Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Three Sisters Project-Walnut platter

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's the first day of spring and I feel like I'm frozen solid. I spent a little over an hour in the shop this afternoon and I was getting chill blains so I stopped, gathered up the camera and the platter and decided to stop for the day.

I decided to work on the walnut platter today and here are the photos from this session;

Here is the walnut blank. This is a nice, small clear piece of black walnut and it should work well for this project:

Here is the blank on the lathe, ready to turn. I've marked off the foot of the platter with a pencil. This platter will have a very shallow, narrow foot, just enough to elevate the platter off of whatever surface it sits on:

 Here you can see the foot taking shape. I've also removed wood from the bottom surface to the edge of the rim:

This is a profile photo of the blank. Compare it with the photo underneath. You can see how the bottom is angled towards the rim and how the rim is being shaped and turned in towards the center of the top of the blank:

 I had wanted to create an orange peel effect on the outside surface of the platter and to do this I used my wire wheel in my hand drill. Unfortunately it didn't work so I decided instead to smooth the surfaced down and get it ready for oiling a little later on:

Here is a photo of the platter thus far. I've hollowed it out some and created a rather wide rim, which I'm not too keen on at the moment. I may wind up narrowing that down some:

 Here is the underside of the platter:

 And this is a side shot of the rim:

This platter needs more turning. There's a slight bump in the center of the platter that needs to be removed and the rim needs to be narrowed about 1/8 ". I think narrowing the rim will look a little better.

As it's really cold out, I'm staying in for the rest of the first day of spring and getting warmed up. I may work on the platter tomorrow if I have some spare time.

More later,



  1. Looks good already! :) I really like the colour of the wood. We mainly use just birch, because it's easiest to get. Other wood suitable for turning are a bit hard to find here. I wish I had time for turning too...

  2. Hello Saaara,

    Thanks for the comment.

    We have a lot of birch here too. We have white birch and red birch, which is a little softer and makes wonderful carving wood. I make a lot of spoons out of red birch.

    Don't forget-you can laminate different woods to make up a turning block and this is a good way to purchase small amounts and use different a variety of woods. Give that a try. And soft woods, pines, cedar, etc, can be good for turning as well but you will have to have super sharp tools otherwise they can tear.

    Good luck and ALWAYS find time for turning!
    Vickie W.