This project was a gift. The woods chosen were 2 pieces of maple with a piece of cherry laminated in between. The project was created using a template from Eagle America. After the glue up, the template was set on top of the wood blank and the pattern traced onto the wood. I then used a forstner bit to clear out the majority of the wood inside the pattern and getting as close to the line as possible. I elected to use the depth stop set at 5/8 of an inch to leave a strong bottom. After the majority of the wood was cleaned out, I switched to the router. Eagle America also sells clear polycarbonate plates that you can mount as the base to your router. This enables you a secure surface over the workpiece to guide the router through the wood and not worry about tipping or the router slipping. Also, to keep the material from slipping as there really is no room to clamp, I used Rockler Woodworking and Hardware Bench Cookies. They work extremely well in this type of scenario and also keeps your piece up off of rough surfaces. The key is using a bit with a bearing as the bearing guides the router bit against the template. It is also important to determine the plunge depth of your router and bit combo so you do not make a bowl too deep in which your router bit cannot reach. After cleaning out the inside of the template I removed it from the wood. I then took a compass and set the distance from the pointer and the pencil to 9/16”. With the template removed I let the pointer ride around the inside of the of the bowl while the pencil drew a nice even border to make the outside sides of the bowl. Next, it was on to the bandsaw. I used a 1/4” timberwolf blade to cut the outside shape out. It helps to make relief cuts in any narrow areas to dispel the waste material after you cut the bowl from the wood blank. It pays to take your time during this step because the smoother your cuts the less sanding that needs to take place.
An oscillating spindle sander would be ideal, but since I do not own one I elected to use some sanding drums on the drill press. This helps but really without a spindle sander a lot of work is left to the hands. After smoothing all surfaces and 6 hours later, I cleaned the wood off with a tack cloth and sprayed gently with water to help raise the grain. After drying, I knocked everything back with 180 grit sandpaper. I elected to use a water-based finish. I went with General Finishes water based semi – gloss. After 3 coats and a 320 grit sanding between I was finished. All in all a great project and the bowl makes a great gift. If you have not tried one of Eagle America’s templates for a project, then do yourself a favor and check them out. They are just plain fun to execute and pleasing to surprise your friends and family with.
-- Wilton, Phoenixville PA http://kimbertonwoodworks.com