Winged Bowls

  • Advertise with us
Project by Brian Havens posted 03-05-2012 01:19 AM 2077 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These winged bowls are a joy to make and tests one’s tool control to the extreme. I also find them great for those times when I have a small diameter log in a valuable species, because, although the bowl section is no larger than if I made a conventional bowl, the overall size of a winged bowl is much larger.

Bowl #1, made from Plum, is my favorite, because although the natural edge is curved, the wings are made with a straight cut. I call this style a “Hyperbola Winged Bowl” (Mathematicians, think of a plane intersecting a cone = Hyperbola)

Bowl #2, made of California Alder, is all wing. I call this style a “Banana Split Bowl” because it is similar is shape to the bowls commonly used to make banana splits.

Bowl #3, made from Plum, is the sister blank from bowl #1. This bowl has a straight natural edge and balances on its bottom.

Bowl#4, made from Spalted Birch, is also straight and balanced. I would have liked the rim thinner, but the spalting made the wood a little punky.

Bowl #5, made from Black Walnut, is offset like bowl #1, but one wing extends to a point that it holds the bowl uprght.

Photo #6 is an action shot of roughing out bowl #1 or #3 ( I cannot remember which.)

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

7 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3165 days

#1 posted 03-05-2012 01:29 AM

Very nice! Not that easy to do, I know I have tried a few, neat knuckle busters though if you are not careful!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2987 days

#2 posted 03-05-2012 02:04 AM

Beautiful pieces Brian. They show your skill. I vote on the Banana Split Bowl. It just has a simplicity to it that I like. Thanks for sharing.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View a1Jim's profile


117234 posts in 3724 days

#3 posted 03-05-2012 02:48 AM

Very nice .

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2744 days

#4 posted 03-05-2012 12:27 PM

Brian, very unique pieces. They look like a real challenge. Do you end up selling them? My turning skills are not up to trying anything like this, yet. I like the walnut piece the best.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View Gareth00's profile


21 posts in 2484 days

#5 posted 03-05-2012 06:58 PM

Good hands, my friend. Your sharpening skills must be “adequate” too. Congratulations on great work.

View peteg's profile


4387 posts in 2970 days

#6 posted 03-05-2012 08:11 PM

very nice series Brian, well done :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3253 days

#7 posted 03-06-2012 05:03 PM

First, thanks everyone, for the kind remarks ;-)

Bearpie: I have not busted my knuckles … yet, knock on wood. I find the style of tool rest in photo #6 helps since it hides some of the danger zone and provides a safe zone that I use when using it as a straight guide. From there, as long as I do not “cross the line” I am OK.

amagineer: #4 and #5 are up for sale, #3 I gave as a gift, and #1 and #2 will be up for sale soon. I am not making a living at selling bowls, but I have to do something to save my house from overflowing with turnings. LOL

Here are a few tips that I have picked up that make turning these bowls much easier to do

1) This is by far the most important. The key to negative-rake scraping to clean up the wings is to have the sides of the negative rake scraper sharp so that it can cut ahead of the scraping. Otherwise, you have to use too much pressure into the wings which will cause vibration and wear down the burr in just seconds. Instead, most of the pressure is on the side of the scraper, pushing into well supported wood that is much less likely to vibrate. The larger burr area barely kisses the surface to clean up the grooves cut by the side. This technique also make it easy to make straight cuts, since the barely cutting burr edge acts like a guide.

2) The second most important tip is that you can you can usually do one side of the wing all at once, but the second side of the wings has to be done in steps (about one inch at a time), from outside toward center, otherwise the thin material will simply vibrate too much. In other words, bring down the next one inch section to thickness with a gouge, then follow up with the negative rake scraper and never go back (except for a little overlap to blend the previous section). Repeat until you arrive at the bowl section.

3) And finally, use your fingers agains the tool rest as a straight guide.

Maybe I need to make another video…

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics