November 1, 2011

From log to Natural Edge Bowl

Filed under: Wood Lathe — Tags: , , , , , , , — peteblair @ 6:55 pm

Today I thought I’d share the process that I go through to make a natural edge bowl.

This is what I should do to prevent the production of a ‘funnel’ as in my first post.

I’m sure there are many many many things that I don’t do that others do. This just happens to be the way that works best for me.

I first cut the log or in this case a branch a little longer than the diameter of the branch.Then I split it on the pith using a chain saw or band saw. This happens to be a piece of Cherry that a long time good friend on Vancouver Island was nice enough to let me have.

I next drill a 1″ hole just through the bark to allow my spur centre to get a good grip.

Next I knock the corners off with my brand new Laguna band saw, here’s a link to a review of this saw.

I mount it on the lathe with the bark side towards the head stock, like so.

Now I flatten the bottom and turn a tennon sized for my chuck

I then shape the outside of the bowl. Because of the shape of a NE bowl this picture looks a little strange.

This is where you can decide what shape you want.

I sand the outside with coarse paper with beeswax and mineral oil at this time.

Now I reverse the bowl on my scroll chuck, utilizing the foot or tendon I made earlier.

I can now hollow it  to the wall thickness that best suits the bowl.

If I am going to finish it green I try to turn as thin as I feel comfortable with.

Then sand the inside with course sand paper if needed, using the same combination of bees wax and mineral oil.

This is where it gets a little tricky. I now reverse it again and mount on a vacuum chuck to remove the tennon and turn the bottom to final thickness. Once in a while this step results in a ‘funnel’ when I try to turn the bottom a little too thin.

Final sanding and burning my name and # on the bottom is nearly the last the step.

Then I  put it in a brown paper bag, I mark the bag with date, type of wood and any other pertinent information and hope it dries without cracking.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or question.


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