessories for centuries. Minnesota is kind of at the extreme northern edge of it's growing territory here in the US and the wood that grows here grows slowly owing to the cold weather. It has a lovely straight grain and it's strong and is prized by furniture makers and wood turners.
Ok, let's get started:
Here is a photo of the chunk. It has a lovely purple brown color, very straight grain, no visible defects. I'm going to place it between centers on the lathe and because it will be unbalanced while I'm turning it down, I'll be turning this no faster than 200 rpm:
Here is the chunk about 5 minutes into turning. I'm using my roughing gouge and you can see the edge of the bark still on:
Here is a clearer photo of the bark. This is a good sized piece of wood and I'll be able to make a full-sized flower vase:
Here is the walnut blank after about 20 minutes of turning:
As it's getting colder, I'm going to stop for the day. Tomorrow I'll smooth the surface and then I'll shape the vase. Once that's done, I'll finely sand it till it's super smooth and then oil the daylights out of it. Walnut and oil were made for one another.
Oh, and if anyone would like some free icicles, let me know-we have lots of them:
I'll see you tomorrow,