Sweet Gum Plate
Over the past few months, I’ve been working on this plate. It’s made from sweet gum that a friend sent me. I started with a piece that was roughly 12 inches square (300mm) by 3 inches thick (75mm). I finished with a plate that is just under 12 inches in diameter, and about an inch thick, and which isn’t quite flat. Sweet gum moves a lot as it dries, and I didn’t account for this movement in my initial turning.
The thickness of the plate itself is under a quarter inch (6mm), probably closer to ⅛ inch at the thinnest spot, but I don’t have a caliper that can measure it accurately.
But I think the plate is finally done. The finish is tung oil and shellac, applied by french polishing, after a number of initial coats of oil. It’s food safe, but I don’t know that anyone will ever eat from this plate.
In my numbering of turned bowls, this is number 48.
This plate was large enough that I needed to turn the head of my lathe and work with the plate parallel to the ways of the lathe, rather than the usual perpendicular arrangement.