I found a beautiful piece of box elder that had quite a bit of red and black viens running through it. The first step in my bowl process was to chain saw the log and create a blank. I chose to save the bark inclusion on the side and let that be the focal point of the bowl. Next I attached a face plate ring to what would be the top of the bowl and then attached the bowl with the face plate ring to my Super Nova chuck.
The next step in the process is to get the blank roughed out and form what will be the base of the bowl. I use a square roughing gouge to get the bulk of the blank roughed out and then switch to my Thompson big stick bowl gouge. In this next photo you can see the bottom of the bowl taking shape, and I have formed a tenon to fit into the Nova super chuck when I get ready to reverse the bowl on the lathe.
Once I am satisfied with the base of the bowl I reverse chuck the bowl and secure the tenon that I created on the bottom of the bowl into the chuck. This phot shows the face plate ring still secured to the bowl. If I screw up and the tenon doesn’t fit properly I can put turn the bowl back around and put it back on the chuck without losing any accuracy. The tenon on this bowl was correct and I removed the face plate ring in preparation of hollowing out the bowl.
I use my Thompson Big Stick bowl gouge to hog out the bulk of the material in the bowl. At the bottom of the picture you can see the bark inclusion that I will keep as part of the bowl. This bowl will end up being almost 14” in diameter and 6” deep. You can just start to see the red and black highlights peeking through as I work the bowl down to size.
Once I am satisfied with the interior shape of the bowl and the depth I use my heavy curved scaper to get the surface smooth as glass and make the side to bottom tranistion seamless. Here you can see the bowl almost ready to put finish on – sandpaper has not touched this bowl as of yet! I will sand all the way up to 600 grit, put a coat of beeswax on the bowl and wet sand all the way up to 1000 grit.
I am satisfied with the initial finish and will now move to the first coat of high gloss Waterlox. I will let the first coat dry for 24 hours, sand it with 1000 grit sandpaper and follow with two more coats of Waterlox. Final finish will be at the Beall wheel.
I will post additional photos after I have put the second and third coats of Waterlox on the bowl. The entire bowl will be finished on the lathe. After all the coats of Waterlox are complete I reverse jam chuck the bowl and finish the foot of the bowl in the same way as the rest of the bowl.
-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.