Rescue From A Woodturning Bowl Disaster

Rescue From A Woodturning Bowl Disaster
This woodturning project picks up from a green turning disaster a couple of months ago (
At that time, I turned a green piece of maple. I wanted the finish turning without waiting for the wood to dry.
However, in the final moments, my gouge caught the bottom of the bowl and it exploded.
Maybe I should have thrown the broken bowl away. Instead I decided to try to make something of it after all.
So, I turned another small bowl from a piece of Walnut limb wood. This walnut was very dry, having been salvaged many, many years ago. It has had ample time to dry.
I mixed up some casting resin with a little silver metallic sparkle and poured it into the walnut bowl. Then I placed the pieces of the broken maple bowl in the walnut bowl and embedded in the casting resin. I used small skewers to space the pieces of the broken maple bowl.
The end product is not a classic in my estimation. My wife does not like it – She’d rather have just the walnut bowl. But it does have a story to tell and an acknowledgement that not all woodturning projects turn out perfectly.
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Rescue From A Woodturning Bowl Disaster

20 replies on “Rescue From A Woodturning Bowl Disaster”

  1. I would of used a more round bottom and then converted it all into a mushroom cap and added a stem to make it look grown…gaps works in mushroom caps.

  2. Hey, I made a mistake once. I thought I was wrong and I wasn't. As mentioned, it's a good conversation piece. And besides that, it was made by the renowned woodturner, Alan Stratton.
    Christian Jensen Lubbock Texas

  3. Great piece and video. My 16 year old grandson just turned his first funnel out of a bowl. He is in the basement right now trying a repair. Came across this video (was already a subscriber) while looking at alternative repairs. Glad I did. Thanks for posting…wood turners are a great community sharing ideas and techniques. Thanks very much for your videos.

  4. Mr. Stratton, great job on the rescue. Anytime you save a piece it is worth it. Shows your ability to think and be creative. I had a spalted maple piece I was turning and it exploded into two pieces. Turns out the inside was almost completely punky. I pieced it back together with CA and sawdust and used screw on hose clamps to hold it together. The pressure created by the bands allowed me finish hollowing out the inside. Like you I hate to spend time on a wasted project. Was it worth it? In my opinion it was. I think your finished work is too. A piece like this with a story to tell is much more interesting.

  5. While I can appreciate what you were trying to do (sorta?), the real disaster here is your "fix".

    If you'd turned the walnut bowl and tossed the broken one, that would have been a win. Instead, you turned a beautiful little bowl, and glued a horrific train wreck to it.

    I thought you were turning a bowl to use as a form for the broken bowl. Like, once the resin set up, you'd separate the two, finish filling the broken bowl with resin (placing an empty plastic bottle in the bowl to displace and save resin) and then once that set up, turn the bowl again. Then you'd end up with veins of resin running through the bowl.

    Anyways. You've created a lot of nice stuff in the 4 years since this train wreck. Glad to see you've improved since then. 😉

  6. That's an interesting "fix". I am new to this, could you have used super glue to bond it back together? Or maybe, hit the disk sander and inlayed thin strips of a contrasting wood and returned it? Maybe next time one explodes you or I could try it. Let me know if your experience makes my suggestions unsafe. Thanks.

  7. Almost four years later, Allen, I'm not sure you'll even get this message. You can't say I didn't try. It was a wonderful solution, for one (who, like me( hates to throw away wood – it's like throwing away a kid because it came out with freckles. I've been dealing, lately, with a lot of cracks-looking-for-solutions, inasmuch as most of the wood I turn is green, and cracking up as it becomes less green. Your casting "rosin" (I think you mean "resin") is a filler I haven't considered (til now). In this video, you're using a granule-type substance. The only "casting resin" I have on hand is Envirotex. I got it a while back to put a rea;;y deep, shiny surface on the Marble tile base of a Objet de High Arte. I haven't done that yet, because, quite frankly, I'm scared of messing it up. You can see the piece here:
    My point, here, is to ask you what is the stuff you used in this video, that you made look so easy and not scary? I'm interested, mainly, in using it to fill cracks/holes/voids, with or without added substances. The Envirotex will hang around til O get the fortitude to use it for its intended purpose.

  8. a very different and nice approach to a bowl repair Alan. Well done. I probably would have left the intentional cracks wide but filled them with epoxy LOL I would also have merged the 2 by re turning tem as 1 but that's why we are all creators in our own world. You got a conversation piece for sure and at times that is the most important thing.
    Take care.

  9. Alan, lo que vale es la experiencia que nos has contado y mostrado. De ella aprenderemos a no desechar algunos proyectos que si bien no nos han salido como queríamos, siempre tienen su cuota de amor y empeño. Saludos

  10. Allan,
     Beings you have had your Powermatic for  while what do you see as pro's and con's of it
    *thanks for the input looking to pull the trigger and buy one.

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