Ok, let's see a show of hands: how many of you have made a bowl out of a tree branch? With all of the fallen trees and branches the past month, I've had a field day collecting medium diameter (5"-7") tree branches for spoon work and to experiment with green tree branch wood.
I have a small 6"x 18" red oak branch and I cut off a 7" long piece:
Then with a couple of whacks with an axe, I split it into 2 turning blanks:
...and I mounted it on the lathe between centers and began to shape out a bowl and remove the bark:
Here I've shaped the bottom and outside of the blank. I've turned a deep tenon on the underside for re-mounting on the lathe:
I then flipped the bowl blank over and hollowed it out a little:
And the next two photos show the outside of the bowl:
Turning the bowl isn't difficult to do and this particular turn took about 40 minutes total including sawing the branch. What is a challenge now is to dry the bowl without it cracking. I'm going to probably deepen the turn a little more and then wrap it in several layers of heavy paper so it will dry out slowly. I'll do the same thing to the other half of the branch and in about a month's time we'll see if the bowls are still in one piece.