The making of a goblet

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Alin Dobra posted 12-08-2007 05:45 PM 6515 reads 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A lot of LJs, after seeing my work, asked for a video demonstration of how to make a natural edge goblet. I posted on YouTube two videos (part 1 and 2). As it turns out, dealing with talking and camera while turning leads to loss of concentration. I managed to destroy the natural edge but I did get a goblet and you can see how I made it.

Sorry for he slightly rough editing and not so perfect camera work (my father is still learning the craft).


Part 1

Part 2

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

17 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4500 days

#1 posted 12-08-2007 06:09 PM

Good show Alin!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4184 days

#2 posted 12-08-2007 06:10 PM

Great blog ! you made it look easy. Thanks for posting

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4515 days

#3 posted 12-08-2007 07:10 PM

Thanks! Makes me want to run out and get a Lathe. I’m amazed how thin you can turn things.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4075 days

#4 posted 12-08-2007 08:00 PM

You do make it look easy. Thanks for making the video.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4361 days

#5 posted 12-08-2007 08:07 PM

great demonstration and video work!

how do you get the final cut done without the delicate item flying across the room?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4089 days

#6 posted 12-08-2007 08:14 PM

Thanks everybody.

Dennis, on some woods (fruit trees) it is easier than others. I have heard about people that can do 1/64” walls. Mine, by mistake, is about 1/64” in the lower part. I think with a scraping cut I could get all of it 1/64”. Also, what you must have in mind is that wet wood turns differently than dry wood. I do not think you can go below 1/4” with dry wood.

Dan and Rikkor, it is like riding a bicicle (down the hill at 100mph) easy. It is mostly a matter of practice and guts. I mentioned in a post that I destroyed almost anything I made in the first 6 months. To be honest, it was a surprise for me to see the video; I realized that I am quite confident with that enormous bowl gouge. I did not see any significant hesitation (when I turn I’m way too focused to notice these things).


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4089 days

#7 posted 12-08-2007 08:34 PM


After you get to about 1/4”, any mistake (catch) usually means a ruined piece. It is not only the last cut that is the problem. Once you get good enough not to catch the tool, the only danger is going through the walls. Unless I have a defect on the stem, it is usually not a problem at all to make it so thin.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 4023 days

#8 posted 12-08-2007 09:40 PM

WOW!! That was on the inside of a log? It’s beautiful. You make it look so simple and matter-of-a-fact. Thanks.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4237 days

#9 posted 12-09-2007 12:33 AM

Nice turning and tutorial, Alin!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 4113 days

#10 posted 12-09-2007 04:53 AM


Excellent tutorial. You are indeed very confident with that gouge! Even without the natural edge bark, the finished product is very nice.

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4266 days

#11 posted 12-09-2007 11:12 AM

Well done Alin, like everyone said before me – you do make it look a lot easier than it is.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4511 days

#12 posted 12-10-2007 07:17 AM

I enjoyed watching you turn that gobblet very much. Thank you!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4140 days

#13 posted 12-12-2007 02:52 AM

It is always fascinating watching someone turn when they know what they’re doing. I’m amazed that you can get something so fine and delicate from such big tools. That’s control.

-- Working at Woodworking

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4083 days

#14 posted 12-12-2007 06:05 AM

I finally got to see this. Wow, that was great. You are a confident turner.
Was that a ‘standard’ large gouge or something else? I didn’t know they made holders for sharpening them. I always just did it by hand. That sharpening guide looks great.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4089 days

#15 posted 12-12-2007 06:40 AM

Thanks everybody for your comments.

Russel, it turns out that the larger the tool the easier to control (to a point since it is getting too heavy). I use a 5/8” (1/2” in you are in England since the inside diameter is measured) bowl gouge. The trick to control the tool is to support it on the hip and move the tool from the whole body not the hands (you can see this happening in the videos). A large tool also dampens vibration (always a good thing).

SPalm, I have not turned for long enough to find time to learn how to sharpen by hand. For the first 6 months of turning I got very frustrated since my tools were never sharp. I bought a good grinder and the Woolverine system that One Way is making to sharpen properly. I’m very happy since then (very consistent grind; I do not loose much time since I can put the gouge in while the grinder starts).


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics