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Thread: Whats-It Tray

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Orem, Utah

    Whats-It Tray

    Hello All! Long time no visit!

    Some neighbors took down a "cotton-less cottonwood" in May of last year. (Oops - I mean 2009.) I carted off a few good chunks of it, slabbed it out ... and some of it even got sealed before I was interrupted by something-or-other.

    Within a day or two I took a piece back over to my neighbors, still attached to the scroll chuck, just to show them the kind of wild grain I was seeing in the wood from their tree. I goofed with the piece a little more, then "retired" (temporarily) from woodturning at some point ... with the piece still in my chuck.

    My shop didn't see much of me last year (2010), until a couple days before Christmas. While installing a new tool chest, I kept having to move various things out of my way ... including this piece-with-chuck-attached. I decided to just sand it one more time, turn the bottom, and get rid of it once and for all:

    Top Side w/Flash

    Top Side, No Flash

    Bottom Side (No Flash)

    (I just now noticed the torn grain the lower-left quadrant of that last pic. Sigh....)

    Anyway -- I took it to my neighbors on Christmas Eve (unwrapped) and handed it to the husband outside. He thanked me for it, and then asked (in a nice way) "What do I do with it?"

    I said that he could serve M&Ms in it, or let the kids use it for marble games, or whatever, and left it at that. (How should I know, right?)

    The diameter was probably around 9 inches. There are several things I don't like about how I "turned myself into a corner" on this one, but hey - it's gone, and I have my chuck back!

    PS - I neglected to administer the "banana test" on this one ... but I'm pretty sure it would have passed.
    Last edited by Kerry Burton; 01-03-2011 at 11:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Nice to see you again Kerry!

    Nice piece of wood for sure, and you have more of it? Bonus!

    I think the shape of the bowl would lend itself to lots of uses, let the lady of the house get a look at it and I'm sure she will think something up

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    Did you say "cottonwood"? WOW, cottonwood is, ahh, trash wood around these parts! That is as pretty as any curly maple I have seen. Nice work. The piece is beautiful.
    "We the People ......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    That is a great looking piece Kerry and the wood is awesome. Really nice curl. I have made several like that for chips and dip.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Pretty cool design there. Love the execution!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Very nice!
    Great grain pattern for Cottonwood.
    I like the shape of the turning.
    Well done.


    Innovation is the process that renews something that already exists and not, as is commonly assumed, the introduction of something new.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Lovely shape and grain figure, well done!

    Honestly if someone asks me that sort of question when I'm giving him/her a present I don't know what sort of reaction would I have.

    Maybe they wanted to get rid off that tree for ever and there it was " the return of the cottonwood tree" and now to stay at their dinning room.
    Best regards,

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    Ha!!!! I'm glad you remember that!
    That is a great looking chunk of wood Kerry...Glad your back!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Des Moines, IA
    Didn't know cottonwood could be that pretty. Very cool piece.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Orem, Utah
    Quote Originally Posted by Toni Ciuraneta View Post
    Maybe they wanted to get rid off that tree for ever and there it was " the return of the cottonwood tree" and now to stay at their dinning room.
    Hiya Toni!

    I think I painted my neighbor the wrong way. He truly seemed grateful for the piece, and impressed with it. He even mentioned how many artistic people live in our neighborhood. (The guy across the street from me paints large bronzes for a living, his next-door neighbors are professional classical musicians, the neighbor in question is himself a graphic artist who creates marketing materials, and his next-door-neighbor is a self-employed interior designer who sprouts ideas like mad.)

    One possible reason for his question (about what to do with the gift) is that he's originally from Surrey in England. Even though he's lived in the States for 10+ years, he probably figures that there are still lots of cultural things that he's not aware of.

    No, the "frustration" that came out in my post was mostly with myself. If I remember correctly, I originally envisioned a platter from that piece of wood. For some reason I turned the big cup part in the middle, and thought of changing it to a chips-and-dip tray like Bernie mentioned. But I hadn't left enough wood for a decent lip on the outside. (I may not have had enough to start with, I don't remember.) The piece sat in my chuck for so long because I couldn't decide what to do with it myself.

    Oh well ... when I find out what they ended up using it for, I'll let you all know.

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