In the meantime I was overly anxious to make something suitable to return to the man who gave me the logs so I jumped right in to try a couple wet bowl blanks. Turning wet Paulownia is not advised. My attempt at large bowls from moist blanks was a complete failure. The fibers tear out so badly it is a constant battle to keep them cleared off the edge of the tool. The very best and largest tenon I could make popped right off when I started hollowing the inside.  

busted tenon


I did have some success with a couple platters by rough turning them and letting them dry for a few days.

platter on lathe tear out round platter square platter

Square Platter
28" Corner to Corner

Tear Out Was
Impossible to Avoid,
But Sanded Out Fairly Well

Round Platter
18" diameter
Square Platter
28" diagonal


    Later I had limited success with rough turning a smaller calabash style bowl and waiting a month or so for it to dry out. Still it was virtually impossible to get the end grain smooth on the inside.

lidded bowl
Lidded Calabash Style Bowl
8" to top of knob
Lid is Black Walnut
Knob is Glass Made by Glenda


    One of my motivations for experimenting with these logs is to provide some 1" x 6" and 1" x 8" boards for Emmett Manley, because he has very good success making small hand mirrors that are amazingly light weight and have some very attractive grain patterns. 

Emmett mirrow


I also have a hand mirror in process and plan to finish it some day

mirror back mirror face


    The remaining logs will be sawed into boards and stored until someone finds the elusive ideal use for them.  Who knows?  Maybe some of those Japanese buyers will come by.  There has to be something really nice that could be made from these extremely light weight boards with excellent color and grain pattern and fairly good strength.

Crowley PageBreak

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Wednesday the 21st. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.