Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring back in February.

Here in Vermont, we don’t have groundhogs.  We have woodchucks, and they don’t pretend to be able to predict the weather. They just eat our gardens.

However, one good sign that spring is on the way is the emergence of snowdrops seen here under the rosebush by the barn.

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The warm weather has had another effect which is that I can be in my shop without freezing my appendages off and can even have the door open for a while!

I’ve had a few large chunks of wood ready to turn for some time.  They have been in plastic bags and got all moldy and began to spalt.  Since I recently acquired a large piece of cherry, I thought it was time to do some outboard turning and rough out some large bowls. Outboard turning happens at the end of the lathe and requires a special tool rest because the blanks are too large to turn over the bed of the lathe.  I made my own outboard tool rest. I’ll post about it sometime in the future.

Here the blank is mounted and I’m beginning to shape the outside of the bowl.


This piece is about 28-29″ in diameter.  You can see the spalting where it’s been cut.

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The outside roughed out, reversed on the lathe and ready for hollowing.


Here, the interior is being roughed out.

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The rough cut bowl blank is complete. It will be allowed to dry before being remounted on the lathe and being turned to its final shape. This wood is already partially dry, but given the size and thickness, it will probably take at least six months or more before its ready for final turning.