I have been teaching myself woodworking and woodturning since about 2010. By then I had retired from my research work (cellular biology and neuroscience at Children's Hospital, Boston, and Harvard Medical School) and gravitated to this lifelong interest area. I fixed up the shed we had out back as a shop, built a wood/log storage structure, and began to collect interesting wood (raw material in log form) from construction sites, tree removal companies and arborists. Friends soon learned to keep an eye open for choice pieces of wood. This material is now kept from the chippers and landfills and I give it new life as boxes, bowls, serving trays/platters and salad tongs. What I reclaim is usually not worked on immediately; most of it ages for as much as a year or two as it slowly dries and before I gain some insight as to how to best use each specific piece.
One of the first items I made was a lathe-turned box from Laburnum Golden Chain Tree.
Notice how the grain pattern radiates out from the pith. For the box portion the log was turned with the pith running perpendicular to the axis of the lathe and for the lid another log was turned with the pith in line with the lathe axis.
The next project came from the idea that a serving tray with an integral handle could be made by cutting it out of a section of trunk that had a branch growing out of it. The branch would yield the handle and the flat, serving portion of the tray would be hewn out of the trunk. Here is a picture of the finished project using apple wood:
To be continued.