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Sort of segmented bowl - A learning lesson

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Project by lightcs1776 posted 07-06-2014 10:15 PM 839 views 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is not a “Look how nice this project is” post. I thought about not posting it at all, but I think others could learn a few things from this that I learned. So, here it goes.

Sherry, my wife, and I worked on this bowl. It is made of strips of cherry and beech. I enjoyed this bowl for a couple of reasons. First, it was just fun to make, being our first decent size bowl. It’s about 3” deep, and 6” around. Second, it taught me a lot about bowl making.

The first lesson is to ensure the pieces are well milled. I have been enjoying this hobby for less than 9 months. I glued this up less about 6 months ago, after I purchased the lathe for my wife. I didn’t have any hand planes, and recently had purchased a Dewalt planer. Needless to say, there were gaps in the joints. If your going to glue up wood for a bowl, the edges need to be tightly jointed together.

Lesson two, make sure your dove tail is deep enough and has straight or slightly indented sides. The bowl came off, hitting me square in the face shield. That brings up another point. ALWAYS wear a face shield.

Lesson three and four. Don’t over saturate with water when sanding and don’t use cheap sandpaper. I wet down the bowl with a paper towel, but used too much water and the bowl started to get out of round. I also used Harbor Frieght sand paper, which left a gray coloring on the wood.

Lesson five, CA glue will kill your staining results. We have white spots where we had to put CA glue to keep the poor seams together.

Lesson six, practice, practice, practice. I like the way it came out, warts and all. Why? Because we both learned a lot about bowl turning. We are learning how to keep our tools sharp, how the wood reacts with different tools, how the different speeds help or hinder, and how to have fun. And, we did it together, which makes it very cool.

Please, feel free to provide constructive criticism. I will not take offense if you have advice I can apply to the next bowl.

Thanks for taking a look and thanks, in advance, for any tips you may have in improving our future turning projects.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **





27 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15496 posts in 1089 days


#1 posted 07-06-2014 10:21 PM

I hope to go down this road eventually. Always glad to hear from experience. Plus, there’s always a need for a candy dish. Good job sir.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

5885 posts in 608 days


#2 posted 07-06-2014 10:28 PM

It looks cool and it’s better than any bowl I’ve ever made. Nice that you guys worked on it together.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

3860 posts in 591 days


#3 posted 07-06-2014 10:29 PM

Great practice and learning bowl, Chris and Sherry! Glad you were wearing the face shield. I haven’t had one come off the lathe…yet. Maybe mix some sawdust in with the CA glue or epoxy with enamel Testor’s paint? (Just stuff I’ve read about and not tried…yet). “We don’t learn from perfect” I heard said somewhere along the way. Thanks for sharing!

-- God bless, Candy

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14630 posts in 1426 days


#4 posted 07-06-2014 10:39 PM

Great that lessons were learned…. even greater is sharing them with us!!!

I haven’t done anything segmented, so….
Looks as though the joints were not staggered, not staggering drunk, just offset for strength.
Candy has a good point regarding mixing in sawdust, for open joints. Again, I have no experience with that.

Glad no one was hurt during the hurling bowl incident!!!

Again…. thanks, for sharing your experience!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2250 posts in 1312 days


#5 posted 07-06-2014 11:01 PM

Chris

For only 9 months you are doing fantastic way ahead of what I was doing at the time.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

302 posts in 1818 days


#6 posted 07-06-2014 11:08 PM

Love the story, and love the bowl. Making memories is just as important as making little works of art. You’ve done good work here!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA, http://www.MowryJournal.com

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2250 posts in 1312 days


#7 posted 07-06-2014 11:18 PM

Chris

This is a few learned lessons I have so I hope you can learn from me.

1. You do not need a lathe to make the edges flat. You can use a piece of MDF with a 8.5×11.5 sandpaper and move the wood back and forth. If you are putting pieces together on the lathe you can have a flat board with sandpaper on it and put it up againsed the wood while it is running about 250 rpm (I do all my sanding at a slow speed to keep heat from checking the wood)

2. A pleasing to the eye bowl is some part of a circle. Like an O depending on the size of the wood it can be anything less then half of a circle.

