Bud Vase

A great joy of wood turning is to see what’s hidden inside a log, branch or a piece of firewood. Tom, a long time friend, gave me a branch from a walnut tree that he had stashed in his shed for a few years. The timber was dry, punky in several areas, cracked and it had several worm holes, in other words, perfect for a bud vase! Below are some pictures of what emerged from this humble branch.

Raw Timber

Here is a 7″ piece of the walnut branch mounted on the lathe between centers ready for roughing.


The branch had just enough moisture content to make the roughing process easy.

Roughing Complete

The timber was brought to round and was fairly well balanced so the speed could be increased significantly.

Turning the Tenon

Next, a tenon was turned to mount the timber in a chuck.

Rounding the Bottom

With the timber mounted in a chuck, the bottom was rounded a bit.

Finishing the Bottom

A cavity was turned in the bottom and a few decorative rings were cut before reversing the timber in the chuck to drill a hole to accept the flower.

Roughing the Shape

With the bottom cavity held in the chuck in expansion mode, the live center was positioned in the flower hole and the shape was roughed out.

Refining the Shape

The shape was refined using spindle gouge.

More Shaping

This is where the vase emerges from the log. I like this part of the process because the vase takes on the personality of the turner.

Turned and Sanded

Satisfied with the shape, the vase was sanded through 600 grit.

Finishing the Vase

High blend friction polish was applied and melted into the timber.

Final Polish

A few coats later, the vase gets it’s final polish.

Completed Bud Vase

Here is the completed bud vase ready to add a flower. I’ll bet Tom didn’t know this beautiful vase was hidden inside the branch!