African Walnut (Lovoa trichilioides) grows in West Tropical Africa from a relatively small tree, standing on average 30-46 m tall with a trunk diameter of 0.6-1.2 m. It is typically a golden yellow to reddish brown, and tends to darken with exposure to sunlight and age. It’s said to smell a bit like Cedar when machined which I found to be the case, though it’s certainly not unpleasant.
I wanted a bowl with a thin rim and a decent depth. Previous attempts at this usually resulted in me sticking the chisel through the base of the bowl or cracking the rim. My luck must be changing, as there were no such mishaps here, and I’m really pleased with the resulting shape. There’s not much tactile grain texture and if I were to make another I’d probably sand all the way up to 3000-grit for a finish smooth as glass.
It turned well, though I found experimenting with the speed was necessary to get good results with minimal tearout. At higher speeds after the roughing stage I was able to achieve a nice finish straight from the tools, with only minimal sanding from 120 to 320-grit required for final shaping and smoothing. Several coats of friction polish were applied followed by 2 coats of wax polish.