3. CA glue seals wood pores and will not allow stain unless it is all removed. I like it for “small” cracks in the outside of wood and for using powered metals designs

4. Practice is your friend. I have received some great advise from Lyle Jamieson by telling me to do a series of turnings to get good at that first before moving on to other turnings. Example- Bowls, Spindle turning, Boxes, Goblets, and so on.

5. Whenever I have been away from the lathe for a while I practice with spindle work and my cuts before I do something important.

6. Always wear a face shield or hockey mask or powered air to protect your face because at some time a piece will come off the lathe and hit you.

7. I turn down the speed before I turn the power switch off. That way if I mount something else it is not on high speed and might come off.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Doe's profile

Doe

1079 posts in 1581 days


#8 posted 07-06-2014 11:40 PM

The bowl looks good from here!

Excellent lessons and I’m really impressed with using a segmented blank because of the alternating grain. I’ve used CA and dust and it works well; William has posted a very good description of it. You have to work fast before it hardens and keep it away from water because it’ll set up instantly and you’ll have lumps. I’ve never used water when sanding, is it to keep down the dust?

I would say that the bowl is priceless and you’ll always be proud of it.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View JL7's profile

JL7

7483 posts in 1716 days


#9 posted 07-07-2014 12:07 AM

Chris and Sherry – looks great from here. It’s all a learning process and you are both doing great…..Enjoy the top 3!

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#10 posted 07-07-2014 12:11 AM

Thank you all for your comments. I really appreciate every one of them. We are anxious to try another one. The next one will be a combination of light and dark colored wood. I also hope to cut wedges so that less end grain is exposed. I loved the lessons from this bowl, and every one we make will be our own treasure, regardless of how it comes out.

I am really shocked it made the top three, but perhaps it will encourage someone who is worried about making somethinng less than perfect, such as this bowl is. It is the journey of learning that is the best gift in woodworking.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2142 posts in 1003 days


#11 posted 07-07-2014 12:19 AM

Chris and Sherry—Excellent job on your first bowl. Thanks for sharing your lessons learned. You should both sign and date the piece so you can see your progress as you get more experienced.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14630 posts in 1426 days


#12 posted 07-07-2014 12:21 AM

Doe,
Water (wet sanding) raises the grain…. then you can sand off the fuzzies (that’s a technical term) and have a smoother surface.

One must be careful when using water….
Some would say NEVER use water while the piece is on the lathe….
1) Don’t get water on/in the motor.
2) Keep all cast iron waxed, to prevent rust.
3) To much water will warp the piece.

I only have heard Captain Eddie explain the wet sanding…. He wet sands on the lathe…. using a spray bottle.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#13 posted 07-07-2014 12:30 AM

Yep, Capt. Eddie does a great job explaining wet sanding. Fortunatley the bowl dried into a fairly round piece again, but as Randy said, you have to be careful not to over water. I tend to be a “if a little is good, a lot is better” type of person. Randy, I must have missed the part about using a spray bottle. I’ll try that next time. And I do keep the lathe well waxed.

Don, great idea. Perhaps I will date the bottom. My Grandfather, or his brother, not sure which, made an amazing bowl that said NUTS on the outside. Yes, it was for keeping nuts. I would love to do this one day.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View hotncold's profile

hotncold

591 posts in 295 days


#14 posted 07-07-2014 01:35 AM

Chris – Great story and I can certainly appreciate the “learning process”. Seems that’s all I’ve been doing…but loving every minute of it.
Thanks for posting.

-- Dennie - Tennessee - Every Pro was once an Amateur. Every Expert was once a Beginner. So dream Big and start Now!

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#15 posted 07-07-2014 02:04 AM

Thanks, Dennie. Coming from you that means a lot. The board of maple and paduk is amazing. You have a great talent.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

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