Natural Edge Bowl

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Project by Matt posted 04-20-2009 04:35 AM 4815 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Natural Edge Bowl
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With the shop mostly done and my wife’s help building a bench for my lathe, it was the least I could do to add to her bowl collection. Happily, she gets most of the nice bowls I make. I give them away as gifts when I can. I also get my blanks from trees that are blown down from storms, people who are removing them for safety or asthetic reasons, home additions. I get a lot of pleasure from not cutting down a tree simply for the blanks. I keep two Stihl chainsaws tuned up and read to run on the 2nd or 3rd pull. “Free Wood Waits For No Man!” Words to live by.

We join this project, “In Progress”.

The blank had been roughed approximately 10 months ago with approximately 1 1/2 inch thick walls. It was allowed to dry in a paper bag. I’ll post another project with how I prepare my bowl blanks. I turn all my bowls with a Crown Ellsworth Bowl Gouge. $100.00 and worth every penny!

Here is a tighter shot. The lathe is a Jet 1220. The bowl is approxmately 10 inches in diameter. I cut my bowl blanks on the bandsaw so they are more balanced and, without the corners and odd obstructions, I can get a bigger bowl out of this lathe. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, the Jet 1220 is a pretty serious lathe. I’ve jammed blanks on this thing that barely cleared the bed. I’ve also had to get creative with the tool rest which wouldn’t slide under the blank.

In this picture, I’ve finished turning the bowl and I’ve flipped it over to complete the foot. Or, in this case, the lack of much foot. I made a simple flat spot, as I wanted this bown to simply sit down on the table. I turn a a lot of my natural edge bowls this way.

I have a vacuum chuck for my lathe but I wanted to illustrate to folks that you don’t need a whole bunch of fancy equipment to make some nice stuff on the lathe. This is a jam chuck. It is simply a piece of cherry that I cut a recessd tenon into. I leave the chuck on the lathe and since the tenon on the jam chuck is dovetailed, it’s self-aligning. I put a piece of closed cell white foam over the jam chuck to keep from marring the bowl. I have these in different sizes and thicknesses to accomodate many different bowl shapes. The one thing they all have in common is a tenon to make mounting them in my Supernova2 simple and fast.

Done! The bright spots are from the flash and the finish was still drying. The bowl was power-sanded with my Hitachi 3/8th variable speed drill and a hook and loop 2 1/2 inch disk on a foam interface pad. It makes finishing bowls fast and simple. The finish is just a light “rub down” with boiled linseed oil.

Here is another shot from a different angle.

I hope you liked my project

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

8 comments so far

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3392 days

#1 posted 04-20-2009 06:28 AM

Thanks for sharing this nice project Matt and about the process, the bowl looks awesome!

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3982 days

#2 posted 04-20-2009 07:04 AM

great bowl … enjoyed the process photos

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4245 days

#3 posted 04-20-2009 12:16 PM

Nice turning. Nice photos.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3766 days

#4 posted 04-20-2009 01:05 PM

Nice job keeping the bark on. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 3697 days

#5 posted 04-20-2009 01:16 PM

Beautiful bowl. I have just started turning myself and have become addicted. I haven’t tried natural edge yet.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 04-20-2009 04:38 PM

Well done good photos

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3687 days

#7 posted 07-16-2009 06:00 AM

Very nice : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View lignosis101's profile


4 posts in 2821 days

#8 posted 09-06-2010 06:12 PM

nice work

-- Harlan, Florida,

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