John Cotten's Spalted Maple Bowl

WoodCentral veteran, John Cotten, shows how he spends his spare time, when not ditching tractors.

SHOP OWNER: John Cotten
LOCATION: Harrodsburg, KY

    Here are some pictures of some of my turnings. I have about 300 to 400 items in my turning repertoire. Everything here was turned to eyeball diamensions. I rarely use a measure except my hand, which is a trick I picked up from Rude Osolnik. I have a number of larger pieces, the largest being a 28" platter and a 32" dia. x 6" high salad bowl.
    Above is a spalted maple bowl turned from the log it is sitting on. I turned it about two years ago. I just haven't gotten to the rest of the wood yet. The wall is 1/8" thick. It measures 6" dia. x 4" high.

Big Leaf Maple Burl Vase


    Next is a burl vase turned from a piece of big leaf maple burl that Don Weber gave me one day when I was at his shop. Lovely stuff to work with, except for the sand in it that kept dulling my edges. It meaures 7" dia. x 4-1/2" high.
John Cotten's Tops

    At left is an assortment of the tops that I make occasionally. The largest is cocobolo with a maple handle. The top is 7-1/2" tall and 3-1/2" dia.; and the handle is 7" long and 1-1/8" thick. The pull for it is 2-1/4" x 3/4" dia.

    Below is a close up of the ash top, which measures about 4-1/2" high x 2-1/4" dia. The cherry handle is 5" long. The taper is to help the spindle drop free when it drops from the handle. The pull is 2-1/4" long x 5/8" dia.

John Cotten's Ash Top

     John Cotten's Padauk Door Stops


    Here's a pair of padauk door stops. If these look familiar, they should; I got the idea from an AW article some years ago.
Big Leaf Maple Burl Vase


    Here are examples of the smaller items I turn. At left is a curly maple oil lamp, one of a pair. At top center is a redwood-burl ring box with a bigleaf maple lid. At bottom center is a cocobolo ring box.
Cherry Burl Bowl


    And last but not least is this cherry burl bowl. I left the walls thick for a couple reasons. The wood was harvested about 2-1/2 years ago and has dried as hard as a rock. I was afraid of losing the piece because it was so brittle. Another reason was that when I reached this dimension, it looked and felt right. It measures 7" dia. x 4" high.

...John Cotten




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Springtown, PA 18081