When I undertake bowl-making projects, I usually prefer to work with green wood. Over the years while doing bowl turning, I’ve learned that green hardwood turns easier and faster than dry wood, making turning much simpler. I have also learned how to make thin walls for the bowls to prevent cracks when the bowls dry. The thin sidewalls tend to warp when dry. The trick here is to make the thickness thin enough that it doesn’t crack and thick enough that you can cut the warp.
The goal of my project is to preserve the importance of trees. I also seek to highlight the aesthetic values of different tree species, using wood that has great character and a color that is generally considered less useful for commercial purposes, in every bowl I make.
To make a wooden bowl, you must have a stock of wood in your workshop. However, if you don’t have the material available, you should visit your local forest (with the permission of the landowner) or a woodpile or any other area in your locality where these pieces of wood can be found. Alternatively, you can cut down tree stumps along your walkways and add them to your hoard. To begin the bowl turning process, you need to size the lumber to meet your target and fit the lathe. Next, you need to find the center point of your blank. You can use a compass to allow you to locate the center of the wood. Then use a chain saw to remove any sharp corners or use a band saw to cut out the bowl blank. Use a face plate or offset chuck to secure it to the lathe and turn it to check if it is really centered.
Now you can turn on the lathe and start working with wood; Gradually increase the speed of the lathe until the bowl becomes round and balanced. By using a bowl gouge to round off the roughness of the blank. This will start to give your white space its preferred shape. A sharp gouge will leave the wood with a smooth texture.
Once the outside of the bowl is complete, you can invert the bowl and start digging out the inside of the bowl. Use the bowl gouge to do this. The size of the tools depends on the size of the project. Larger tools have less vibration. To check the depth of your bowl, run the straight edge across the bowl and measure the depth, or you can use bowl gauges. These two measurement techniques can help you know how far you are from your target thickness and depth. After the rough turning is done, you’ll want to put the container in a warm, dry place to dry.
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