Thursday, April 25, 2013

Priscilla's Bowl-End Grain problem-Can This Bowl Be Saved?

Hi Everyone,

Here's a question: What's the best way to deal with end grain?
A. Sand the hell out of it and hope for the best,
B. Take a sharp scraper and scrape the wood fibers clean,
C. Take a sharp gouge and cut the fibers,
D. Wet sand it with mineral spirits,
E. All of the above.

Correct Answer: see below

I took the bowl and remounted it on the lathe and sharpened up my bowl gouge and began to very gently cut away at the surface of the bowl. Doing this should produce very fine wood shavings:

I did this for several minutes and then sanded the surface with 100 grit sandpaper. There was still visible end grain damage:

So I got out my hand drill and attached a sanding disk and sanded it:

That by itself removed some of the end grain but not all of it so I've wet down the surface with mineral spirits and proceeded to hand sand it and this worked. There is still some end grain damage but not as much. I'm going to wet sand the entire bowl and subsequent grits should remove any remaining damage:

Here is the bowl after the 120 grit sanding. You can see a little tear out on the bottom of the photo:

Here is a photo of the bowl at present:

Whew, I thought I was going to have to discard the bowl and start over again.

I'm going to be sanding and polishing the bowl periodically over the next several days and when I'm done with that I'll clean up the shop and vacuum all the dust out of it and get the bowl ready to be varnished.

See you later this weekend,



  1. Thanks for these tips! End grain is always so problematic and earlier I haven't really known what to do with it. This helps me! :)

  2. Hi Saaara,
    I'm glad this posting helps. I've been watching your knife blade project and I may try something like this myself later this summer.

    Hope your weather is warming up in Finland.

    Take care,