Idigbo Bowl

This bowl was turned from an Idigbo blank. I’d never heard of Idigbo (Terminalia ivorensis) which hails from west Africa and is commonly used in joinery due to its durability and stability, and limited moisture movement. It’s relatively dense, though density varies widely between samples and is said to have similar bending strength to English oak.

Bowl Top View

The bowl blank started out about 40 mm larger and 20 mm thicker than the finished bowl. I initially turned a detailed outer face, but didn’t cut the recessed dovetail deep enough in the underside. As a consequence, the chuck lost its grip on the bowl while I was hollowing out the inside and it was launched across the workshop, splitting out the dovetail and taking a chunk out of the rim in the process. I reinstalled the faceplate and turned it back to a simple round blank before turning the bowl you see here.

Bowl Bottom

It turns nicely with with minimal tendency to tear. The grain can pick up when planing, so I used a sharp scraper with an 80-degree bevel angle to finish the surface before sanding.

Bowl Side View

It is pale yellow to light brown in colour, though will stain yellow when in contact with water and is slightly acidic, so choice of finish was important. It doesn’t have much of a texture to its grain, and sands to an incredibly smooth finish even with relatively course grits. The bowl was sanded to 320 grit and finished with a few coats of friction polish.

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