2022 Empty Bowls Donations

Milwaukee Empty Bowls has closed its doors but Frieden’s Food Pantry Network is taking over the fundraiser. There will be an event in the Milwaukee area in October, so I have made some “Empty Bowls” to turn in. Here are the first 40 or so.

Mostly Cherry
Mostly Cherry – Bottom one is Pear
All Black Walnut
Mix – Elm on Top – Sugar Maple (?) on Bottom
Mulberry, Cottonwood, Pear and Honey Locust
Ash, Hickory, Apple, Black Walnut, Maple

Sassy the dog is Ten years Old

When I first started this very sporadic blog many years ago, Sassy was a young puppy. She is now ten years old, plus a couple months. She is part of the family, and we don’t know what we would do without her.

The grandkids love her, and for the most part, she loves them in return.

Here is a picture of her stretching toward the camera.

When she hears the packing tape coming off the roll, she knows I have sold something on Etsy. She will go and hang out by the front door because to her, that simply means we will be taking a walk out to put something in the mailbox.

Otherwise, she spends most of her life sleeping – this time of year, she sleeps in front of the fireplace. If she gets too warm in front of the fire, she just moves a few feet away from it, but not too far.

Carved Pendants

Recently, I have been carving heart shaped pendants. This began when a customer requested a pendant that was not round, After I made a couple samples, she selected a couple that she liked.

Mountain Ash (Rowan) Carved Pendant
Mountain Ash (Rowan) Turned Pendant
Mountain Ash (Rowan) Carved Pendant

I then began to try to shape the pendants into a heart shape. Here are the results so far.

Mountain Ash (Rowan) Carved Pendant
Mountain Ash Carved Pendant

After making a number of carved pendants from mountain ash, I then moved on to other woods.

Mulberry Heart Shaped Pendant
Oak Heart Shaped Pendant
Cherry Heart Shaped Pendant

Empty Bowls

Each fall, the Milwaukee Empty Bowls organization holds an even to address hunger in the Milwaukee area. Empty Bowls raises funds through the event and then distributes the funds to other organizations in the Milwaukee area. They raise funds by selling an “empty bowl” filled with a serving of soup. The purchaser keeps the bowl.

Most of the bowls are ceramic, and made by various artists in the Milwaukee area. However, they also accept wooden bowls and members of our club make and donate several bowls each year. The following pictures are bowls I have made for donation in 2021.

In total, I made 21 bowls for Empty bowls in ’21. Maybe for 2022, I’ll make 22 bowls! The club donated a total of 66 bowls in 2021,

Ash, Cherry, Ash, Elm?, Cherry, Ash
Just for Fun – Boxelder
Hickory, Black Walnut and Oak(?)
Boxelder, Pear, Cherry, Cherry, Black Walnut, Hickory

Acorn Box Top

I made a couple acorn boxes which double as spinning tops. The tops are black walnut and the bottoms are ash. They are a little difficult to get spinning, but they will spin and for some time.

Here are the pics. And, a video of the box spinning on a granite countertop.

Acorn Boxes with Threaded Lids

This summer I purchased a threading jig so that I could make lidded boxes and other items with a more secure lid. Of course, due to the popularity of the acorn boxes I am selling on Etsy, I needed to make some with threaded lids. I have recently listed my first ones on Etsy and to date have sold three of them.

More Acorn Boxes

My acorn boxes have proven very popular this year on Etsy. Here are a number of them that I have made since the previous post. All the acorn boxes shown on this page have a pop-on or push-fit cap. The next post will show acorns with a threaded cap.

Leisel’s Bowls

In an earlier post I showed part of the processing for these bowls. I have a few natural edge bowls and one other piece that have come from this wood.

I was able to core out a pair of natural edge bowls and kept the bark on them. These have actually been completed (sanded out and finished with wipe-on polyurethane) for some time as this is written in mid-August, 2020. The next few pictures are of this pair or bowls – the smaller one was cored out of the larger one.

