Natural edge Bowl

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Project by Schwieb posted 262 days ago 678 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Oh how easy it is to get distracted from what we set out to do. I really need to clean-up the shop and garage and prepare for an event that my wife and I are hosting on Nov. 23. It’s a big deal for my wife and inevitably people wander around and check out Ken’s workshop. I just wouldn’t do to have a messy shop. Hopefully some will even buy something for themselves or a gift. We do have a little store we are trying to develop. Anyway, sweeping and putting things away is one thing, but there are stacks and piles of wood collected for turning that are piled everywhere and I was trying to sort through them and cut them down into blanks for pens, pepper mills, bowls, whatever, to get them off the floor. I had this piece of spalted sycamore that just called to me. I almost threw it in bin to be burned but I just couldn’t do it. There had to be something I could make out of it.

My LJ friend Mads happened to friend me on Facebook recently and I know he has been without a shop. I wondered, What would Mads do?” I don’t know if he has a lathe, but I know he loves a nice piece of wood. It was an odd slice of sycamore about 18” x 16” and about 3 1/2” thick that I collected from a big tree that had to come down in my hometown. I have a bunch more of it hopefully spalting right now. I wondered if I could make a platter out of this piece and just had to start right away, forget cleaning the shop, you know?. This is like 6:30 AM Saturday. I love turning, especially since I got my Robust American Beauty. I played around with this piece for several hours and came up with this natural edge dish. I try to listen to what the piece of wood tells me it wants to be, you know? I wanted to make the most of the piece of wood and this is what it told me.

The wood was very dry, and I was able to turn it down to about 3/16”. I tried a variation on the typical natural edge bowls I have seen and turned myself and flared the upper edges out. Maintaining the thickness and natural edge was a bit challenging, but fun to do. I realized that it was partly the larger diameter of the piece of wood that allowed me to do that.

I finished it with numerous coats of rattle can lacquer, lots of sanding, and buffing with 000 steel wool. The finished dimensions are 16” tip to tip and about 3” deep. By the way the last picture is courtesy of my wife and her new Epilog laser engraver.

This one is for you Mads.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

11 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


517 posts in 1610 days

#1 posted 262 days ago

Nice Platter.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA

View Handtooler's profile


1054 posts in 729 days

#2 posted 261 days ago

BEEEAUUUUUUTIFUL! That is super work on your part and I’m so glad you listened to what the wood told you it want to be.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View CFrye's profile (online now)


2477 posts in 436 days

#3 posted 261 days ago

Beautiful spalting and turning Ken. Nice engraving as well. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View grizzman's profile (online now)


6771 posts in 1900 days

#4 posted 261 days ago

im glad you listened to the wood, you did a fantastic job, and i know mads would be so happy you made it into a lovely bowl….you better get back to work though dr ken, you have a party coming…lol

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

View sedcokid's profile


2663 posts in 2195 days

#5 posted 261 days ago

Doc, Your work is always so accomplished and this one is no different! Perfect shape, and finish just outstanding! Now I think you should get back into the shop and do as your told and clean the shop…..........I need to do that myself!! Tell the Mrs. her engraving is over the top as well, nicely done!!!

Have a great party and hope you sell lots of your work as well.

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Rick's profile


6455 posts in 1629 days

#6 posted 261 days ago

Very Nice Project and Well Done! Thanks For Posting.

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View stefang's profile


12541 posts in 1931 days

#7 posted 260 days ago

Beautifully turned Ken and nice wood. Your wife’s engraving looked great too. It was good to hear that I’m not the only one with a shop to clean. At least you have some good motivation with visitors coming.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2576 days

#8 posted 260 days ago

Great job, Ken.



-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Cousinwill's profile


123 posts in 1487 days

#9 posted 260 days ago

Great Job !!

-- William from the oldest town in Texas

View mafe's profile


9435 posts in 1686 days

#10 posted 260 days ago

Dear Ken,
I have a tear in my eye now, thank you.
It is completely amazing!
The wood the shape and the finish – I love it.
Wish I could visit your shop also.
The wood, yes you really listened and that paid of, the wood talks back.
Thank you a lot my friend to think of me, I have a big wonderful smile here.
(I do have a lathe, but not at all where you are using it).
Best thoughts to you and the family,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Xyloid_Curt's profile


102 posts in 683 days

#11 posted 259 days ago

Great job. A very unique bowl!

-- Xyloid Curt

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