Apple tree

 The wood

My sister in law and her husband have had an apple tree in their garden for a considerable number of years. Although productive for most of its life, a couple of fallow years and the age of the tree led to its demise. Chris and Pete made the decision to have the tree taken out and offered me the wood.

This tree has been a feature of their garden for many years, children have climbed it, it has been used to provide shade from both sun and rain, as well as producing a crop of fruit on a regular basis. In other words it has been important to the family and it seemed fitting to try to produce something from the timber as a memento.

I have read much about the beauty of fruit wood but never had the opportunity to use any, so I decided to try to make a small bowl from the fork of the tree. I was aware that the grain in this part of the tree would be complex but I hoped that this would add to the interest of the piece.






Making the piece

From the images above it is obvious that making a bowl would be far from easy. The wood had been drying for a couple of years, but making a decision about which bit to use and how to mount it on the lathe was a challenge.

The bulk of the trunk was sawn off, leaving the burr where the branches had originated. I mounted this between centres, reduced the rotation speed of the lathe and very carefully began to shape the outside of the bowl, remembering to leave a foot which could be attached to the chuck on the lathe when it was time to shape the inside.

The outside turned well with some fantastic grain patterns and even some small areas of bark remaining, I then turned my attention to the inside.

Because of dead knots it soon became obvious that the inside shaping was not going to happen on the lathe. Twice the piece became detached from the chuck, so I decided to have a go with the arbortech ball gouge.

Several minutes later the inside shape was formed, wall thickness checked with callipers and the piece was then sanded and given an oil and wax finish.

Chris and Pete seemed very pleased with the bowl and for my part I was very happy with the finished result.