Redwood Box Jointed Bowl

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Project by Kindlingmaker posted 09-17-2009 02:17 AM 2660 views 13 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The bowl is 11 ½” long by 9” wide and 5 ½” deep. It is made from recycled redwood that was 2” thick. I wanted to try and make a bowl without using a lathe and highlight it with box joints. The bowl was just an idea and I found it had a few difficulties to it. The first was that an 8” dado blade in a General table saw would not cut a full 2” depth box joint and came up a ¼” short. Oh well… After the glue up of all the sides I had to figure out how to taper and bevel the inside. Most woodworkers would have thought out this process first but not me. I tried a few different methods without much success until I ordered a Shinto rasp. That rasp is a wonderful tool to work with. With the course side of the rasp I quickly roughed out the inside then smoothed it with the fine toothed side. What a pleasure of a tool. I then tilted the band saw table until it matched the inside angle of the bowl and then cut the bulk of the outside wood off. Out came the Shinto rasp again to fashion the outside corners and give the bowl some flowing form. Flipping the bowl upside down I routed the inside bottom rabbit ¼” deep and ¼” wide to accept an inset bottom. The bottom was made from two smaller redwood strips that were glued together with TiteBond III. After a lot of hand sanding and some work with a 1” drum sander on a drill motor for the inside corners several coats of wipe on Varathane were applied then a coat of wax. Between coats of Varathane there was sanding with 320 grit and before the wax there was a sanding of 400 grit sandpaper. This is one of those projects that just popped into my head and I had to see if something would come from it. I think I would like to do another someday and make it better and a bit different…and try a different finish on this one.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

29 comments so far

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 2338 days

#1 posted 09-17-2009 02:34 AM

Wow, the bowl really turned out nice and thanks for posting a detail description.

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

View rtb's profile


1099 posts in 2753 days

#2 posted 09-17-2009 02:38 AM

beautiful How about a review of that rasp.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 2300 days

#3 posted 09-17-2009 02:39 AM

Looks mighty fine to me. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View huff's profile


2826 posts in 2325 days

#4 posted 09-17-2009 02:45 AM

Good looking bowl. I like the way you did the taper…... gave the box joints a great tapered look. Very well done.

-- John @

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2617 days

#5 posted 09-17-2009 03:18 AM

cool bowl cool design well done

-- Custom furniture

View grizzman's profile


7619 posts in 2343 days

#6 posted 09-17-2009 03:45 AM

well i have to ask this question….what makes a bowl a bowl… first reaction to this was this isnt a bowl… looks like an oblong box….so will you reall woodworkers step up to the plate and give the correct discription of a bowl…....i dont think bowls are flat on the bottom… im waiting to be correcred of told what is what….....grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RobFisher's profile


16 posts in 2236 days

#7 posted 09-17-2009 04:29 AM

I love the BOWL! The process photos and description are great as well. Thanks!


-- Lancaster, PA

View scopemonkey's profile


184 posts in 3203 days

#8 posted 09-17-2009 05:13 AM

Bowl: a round, deep dish or basin used for food or liquid
Box: a container with a flat base and sides, typically square or rectangular and having a lid

Hard to comment on the flatness of the bottom since it isn’t shown in the pictures. However, the way the corners are so nicely rounded inside and out, I’m seeing more of a bowl than box.

Great work, either way.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1179 posts in 3039 days

#9 posted 09-17-2009 05:52 AM

Excellent design, gonna make me one of these!

-- Bob A in NJ

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 2470 days

#10 posted 09-17-2009 08:23 AM

Box or Bowl….It is beautifull just the same. Great work and thanks for the detail on the build.

Great use of scraps! Keep it up.


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

View stefang's profile


14706 posts in 2374 days

#11 posted 09-17-2009 12:14 PM

An amazing piece. I love it! I’ve never seen anything like it before. It almost has a Sam Maloof look to it even though it looks totally original. I think it is wonderful when someone does something new like this. A great inspiration.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 2862 days

#12 posted 09-17-2009 01:01 PM

Excellent BOXL, The sides are well sloped, and the box joints are tight, the color is deep, and the over all look is appealing. I’m going to give it a 95%. (5 off for missing pic of bottom)

Currently my favorite and preferred joinery technique. I’ve made a few items that would look good next to this BOWL.

Nice results to a challenging build.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View eddy's profile


936 posts in 2404 days

#13 posted 09-17-2009 02:45 PM

very nice thanks for posting i will try this in the near future i like the look of it
good explanation on the process hope mine looks this good

-- self proclaimed copycat

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2567 days

#14 posted 09-17-2009 03:07 PM

Great idea, looks terrific! Good pictures showing how you did that. I like the shape a lot…...........

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View taidsturning's profile


233 posts in 2435 days

#15 posted 09-17-2009 03:25 PM

Whether it’s a bowl that isn’t round or a box without a lid, it’s a beautiful piece and if we can argue about how to name it, it just means you thought outside the box, or bowl.

-- Bill Roberts -- Steal one idea it's called plagerism. Steal a bunch - it's called research

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