The wood for this bowl came from a friend who lives nearby. When someone gives me a bunch of wood, I like to make them something from it. In this case, I gave her a choice of a bowl soon but that may warp a little and a bowl that would not warp but that would take much longer to make. She chose a bowl now.
This bowl is from green or wet cherry from her back yard. It is over six inches tall and about 5 inches in diameter. It is finished with walnut oil. Since it is still very wet, I told here to keep it in a grocery store paper bag for several weeks.
She’s happy with the bowl. I just hope it does not crack.
At the Desert Woodturning Rounding in Mesa Arizona, I saw a weird toy in the instant gallery. I studied it but couldn’t figure out how it was turned. Fortunately, the woodturner was nearby and explained both the simplicity and the critical portions of the toy.
I had to make one. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what the toy is called – nor do I remember the woodturner’s name.Somebody, please enlighten me.
These are made from a common cedar 4×4, sealed with sanding sealer and painted with acrylic paints.
Two brothers and I met recently for a woodturning Turnover. They wanted some supervised practice and training. We started with a project agenda to give them several woodturning experiences.
However, our well planned agenda was interrupted when our wives called back from visiting Saturday’s Market. They had seen bud vases and each wanted one for Mother’s Day.
So we switched gears to make a bud vase. It was a good experience; they turned out very nice.
Then then agenda took another turn. Bud vases for daughters and daughters in law for Mother’s Day. So we spent the rest of our time making bud vases in Apricot, Walnut, Poplar, and Maple.
We have a degree(?) of sibling rivalry. Please view all the vases at the end of this video and select which one you like best. Please put your selection in a comment below this video.
For the hardware, I purchased a seam ripper at a fabric store and discarded its lid. The wood is a exotic wood pen blank I purchased in an assortment. The woods were not labeled so I don’t know what species of wood it is.
Step 1: Mount in a chuck.
Step 2: Drill 1/4″ hole 1 5/8″ deep (for my ripper). Then enlarge the hole by one bit size down to 1/2″
Step 3: Turn a simple, easily held handle. A lot of beads and coves may show off turning skills but would be less comfortable to hold. Mine is finished with beeswax and mineral oil
That’s all – a simple but usefull project.
For bowl turning, I’m always on the search for wood. And, when someone gives me some, I like to give them a bowl from their wood in return. Here, I want to turn a bowl from elm for a son’s friend who gave me the wood.
However, it turned out that the wood had a lot of cracks – not from drying – the wood had been sawn in half thru the pith, waxed, and sealed in plastic bags.
Initially, my plan was to rough turn the bowl then let it dry before finishing.
As I cut into the wood, the cracks appeared more and bigger.
First, I wasted off the top 1.5 inches to get rid of some real bad ones at the top.
Then as I hollowed the bowl, the cracks were apparent thru much of the end grain sides.
I decided to finish the bowl all at once but then the cracks became worse. I feared the end grain areas of the sides would disintegrate
Then I decided to cut down the sides until I found solid wood….
I wound up with a dish. That’s a real downer. I don’t know whether to be happy with the dish or sad that I wasted so much time and wood?
Summers Woodworking issued a challenge: Make something nice from an ordinary 2x4x8 stud. I couldn’t resist. For me, that means it would have to be round. But how to turn a 2×4 into something both round and nice? Hmmm.
So I decided to make a large segmented bowl, using almost all of the 2×4. I’m not sure what kind of wood it is except that is is some kind of softwood. I noticed this especially when fine short grain tips of segments would break away.
I wanted the base to be a pinwheel design. So the segments tips are offset somewhat. But then with the tips breaking away, I had to inlay small wood discs over the points from both inside and outside the bowl. The pinwheel effect is not noticeable. The base is also inlaid within the bottom ring. Since the base is 8 segments and all other rings are 16 segments, I did not want the change noticeable from the outside. In fact, by inlaying the base as a disc within the bottom ring, the change is barely noticeable from the inside of the bowl.
The other six rings each have sixteen segments, gradually increasing in diameter to about 14 inches. The walls are about 1/2 inch thick. I did not dare go thinner with this softwood.
I turned the exterior with a large bowl gouge; the inside with carbide scrapers.
The bowl ended up about 5 1/2 inches tall. It is finished with gloss lacquer.
I now have a very nice, large bowl instead of a common 2×4 stud.
A little while ago, a viewer asked how he could turn a bowl without a chuck. He has a nice piece of wood and a new lathe but does not own a chuck. For many years now, I’ve consistently used a chuck when turning bowls.
As it turns out, I recently purchased a mini lathe myself and don’t yet have a chuck to fit the new lathe. I figured now would be a perfect opportunity to try out the my new lathe and to take on the challenge of turning a bowl without using a 4-jaw chuck.
The last time, many years ago, I turned a bowl using only a faceplate, I left screw holes in the bowl’s base. But now, I consider leaving screw holes totally unacceptable.
So, this was a challenge for me and the project had its issues. But in the end, I have a very nice small walnut bowl about 5 1/2 inches in diameter and 2 1/2 inches tall, finished with walnut oil. There are no screw holes in the base.
For the first mount, I screwed the faceplate to what would become the inside of the bowl and shaped the exterior. Then I glued a waste block to the bottom.
For the next mount, I screwed the faceplate to the waste block. Centering the faceplate on the waste block was a challenge. Then I refined the exterior and hollowed the interior.
For the final mount, I screwed the faceplate to a couple of layers of MDF shaped to fit the inside of the bowl. This was my jam chuck. With a little padding between the bowl and the jam chuck, the tail stock held the bowl on the lathe while I turned off the waste block.
I will now go back to using a 4-jaw chuck and will purchase one for my new lathe.
For St. Patrick’s Day, I need a pot for the leprechauns to leave me a little of their gold. Fortunately, at a recent club meeting, Nick Stagg demo his bowl turning techniques. And even more, he gave me a big block of ash that he had used as a jam chuck.
However, in my haste to leave town for a long trip, I neglected to protect the ash blank. While I was gone, it developed several large
checks in the end grain. I thought I would just turn the bowl down by one half to one inch to get rid of the checks.
Boy was I wrong, the checks went very deep. Now I have a small bowl for the leprechauns’ gold. But I’m not greedy – I’ll be happy with whatever they leave me.
This bowl is about 4 1/2 inches in diameter and about 4 inches in height. It is finished with mineral oil and beeswax. This wood was green — so there will be more shrinkage and warping. Hopefully, it will enhance the bowl’s character.
With what I learned at a Richard Raffan course I attended while on my trip, I changed my mount tenon to a small bead instead of a large dovetail tenon. It worked and I did not have to remount the bowl after hollowing to finish the foot.
We’ll have to see what happens to this bowl as it dries. If necessary, I can still remount it to thin it down a little and/or to remove bad warping.
Now, if the leprechauns will leave me a little gold…