I like to tease Mike (jockmike2) that he was worried about losing a student when I moved to a scroll saw project. When I showed him the progress on my scroll saw box, he gave me a piece of Ash that he cut from his firewood. A good deal of bark was on the piece and he suggested I try my hand at a bowl with a natural edge. This is my progress so far on this project.
This piece was a little rough on the side opposite the bark side. I ran a chainsaw disk mounted on the angle grinder over it to smooth it out a smidge for the tail center. I couldn’t take much off for fear of losing too wood. This side was going to be the bottom of the bowl and not the hollow. I flipped it over and chucked a forstner bit into the cordless drill to cut a center hole for the drive center -
The purpose of this was two-fold. First, I wanted solid purchase for the drive center and bark is not a solid place to start and second, when it came time for hollowing, I wanted a good starting spot so I could work the hollow without ripping the bark. When it was first mounted on the lathe, it looked rough. You can see where the bottom of the bowl was going to require a bit of work -
Green markings is where latex paint was used to seal the exposed areas to help prevent cracking until I was able to work on it. Rounding the piece and cleaning the bottom was a little time consuming. Lathe was at the slowest speed and the cuts had to be light. The surface under the bark was a little on the punky side and too heavy a cut would leave the drive center spinning inside the piece. So it was a process of cut, tighten tailstock, cut, tighten tailstock until the bottom was clean and the piece more true. You will notice, in the picture above, that I had a swing arm mounted for the tool rest. Handy item as it allows me to move the bulk of the rest away from the piece and still access the front and sides without interference. Here is the piece after initial cleanup and truing -
Next step was to create a tenon for the chuck to grip. I only wanted about 1/2” used for this, since the bowl was going to be on the shallow side already. I started the tenon here -
and worked the tenon to a diameter of about 2 1/2”. From there, I was able to flip the bowl over, mounted it on the chuck and do more aggressive shaping and start working on the hollow -
As you can see, the hole used by the forstner bit gave me a good entrance point without trying to gain purchase on the bark surface. I was not able to retain all the bark on the edge so far, but have it worked down to this point -
All that is left is a touch more rounding on the bottom of the bowl, hollowing a little more, then the sanding, finishing, and parting from the tenon. Somewhere last night, I remembered that I still had a day job so had to call it quits :)
Thanks for viewing all and keep the dust coming,
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.