A couple of months ago, I saw a few guys cutting down perfectly healthy Bradford Pear trees in a neighbor's backyard. Being the "Free Wood Hoarder" that I am, I asked them if I could please have a piece about 2 feet long, and from the largest above the stump portion. They obliged, and even loaded it into the back of my truck, as I still had my arm in a sling (from serious rotator cuff repair surgery). I got it home and rolled it off the truck bed onto the driveway, and immediately painted the ends with thick latex paint.
A month later (during our 110 degree heat wave) I got out the electric chainsaw (HF variety - $30 new - 20" cut) and halved the log. I had intended to cut out the pith (2" swatch down the center) but the darned saw was so slow, I decided against that. I was going to go to the TAW (Tn Assoc. of Woodturners) Saturday Turn & Learn the following weekend, but it got cancelled due to HEAT. So I asked my Mentor if I could please come by his house the next weekend and try to preform a bowl. He said "Yes", but the morning I was supposed to go, my shoulder was telling me not to try that just yet. So, I waited another month, and asked him again, and last weekend I cut this gem. It measures about 12.75" diameter x 4.5" tall, and it is heavy and thick - or as I say "Fat & Functional - like me".
I have to say that cutting this wood was a joy, especially compared to the 350 year old Burr Oak I have tried in the past. I knew it was still green, and softer, but it has remained fairly stable so far. A couple tiny cracks did appear almost immediately after coming home - right where the remaining pith is still contained in the bowl. I did hand sand it and saved the dust, and mixed it with Medium Viscosity CA glue to seal the cracks, and it is working so far. The bowl now has about 10 coats of Super Blonde Flake Shellac (dissolved in denatured alcohol) and 3 coats with French polish technique (olive oil on the dauber) as a final coating. Looking nice but still needs a bit more elbow grease. I hope you enjoy - and go get some free Bradford Pear wood to turn - It's a JOY.