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Maple Salt Cellar

posted by Matt Pierce on June 12, 2011

After my first attempt at making a salt cellar / vessel for Design*Sponge, I figured I wanted to try some more styles. The first one was going to be a gift for my Mom, but after finishing it, I realized it was too modern for her home aesthetic. So, I gave her the walnut one as a 'placeholder' gift and said I'd be making her one that better suited her place. I ventured out to the amazing Goby Walnut in search of some boards, and came across a couple maple boards that I couldn't live without.

Working with maple, I found it to be a little more tricky than walnut. Both are hardwoods, but maple seems REALLY hard. And with the figure in the grain, it was even more challenging. Sanding went well, but turning the cellar on the lathe was interesting. True, you're not supposed to be really turning wood in that direction of the grain, and it definitely left some tear-out... but I just kept sanding and sanding. Eventually I removed most of the tear-out and got the wood to a smooth point.

After forming, I used OSMO again and I love that stuff more each time. This time I used matte clear Polyx-Oil. If you want to review the instructions, you can check out my walnut cellar post.



tams on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

absolutely beautiful. what an amazing gift to give your mother!

Briar on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM


MMP on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

Shannon, you’d love Goby. You’d go crazy with all the amazing boards they have.

Shannon on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

Such a beautiful project- love the live edge and figured grain. Will have to visit Goby soon!

Ken B on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

Personally I like the maple over the walnut and love that rough edge. Nicely done there Matt.

Sally on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

Just beautiful!

Heather Lea on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

perfect, as always! That’s one lucky mom.

Matt Pierce on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

Good to know… Always like an excuse to buy another tool!

MatK on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

You should consider using a gooseneck scraper to smooth the cellar. It would save some time, and produce a nicer and more even surface. Especially with tricky wood like that curly maple.

MMP on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

Exactly. I used a small faceplate on the underside and just filled the screw holes afterwards. Since it was on the bottom, it’s hardly noticeable.

Harold on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

How did you attach the piece of wood to the lathe, a face plate?

pergolina on November 14 2014 at 10:20AM

that is just delicious

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