Pair of nesting natural edge bowls
Pair of nesting natural edge bowls
Pair of nesting natural edge bowls
Inside view of the larger bowl
Inside view of the smaller bowl

There is another, smaller natural edge bowl. This bowl has a somewhat interesting history to me. I was passing part of the wood along to other club members and was sawing bowl rounds for him on my bandsaw. I let him select where to have the round sawn, and I felt he made a poor selection which resulted in a sizable piece of crotch wood left over. I took that piece and turned a smaller natural edge bowl from it with the following result:

Small natural edge bowl from crotch remnant
Small natural edge bowl from crotch remnant
Inner view of small natural edge bowl from crotch remnant

Finally, one of the club members with whom I shared the wood made the following piece and insisted I share it with the person who donated the wood to the club. It is a small potpourri container with a pewter lid.


William T’s Walnut Bowls, Take Two

When I delivered the bowls to Wiliam T, he brought be more walnut logs to turn into bowls. I roughed out the logs into bowls and here are the results:

First, the failure – I tried to core a natural edge bowl set out of one of the log halves and had two failures – first, I cored too deeply. Next, I tried to make a smaller bowl out of what was left and turned through the side of the bowl. Here is a picture of the remnants.

Next, I was able to get one large natural edge bowl from one of the log halves. This still needs to be sanded out and sealed. It is between 12 and 13 inches at the longest dimension. There is a small piece of bark that I will glue back on before I sand out the bowl.

I was able to core out one of the remaining bowls and ended up with a 7-inch or so inner bowl. The remaining bowls as they are roughed out are 9-inches, 10-inches and 11-inches. We seem to have a total of 5 bowls. These remaining bowls will soon be able to be final turned and finished.

Oak Corner Blocks

A former coworker contacted me recently and asked if I could make some corner blocks for baseboard trim for an older home that he is fixing up. The previous owner had replaced some plaster and lathe walls with drywall and as a result the existing trim as just a tiny bit short at the corners. He hoped to make up the difference with corner blocks.

This was a new experience for me.

I purchased four 2x2x36 inch blocks of oak at Lowes.

Then I cut them into approximately 1 foot lengths.

The oak sticks from Lowes were nominal 2x2s but they measured 1-1/2×1-1/2, so I trimmed them on my table saw. I took 1/4 inch off them which left a rough sawn surface. It may be time to replace the blade on my table saw.

So I ran them across the joiner to clean them up.

After I got all 12 blocks cleaned up, I glued them together in pairs with kraft paper between them. I used Titebond glue.

After they cured overnight, I cleaned up one side of each pair on the joiner, and glued pairs together with kraft paper between them.

After these set overnight, I cleaned up all the faces on the joiner. It took only one or two passes on most of the surfaces.

After the blocks were cleaned up I trimmed each end on the miter saw and then marked and drilled the center on each end. The center was pretty easy to determine. It was the joint where all four sticks came together.

While I was waiting for the glue to dry, I turned a couple test blocks to work out the design I wanted to use. Shown below was the first test. Neither I nor the customer was happy with this.

The second test showed promise, and I knew what improvements I needed to make on the final product. The customer gave the nod and away we went.

To turn them I mounted the blocks of four sticks glued together between centers. I used a steb center on the drive end and a 1/2 inch pointed center on the tailstock end. I marked guide lines on the wood at 1 inch from the end, 1-1/4 inch from the end and 2-1/4 inch from the end.

The guide lines allowed me to see what I wanted to do while the block was turning.

While I had them mounted on the lathe I used my air sander to clean up the surface from the joiner marks and the glue joints.

The design was a bead from the 1-inch mark to the top, a cove at the 1/4 inch mark and a rounded shoulder that started at the 2-1/4 inch mark and rounded in to the cove. Here is a finished block.

I got all three of them turned and they looked pretty close – as the customer said, you can only see one corner at a time, any way.

Next, came the moment of truth, would the block really part nicely at the kraft paper seam? I used a 1 inch chisel and a mallet.

I’m happy to say that they did, and I ended up with 12 corner blocks that were surprisingly similar both in length, squareness and appearance.