This collection of quick phone snapshots shows some of the process we go through for a typical bowl.
Rough Saw the Logs
First up, we take a chainsaw to the logs and get them down to a more manageable size. At this point, we typically remove the pith from the log, since most cracks will start from the center.
Seal the End Grain
Since we can't always turn the wood as soon as we get it, we use a wax based sealer to slow down the drying process of the wood. The sealer is painted onto the ends of each piece of wood. It's later removed during the turning process.
Cut the Bowl Blank to Round
It's not strictly necessary, but it saves a lot of time to bring the rough sawn log to the band saw and cut it into a circle. At this point, we also examine the wood for flaws and features, then cut the round blank to enhance the features and eliminate or minimize the flaws.
Turn Turn Turn
This is where the fun happens. Based on the size and shape of the blank, we'll sketch a rough plan of what it should look like, then turn it on the lathe. Sometimes plans change from the original drawing. Each piece of wood is different, so we try to adapt the plan to whatever the wood seems to demand. And sometimes we adapt because a careless cut changes the shape from the original plan--nobody's perfect, right?
I don't have any sanding photos to show--it's a dusty mess and I'm sure it doesn't photograph well, so let's move right along.
We apply finish by hand for almost all of our work. For anything that goes in the kitchen, we use a heat treated and purified walnut oil that is food safe. Other items may be finished with various wood finishes like polyurethane, lacquer, tung oil, linseed oil, and shellac. The finish is allowed to dry and cure, then is buffed to a soft shine. A protective layer of carnauba wax is added for some of our pieces.