My Journey in Bowl Making Ugh

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Project by Ken90712 posted 06-14-2016 09:45 PM 2086 views 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As some of you know I bought a lathe back in early January. I have always wanted to turn. While spindle turning seemed easy, ( of course I made a bunch of goofs ) I picked it up pretty quickly.

Ahhh…..BOWL TURNING, well that’s another story, LOL Some of my mentors and the really experienced turners say, “The more saw dust on the ground the better, that’s how you learn”.... I had no idea. This has been a challenge as I found out so much can go so wrong so quickly. Dancing with the tool, bevel angle, open/closed, handle ect a lot for newbies and without instruction sometimes hard to know what exactly went wrong.

I joined the Orange County Wood Workers/Turners club a while back. This was the best thing ever. I met some wonderful people and my new turning Mentor, Ken Folstrom has helped me so much. I’m guessing he’s made over a 1000 bowls from all that I see in the garage and his shows were he sells them. His patience and skill especially teaching a rooking is amazing. I have watched a lot of YouTube videos as well, you guys make it look easy.. My hats off to you.

I’m working hard at this and trying to not destroy things at the last min. I heard the saying, “Just one more cut is a famous last word among wood turners. I have a Cherry bowl that is proof of that thought process 5th pic. LOL

Pic #1 Black Acacia and Cedar End Grain Bowl.
Pic #2 Walnut, Cherry ( died ), Juniper wood and cedar.
Pic#3 Spalted Maple with Live edge almost done, Sanding left ( my favorite ).
Pic #4 Cherry bowl destroyed with one more scrap to make smoother Ugh.
Pic #5 another angle of Black Acacia.
Pic #6 hollowing the spalted maple inside.

All comments welcome it is how I learn. Thx for looking enjoy.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

25 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2285 posts in 1259 days

#1 posted 06-14-2016 09:52 PM

They look fantastic, Ken. I’m glad to see that you’re not afraid of turning the “imperfect specimens.” And, live-edge work is bold indeed, for a “newbie.”
Another “saying” to keep in your hat:
“A light touch and a sharp tool. My Momma didn’t raise no fool.” I just thought that up. Just now.

-- Mark

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30047 posts in 2534 days

#2 posted 06-14-2016 09:57 PM

Great job. You guys are going to force me to buy a lathe.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2203 days

#3 posted 06-14-2016 10:29 PM

Nice job Ken, I like ‘em all!

Well, all except that shattered one :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View stefang's profile


16123 posts in 3531 days

#4 posted 06-14-2016 10:47 PM

You are doing really well for a relatively new turner Ken, your bowls look great and there is a good diversity of the different types too. The more you turn the more you will know what the tools will do when they’re applied to the wood. It is a matter of theory combined with experience. Having a good mentor has put you on the fast track. Have fun!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lew's profile


12421 posts in 3952 days

#5 posted 06-14-2016 11:11 PM

Nothing to be ashamed of here!

I just recently got up enough nerve to try a natural edge bowl- it left with the trash man.

If you can find some “green” (freshly cut) pieces, it makes learning a little easier- because of the easy at which the tools slice thru the wood.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View 489tad's profile


3469 posts in 3208 days

#6 posted 06-14-2016 11:17 PM

Great job Ken. You got this. I really like the spalted maple bowl. Have fun.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View doubleDD's profile


7866 posts in 2239 days

#7 posted 06-14-2016 11:58 PM

I like where you are heading Ken. Those bowls show a lot of skill. I agree with others about the the variety of different bowls. Looking forward to see your new challenges.
I just had a burl bowl explode on me but I think I can save it. And yes, I said, just a tad more. BOOM

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View kiefer's profile


5621 posts in 2863 days

#8 posted 06-15-2016 12:19 AM

You lost the battle and down the slippery slope you go.
I had been avoiding buying a lathe but lost also and I am waiting where it leads .
You do some great work and that life edge bowl is a beauty but that bowl on the right in the first picture sure caught my eye also .
Great to see you diving into turning and producing some nice bowls .


-- Kiefer

View Cedar Furniture Lodge 's profile

Cedar Furniture Lodge

819 posts in 2468 days

#9 posted 06-15-2016 02:21 AM

Beautiful work!

-- "The Cedar King"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21709 posts in 3302 days

#10 posted 06-15-2016 02:56 AM

Gorgeous bowl, Ken!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View hoss12992's profile


4081 posts in 2089 days

#11 posted 06-15-2016 02:58 AM

Those are beautiful bowls and hard to believe you have only been on this slippery slope of Turing for 5 months. Awesome! Looking forward to seeing your future turnings. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2489 days

#12 posted 06-15-2016 03:23 AM

Looking good! You’re really developing your talents with that lathe.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10317 posts in 4249 days

#13 posted 06-15-2016 04:24 AM

You’re on the Road Again… making good progress!

Thank you for the update…

COOL work…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Cliff 's profile


1359 posts in 1920 days

#14 posted 06-15-2016 04:34 AM

Ken, Beautiful Bowls and I love the grain and the swirls in the wood. Great work.



-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Hawaiilad's profile


3293 posts in 3217 days

#15 posted 06-15-2016 04:51 AM

Ken you are way ahead of me…I still haven’t tried working a lath, but I can make a mean bowl on my
Ring Master. Great job

-- Larry in Hawaii,

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