Well, I went downstairs retrieved the poplar bowl and then went out to the wood shop and started working in it. I'm happy to say that the bowl is still round and not distorted and there's no cracking. This is good news in that the bowl is very stable and probably will continue to be.
I put it back on the lathe and began sanding it and I went from 80 grit to 400 grit and the end grain is crushed. Sometimes in softer woods, cutting across the end grain doesn't cut it cleanly. Instead it tears or even just crushes the fibers so instead of a smooth surface in which the end grain shows clearly, the end grain areas have a sueded feel and if you put a varnish on it, it will look muddied.
The answer to this is to varnish the surface or lacquer it and let the surface dry for a day until it's really hard. This will harden the fibers and with a really sharp tool, I'll try re-cutting the interior of the bowl. The exterior of the bowl looks fine and needs no further treatment.
Here are a couple of photos:
Here is a photo of the bowl on the lathe. You can see some faint mineral staining on the surface:
These next two photos show the bowl with a preliminary coat of salad bowl varnish. As the wood is quite soft and porous, it will take several coats before it has a good, solid surface:
I think the bowl is a good size and the person receiving it will be happy to get it. But the surface needs more treatment so more about this bowl as the week progresses.
Next I'll post about the coffee wood bowl.