Routed Bowls

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Project by cincywoodworker posted 08-31-2009 04:02 PM 5483 views 11 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These bowls or serving trays are routed with the CMT Bowl & Tray System Bit Set. For the round serving tray, I used two pieces of 8/4 walnut on the outside, two 4/4 strips of curly maple, and then a 8/4 hard maple inside. After the blank was glued and surfaced. I drew the pattern onto the top of the blank and used a forstner bit in my drill press to remove most of the waste. After most of the waste was removed I double sided taped the template to the to and routed the tray shape. To make the rounded external edge, I made a small circle that would snuggle fit in the dip portion of the tray and used a router and trammel to define the outside edge with a half inch straight bit. I then bandsawed close to the edge and cleaned up the bowl circumference with a bunch of passes with different patten bits in my router table. I sanded the interior and exterior of the tray with lots of hand sanding and then used a round-over bit in my router table to ease all edges. I didn’t have any tearout that was not easily removed.

What I would do different is to define the circumference of the bowl with the router and trammel before removing the waste so that I had a better center point that didn’t wobble. Then finish removing the waste and routing the interior of the tray before finishing the exterior of the tray.

The trays on the right are hard maple on the bottoms and purple heart on the top. I took my hand at making my own templates so that I could affix the template to the top of the bowl and routing the inside and outside of the bowl without moving the template. I followed essentially the same procedure as before.

On these bowls I had lots of tear out in both the purple heart and the hard maple, from both the round-over and the straight pattern bits. You can see a hint of the tearout in the picture. I was so pissed I couldn’t see straight by the time I was done, and most of the tear out wasn’t able to be removed without scrapping the project. What did I do wrong? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

-- Grant, from Northern Kentucky

8 comments so far

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3618 days

#1 posted 08-31-2009 05:58 PM

Nice job, on these. As far as tearout both species are very hard as i’m sure your aware so keeping the bits as sharp as possible is the biggest thing, then taking smaller amounts of material out each pass helps too. Sometimes it just happens and there is nothing you can do but change the design around the tearout.

I had a scroll saw blade break across the top of a piece once and it just hammered a bunch of craters in it. So after i was done being bummed out, i grabbed my dremel and turned them into a cool celtic design.

Anyway hope that helps, have a good one..

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3378 days

#2 posted 08-31-2009 09:59 PM

I like. When routing… I use the bump cut method to avoid tearout. Check out this video by Charles Neil… it is great and works well.

I hope this helps.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4006 days

#3 posted 09-01-2009 12:36 AM

looks great .. I like ‘em

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

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 3321 days

#4 posted 09-01-2009 02:06 AM

Very nice, if I get the time I got to try making one.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3454 days

#5 posted 09-01-2009 09:05 AM

Very nice designs and wood choices. Love the colors on the small trays.

Great job.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View cincywoodworker's profile


41 posts in 3234 days

#6 posted 09-01-2009 03:34 PM

Thanks everyone,

Larry, I enjoyed your video, and I think that may have been a good thing to try, I tried to take small passes but the router bit just seemed to grab into the end grain and cause the tearout. These are going to be gifts at our upcoming wedding so they are just how they are.

-- Grant, from Northern Kentucky

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3437 days

#7 posted 09-02-2009 04:26 AM

Good color combo. Nice job.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View dbhost's profile


5723 posts in 3255 days

#8 posted 05-05-2010 04:27 PM

Sweet…. I gotta try one of those!

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