This bowl/platter/whatever you want to call it is curly bubinga. Although the curl isn't real prominent or noticeable in the pictures, there's some nice chatoyance in the wood. It started out about 10 1/2" square (14 7/8" diagonal on my 15" lathe) but by the time I fixed some twigged corners it ended up at 9 5/8" square and about 1 1/2" tall. This blank was dry, and probably the hardest, densest stuff I've turned. I turned it and started finishing it immediately. As simple as the final form is, I learned it's a tough one to cut and make look good. I had a lot of practice riding a bevel on air. And the turning was the easy part.
I had a devil of a time getting a finish that I liked on this piece, and I'm still not 100% satisfied. The bubinga is pretty porous, and my problems started when I decided I wanted a gloss finish with no pores. Like a grand piano. I started with Formby's Tung Oil blend, sanded that off, wasn't happy, then tried a couple coats of Bullseye SealCoat (dewaxed shellac) to fill the pores, then more Tung Oil blend, with various wet sanding and dry buffing sessions (and no acceptable finish) in between, and finally a few coats of Watco rattle can lacquer...my "I give up" finish. I buffed it through the standard three stages, but the finish is still a bit more satiny than I want. I'll give the lacquer a few days to cure then rub the satin out and bring it to a higher gloss.
I could have made a bigger round bowl out of that blank, and maybe I should have. No regrets though, and I got enough bottle stopper blanks out of the leftovers to pay for the whole blank. It just now dawned on me that I could have simply lopped the four sides off a round bowl on the bandsaw or tablesaw (with the proper jig). It would have been immensely easier on the pucker muscles. Still, having the square sides from the beginning made it easier to see the bowl thickness as I went along.
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Once again, comments and critiques are welcome.