My lathe journeys. #2: Bowl #2, much improvement

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Blog entry by JoeinGa posted 11-15-2014 03:43 PM 1302 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: New lathe and first bowl Part 2 of My lathe journeys. series Part 3: Oh man. I'm really diggin' this »

Ok, so I’m thinking that I’m REALLY gonna like turning stuff on a lathe. My first attempt was ok, but in my opinion not great. LOTS of errors that hopefully I learned from. Which is what we’re SUPPOSED to do, right?

So here’s bowl #2. This one is from some 4/4 maple that someone gave me. I started with four 8” X 8” blanks glued together, and added two 6” squares to use as a mount for the faceplate. Next was to cut ‘em into a kinda-sorta circle on the bandsaw. I turned each board 90 degrees to have opposing layers of grain, and at the end you’ll see how it REALLY makes the colors “POP” when you put a finish on it.


Say, has anybody figured out a use for the corner cutoffs when you do this? (Remember, some of use are “wood rescurers”, and we HATE to throw ANY wood scraps out)


This maple sure cuts a LOT smoother than the oak did on bowl #1.


My original idea was to just use the 6” x 6” pieces as a way to mount the faceplate, then cut the bowl away from it. But I kept hitting the edges as I was turning the bowl and I decided to try and make it as more of a stand/base. Note to self… turning square wood is MUCH HARDER than turning rounded wood :-)

I also noticed a neat “square to circle” pattern appearing where the base meets the bowl, but next you’ll see that it disappears as I turn further into the wood.


Next it was on to the inside. I made a lot of mistakes on the inside of the 1st bowl. It’s rather rough where I kept digging in and the center has a little “divot” which I didn’t take out and in the end it looks ugly.

So on this go-round I took my time and went very GENTLY on the touch. It resulted in a much better surface and I even tried to make the “glue rings” be better spaced out to be more even.



You can see in this shot that I did have a few little gouges and I used wood filler rather than cut the bowl any deeper. .


Unfortunately, it turns out that “Natural” wood filler does NOT take the same color when it dries and you’ll see that it shows in the final product!


While it was still on the lathe, I sanded it to 220grit and put several coats of Tung oil on. I read where some of you used shavings so I scooped up several handfuls and held it against the still wet wood. I like the final gloss it got and this was easier than using a rag to polish it out.





And that’s about it for Bowl #2. I still have a LOOONG WAY to go as far as learning to turn, but I think I’m at least making progress. I used to work with a guy that no matter how bad something was going, he ALWAYS said … ”It’ll get better”

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

9 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2405 days

#1 posted 11-15-2014 05:00 PM

Very nice bowl for your second try.
Have you considered a bowl from a board?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View CFrye's profile


8561 posts in 1257 days

#2 posted 11-15-2014 07:33 PM

Great job, Joe! Keep turning!

-- God bless, Candy

View NormG's profile


5424 posts in 2421 days

#3 posted 11-15-2014 10:12 PM

Great bowl, love the foot and appears the alternating rings fall into the same place with the grain

-- Norman

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#4 posted 11-15-2014 10:20 PM

Very well done again Joe.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

257 posts in 1143 days

#5 posted 11-15-2014 10:30 PM

Your second bowl looks real good Joe. And there is no substitute for practice.
I am quite sure as time goes on you will be turning things that there are no mistakes that bother you.
Have a blessed day, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

442 posts in 2548 days

#6 posted 11-16-2014 12:23 AM

Looks good to Joe.

-- Dale, Ohio

View doubleDD's profile


5053 posts in 1461 days

#7 posted 11-16-2014 05:23 AM

I see you are enjoying yourself with the new lathe. Great improvement on this and they only get better and sometimes worst. Nice design with the rings and a great looking finish.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View JoeinGa's profile


7360 posts in 1425 days

#8 posted 11-16-2014 01:13 PM

Thanks folks. I can see that this will be somewhat addicting, and I can also envision wanting a bigger/better lathe in the future.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1692 posts in 481 days

#9 posted 07-26-2015 09:55 PM

That’s very, very nice ,Joe. I’m gonna move on to the higher numbers now. I have stuff to do. (I was about to suggest something for you to do instead of using that insipid filler. Then, I decided to move ahead because you’ve probably gone past what I was about to say.)

-- Mark

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