Power Carving a Salt Cellar From a Branch

Step 1

I started by taking a piece of branch that was about three inches long, and I found the Forstner bit that was the closest to the outside diameter while still leaving me with a little bit of a ridge. I drilled out a bit of material, and then I gradually decreased the size of the bit to create a series of steps on the inside of the piece.

Step 2

Then I used my flex shaft with a rasp on it to carve down the ridges of the steps and create a bowl shape. I filled the cracks with a little bit of CA glue and sprayed it with activator. I then sanded off the extra.

Step 3

I switched to a flap sander and finished hollowing out the inside, and then I used a piece of sandpaper to finish the sanding process. I noticed that some of the bark was starting to lift off, so I applied some CA glue there as well, used activator, and repeated this process until the gap was filled. I then removed the extra CA glue from the surface of the piece with the rasp again.

Step 4

After I had a shape that I liked, I took a small piece of scrap wood and drew the rough shape of the spoon. I brought the piece over to the belt sander and rounded off the edges, and then I used a flap wheel to finish shaping it. Once I had a look that I was happy with, I applied a generous coat of mineral oil to both the salt cellar and the spoon.

Step 5

Once that was dry, I came back and applied a nice, healthy coating of beeswax butcher block conditioner. I let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then I buffed off the excess by hand.

The Final Result

This was a pretty fun build. I created a small vessel using minimal tools, no lathe, and we got into a little bit of basic power carving, too!

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