Yesterday marked the start of finally getting into bowl turning, something I’d been meaning to do for a while really. The whole pen making thing was as much accidental as anything else, since I got a bunch of pen kits with my cheap lathe, and it seemed a good way to pass the time and churn out some holiday gifts in the process. (I’ve actually sold a couple, amusingly, so I guess its a good time filler afterall) However, I’d really bought the lathe to learn to turn bowls...
Been busy with my day job lately but was able to spend a few hours downstairs. I am finally starting to deal with my wood hoard and getting pieces together for small gifts for a couple family members. Mostly weekend style projects that probably will include an ornament or two and a couple of boxes. I am a notorious hoarder of wood and I have wood scraps, pieces of furniture, and even a few rough pieces of wood that I saved from a maple tree I cut down a couple years ago. At the time of cut...
This video from 83 years ago follows a German woodworker as he selects a log half, cuts out a bowl blank on a large band saw, and then turns 3 separate parts to create a lidded bowl. It’s neat to feel such a kinship with a guy at his lathe some 13 years before his country would enter into WWII. I wonder if he made it to the war, and what he thought of it. There’s something a lot more tangible about this video than the still black and white photos of men with saws over their shoul...
I found a nice 5’ piece of red oak at Home Depot that was a bit odd in hue, having more depth to its grain than what I usually see there. I had visions of turning some square plates, so I snagged it: I really slacked off on pics of this turning. This is the only one: In it, I’ve cut the end from the plank to square it up and remove the chipped edges. Then I cut 2 pieces off as long as the plank was wide (7-1/4”). Then I cut some squares of birch from a leng...
In my last post, I showed some Jacaranda log halves I’d cut up and sealed in preparation for turning them into bowls. Here’s the first one I turned. It’s a very simple bowl. I concentrated a lot here on just practicing techniques, getting a very flat, slightly rounded slope to the inside bottom, and not suffering any catches or gouges. I didn’t want to leave any tool marks this time. This is a rough turning, and has been drying now for 10 days. For the first wee...
I didn’t take process shots, but I rough-turned these two over the last week or so from the halves of a single jacaranda log resawed in half. Each was bagged immediately in its own shavings to slow drying and resist checking, though one has checked a bit anyway. Once they’ve dried enough to stop moving, I’ll chuck them up again and turn them back to round, and refine their shapes. I still consider myself in early training-mode, and as such, these are just more training piece...
In the first half of this blog post, I cut up a Ficus log and made a nearly 11” round for later turning into a bowl. I sealed every part of it in Anchorseal. Flash forward about 12 days, this past Saturday, and I finally chucked it up and made a bowl. Unfortunately, as with everything Ficus I’ve ever sealed, it was covered with mold by this point, and a little bit stinky. I figured I’d turn the mold away. I went with a faceplate on the soon-to-be-concave side: ...
This past Wednesday, all in the span of an hour lunch break, I ran home, cut a chunk off the end of one of the Jacaranda logs from my recent haul, resealed the main log with Anchorseal and washed out the brush. Sliced the chunk in half through the pith, and turned one into a thin-walled, simple bowl, took a quick shower, and brought the resultant piece back to show off at work. Amazing what can happen in one hour! The turning itself took less than 15 minutes! I’m getting faster, if not ...
This past Sunday I decided to saw a Y-shaped Ficus log in half and get some bowl blanks out of it. I couldn’t fit the 14” section under my band saw’s 12” vertical clearance, so I just cut the first half, up to the Y split. Then I spent about 20-30 minutes sawing through the Y with my 24” carpenter saw. Good workout! I could fit a 10-7/8” circle on each log in the Y area, which I wanted to try turning for the twists in grain and color. I had to...
This is from nearly a month ago. I’m behind on my adventures. Chucking something properly in a lathe takes a little bit of thought and prep work. I only had about an hour after work, but was in the mood to learn a bit more. In this test, I simply wanted to see if I could make a thin, dish-like object in a small chunk of Indian Laurel (Ficus microcarpa). I had recently acquired a ton of it, so I just pinched it between centers and had at it. The test dish I would turn was from a pi...
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