First bowls

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Project by Llarian posted 12-05-2009 08:49 AM 1330 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The first bowl is my first ever shot at any sort of face work. And oh my, was it full of mistakes. Turning bowls is a lot harder than turning pens, I’m pleased with how it turned out despite the problems.

I have a long way to go though. There’s a lot of end grain tearout on the sides, and I parted off the tenon before I sanded and finished it, so I had to hand sand and finish it off the lathe. The profile is kinda boring too, but I wasn’t trying to do anything interesting for that one, just wanted to avoid causing the blank to explode or punching a hole in the side of the walls. =)

The second one turned out much better. I still had some catches and some tearout, but I managed to shear it off and end up with a somewhat more interesting profile.

I need to learn to better sharpen and burnish my scrapers, that would definitely make a difference I think.

I also need a bandsaw badly, these were square blanks, and all I could do was cut of the corners with my tablesaw. I don’t have a roughing gouge, so getting them cylindrical was a real pain.

A larger lathe would be nice too. Maybe someday, I can tell I’m not going to be happy with this cheap PSI mini lathe. It’ll have to do for now though. I’m hooked though! Some arborists in from my of office were removing some trees, so I filled my car with green hunks of log to turn into bowls. This is clearly a bad sign. turn

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

13 comments so far

View LesB's profile


1150 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 12-05-2009 09:15 AM

For first bowls you did well. Sounds like you are definitely hooked. I wouldn’t want to post any of my firsts but that was a long time ago. I have collected far far more chunks of wood than I will live long enough to use.
Sand paper is the beginning turners best friend. I have started with 60 grit to remove tear out and worked my way up the grits from there.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Lisa Chan's profile

Lisa Chan

147 posts in 2193 days

#2 posted 12-05-2009 09:26 AM


-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

View rustedknuckles's profile


160 posts in 2795 days

#3 posted 12-05-2009 11:50 AM

Nothing wrong with those, first bowls are the bench marks for your progress down this slippery slope (bowl turning). Remember to finish the bottom of the bowls as good as you can, it’s the first place a knowledgable turner inspects when critiquing. Well done!

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 2185 days

#4 posted 12-05-2009 12:35 PM

Hi For a first time bowl u done well. try using scrapper straight off the grinder. the burr will do a lot of the cutting and the finish is good.

Regards Roger in SA
ps Will be watching out for some more of your work

-- Africa is not for sissies

View toyguy's profile


1455 posts in 2880 days

#5 posted 12-05-2009 01:33 PM

And another one starts the slide….............. And you will be glad you did. For a first attempt, you did well. Keep this one close by, and look at it often….. Just to remind you !!

Now….scrappers are good, and a very useful tool. But as Tamboti told ya, straight of the grinder and use the burr. Also, If you don’t have any. invest in a couple of good bowl gouges. No one can turn a bowl with out them. Also learn how to grind them….. DO NOT USE a Roughing Gouge in bowl work. They are meant for spindle work…... Start watching videos like Bill Grumbine’s bowl turning…...... Best investment I ever made.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2488 days

#6 posted 12-05-2009 01:51 PM

Very Nice first bowl. A lot better than my first.

View mmh's profile


3647 posts in 2765 days

#7 posted 12-05-2009 05:15 PM

Very nicely done, especially for a begining effort! Your crtique tells me that you have high standards for your work and that you will be pushing yourself to improve your techniques and aesthetic values. Keep up the good work and the learning process. Above all keep pushing the envelope! It brings challenges that brighten up your life!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2601 days

#8 posted 12-05-2009 05:25 PM

Absolutely nothing wrong with those bowls. I like the profiles and the wood you used. They look great.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Matt Vredenburg's profile

Matt Vredenburg

146 posts in 2457 days

#9 posted 12-05-2009 06:10 PM

Nice job Dylan.

-- Matt, Arizona

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3290 days

#10 posted 12-05-2009 07:28 PM

Very cool turning, and great job for a first. Heck that’s as good as some of mine and I’ve been doing it awhile. Beautiful grain. What kind of wood is it?

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

View peruturner's profile


317 posts in 2405 days

#11 posted 12-05-2009 07:34 PM

Well done keep it up you love the new challege no?lol

View Llarian's profile


128 posts in 2650 days

#12 posted 12-05-2009 07:47 PM

Thanks all!

The first bowl is Zebrawood, the second is Bocote.

I do have a couple bowl gouges and a couple scrapers, although I’d like a slightly larger bowl gouge for roughing I think (which is what I meant by roughing gouge, I was tired when I posted these)

I’ll see about finishing the bottom a little better on the next one, although having the bottom somewhat unfinished provides a little better friction and keeps it from skittering across the table. =) These blanks were so narrow, I didn’t have a lot of spare wood to make the tenon and do something more interesting with the bottom. I definitely need to move to turning green wood instead so I don’t have to care so much about losing a little off the bottom.

-- Dylan Vanderhoof - General hobbiest and reluctant penmaker.

View a1Jim's profile


113738 posts in 2620 days

#13 posted 12-05-2009 08:12 PM

Dylan this is a great looking bowl wonderful fiqure and nice turning.

-- Custom furniture

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