Square Bowl

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Project by jbrinkman posted 01-08-2009 12:26 AM 2620 views 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This Square Bowl is one of my first major woodturning projects. I had seen plenty of turnings which did not have a traditional round shape and I tried to figure out how they did it. This bowl is my first attempt at creating at turning of a non-round shape. In fact it is probably only my third piece I have ever turned.

This bowl is made from Walnut and was turned on my old ShopSmith (I have since moved up to a Nova 1624-44 lathe). The method I used here, as you can see from the photos, was to glue poplar wasteblocks to the edges so that I could turn the bowl round. Once the turning was complete, I used my father in laws bandsaw to remove the poplar.

If I was to return this project today, I would start with a square blank, skip the poplar waste blocks and turn at a much higher speed. I don’t think I went much above 800 rpm when I first turned this, but would probably turn close to 2000 RPM today.

-- Joe Brinkman, California -

4 comments so far

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 3878 days

#1 posted 01-08-2009 01:29 AM

That is a nice piece. But the way ‘they’ actually do it is to spin it square. ‘They’ call them knuckle busters… as you can see why.


View jbrinkman's profile


33 posts in 3436 days

#2 posted 01-08-2009 02:14 AM

Kerux – Totally agree. As you can see from my later work, I eventually figured it out. This is a case where as a newbie, you often do what makes sense to you at the time. If you had said I needed to turn at 1500 rpm on my ShopSmith, I would have run away screaming ;)

-- Joe Brinkman, California -

View LesB's profile


1722 posts in 3438 days

#3 posted 01-08-2009 08:13 AM

I have turned several “square bowls” of a slightly more complicated design than this one. See Project postings for about 8 days ago 12/29/08. I find that in order to avoid tear out of the cross grain at the corners of the feet you need to glue on at least a 1/4” waste strip on the edges of all 4 corners. Your method actually adds one useful feature in that you can sand the outer tips of the feet on the lathe. I have to sand mine by hand.
Looking at you other postings I see you are well on your way to bigger and better turnings.

-- Les B, Oregon

View shopsmithpoppi's profile


37 posts in 2545 days

#4 posted 10-25-2011 02:05 AM

Glad see another SS user on LJ’s! I love the bowl

-- Think it, See it, Design it. Build it, Enjoy it!

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