From cherry tree to cherry bowls!

6 November 2012, Woodturning in practice, Would you like to leave a comment?

Here’s a good example of what can be done with a tree, which would have otherwise been sawn for firewood. As well as being diseased, this cherry tree was in the way of building works and was about to be removed. A quick phone call managed to delay all proceedings until I was able to retrieve the timber!

Although the branches were too small to be of use, the main trunk was a good twelve inches across and just what I would turn into smaller pieces, such as natural edge bowls and tea light holders. The timber was nice and fresh and very wet indeed. I do prefer using green wood for the initial rough turning stage – the sap inside acts as a natural lubricant, speeding up the process.

The photo below shows the trunk just after I’d removed the main branches. There is a bit of rot running through the center of the stump, but nothing that will be a problem to work around.


Now, I am cutting the trunk off in sections – the length of each piece is roughly the diameter of the bowl I hope to obtain. If I’m up for a challenge, I’ll dig the soil from around the base, enabling me to cut another section. However, this time there were too many stones in the way and I didn’t fancy blunting my chainsaw again!  Each section will be cut in half along its length, giving two bowls. I should be able to work with these in a way that eliminates the cracks and rot in the heart wood.


Cut down to the base - job done and no turning back! Unfortunately, I’ve not had time to rough turn them yet, but will put them on my growing pile of blanks, ready for when the time arises - photos will be posted in due course.


Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

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