Bowl Making! - Showing off some of our new toys in action!! #1: The first Coring

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Blog entry by Eric M. Saperstein posted 04-13-2013 11:47 PM 2115 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bowl Making! - Showing off some of our new toys in action!! series Part 2: We setup our new Carter Hollow Roller System! »

So … this is the start of a series featuring our new Oneway Easy Core right in mid stream of our overall lathe overhaul. Some history. We have a Delta DL-40 digital lathe my father bought about 35 years ago for if I remember right about $3,300. At the time it was state of the art, it had the all new DC motor computer controlled, variable speed, with reverse. It served us well for many years but has always been underpowered. Recently we have had a series of problems with it and given Delta is now gone from the planet leaving no significant parts stash behind for this lathe, we’re SOL on OEM components. Such is life – it’s a good machine anyway!

We have recently upgraded that significantly which will be posted in another blog entry as soon as I get a chance. So those who notice the lathe and model # and who are familiar with this old rig being a bit underpowered, don’t fear or get your hopes up. It now has a 3HP 3PH motor w/ VFD unit. We’re working on tuning it up, programming, and we’ll be probably changing the pulley setup as well.

Anyway – as I said that’s for another blog entry. We’ll include some details and suggestions for machine upgrades in that series.

For now – we got a new toy! A Oneway Easy Core setup! Itching to try it, we cut out a nice walnut blank from a recently storm salvaged tree and spun it round and flat. We were shooting to get three bowls out of the one blank.

It’s obvious we have a little learning curve to climb but we pulled off our goal on the first try. For once I’d have actually appreciated a manual, not a video. I took the DVD player out of my laptop in exchange for a second hard drive and it’s a PIA to swap them. I ended up watching some of the setup videos online. It gave me the gist and that’s enough for me to start making shavings.

So I assembled the rig – we have the base unit and three knives to go up to the max of the 16” swing on the lathe. I setup to do a small ring bowl and then a little candy type bowl inside the main blank which was later turned into a flower pot shape.

All it took was a little time, we got the setup adjusted quickly enough and everything tuned. The most confusing part is really how far to put the rig away from the blank. We were afraid of going through. We probably could have gone just a bit deeper on the first one.

Popped out clean and simple – that’s GREAT! We’re figuring around $50 or so for our little ring bowl setups. Keeping them very simple and fast tracked through if we are getting the material effectively free from what would have otherwise been shavings then we’re already ahead. The time taken to do this is less than hollowing the space it took up. Then when we go back and hollow the pop out, then so what we’re still ahead of the game by a $50 bowl.

Now the second blank popped out is a good size for a small candy dish.

This one is turning into a thin walled bowl – Mike is working on it. Photos to follow of the final profile. So thin walled bowls being worth a little extra for some reason, we figured we would go with that. I have no real idea how to value this one so for arguments sake let’s say it’s $100? ... we’re now $150 ahead of where we would be without the coring rig.

Now the outside bowl is being turned into a traditional shape flower pot. Why? well why not, I just felt like it so I did it. Perhaps I’ll make the plate that goes under it too.

Debating exactly how to price this one. If I make the plate, probably $250? It’s not super exciting but it’s simple and the grain is very nice. Not a rare wood, but it will polish nicely if it works like the table display bowl I posted earlier in the week.

So – this is also a request for an opinion on pricing as we go. $50 ring bowl, $100 candy bowl, and $250 flower pot with plate (when the plate is done) ... is that reasonably priced??? I am soaking the candy and flower pot in epoxy so they will be waterproof if need be.

I need to find a blank for the plate. Also need to figure out how much time we have into projects like this. Then apply what material we used and what that cost. I paid $400 for the whole 28ft tree. It already gave the table display bowl IDK that’s gotta be a $200 bowl. If these pan out to sell the bowls alone covered the cost of the tree plus $200. We have another large blank that should yield at least three more bowls, and two end grain ones that will make one maybe two each.

If we play this right we easily have $1,500 worth of bowls out of the log. On top of that we have the lumber, which I’m hoping looks good and has some interesting grain/color. The tree I’m hoping has between 300 and 400 usable board feet in it. Average that depending on thickness and width at $10 a board food I have a tree worth at least $3,000 – cost of purchase at $400 plus some time to move it, plus milling/drying costs will likely be around $300-$350 … the bowls alone cover all the costs and I get free lumber!

I need some feed back on pricing these bowls as we progress with this. I really have to get a grasp on marketing these if anyone has suggestions let me know!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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