First Bowl

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Project by Thuzmund posted 12-11-2013 04:43 AM 1162 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first bowl. How cool that others can check it out, too.

I am still learning so I don’t have a bowl gouge. I used a spindle gouge mostly (not a roughing gouge though), and like many beginners, sort of took a guerrilla approach and used what felt right. I will learn more with time. maybe I can join a local club here in the capital district of NY.

My goal was to make it round with without destroying the piece, which I halfway succeeded at (I dug out a big chunk of the lip just before it was all done—of course).

However, I have no clue what kind of wood this is. I thought it was a piece of maple I was picking up off my neighbor’s devil strip because it’s common around here, but the heartwood looks too dark and there are some wild things going on with the blues and whatnot in the grain pattern. Your guess is as good as mine. Wait; you’re guess is actually way better than mine! :-D

I did learn that big old chunks of wood tend to retain moisture. It seemed pretty dry, but of course the bowl did cup a bit over the next few weeks. I think i will start to rough-turn any more bowls and wait for them to dry more before finishing them up.

This bowl would be just 1/2 of the yield of the log. What happened to the other half? While I admired this bowl (and observed its movement for a couple weeks) the other half of the log split right down the middle! Strike while the iron is hot, I guess!

My quest next summer will be to make friends with the tree people around town. It’s not everyday that you come across a hefty log on the side of the road. :)

Thanks for looking.

-- Here to learn

8 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


8478 posts in 2749 days

#1 posted 12-11-2013 04:56 AM

That’s a very nice bowl for your first one, congrats.

View NaptownWood's profile


293 posts in 2046 days

#2 posted 12-11-2013 05:46 AM

Look in the forums, there will be tons of stuff for sealing up log halves to dry slower and not crack.

Either way, this half looks cool to me.

-- Witty signature line still pending

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1997 days

#3 posted 12-11-2013 11:06 AM

Looking good…I hope I do half as well on my first turning…hope to see more from you.
Welcome to Lumberjocks…. so many talented woodworkers here from all over the world and all are willing to help or advise….enjoy your stay.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Thuzmund's profile


151 posts in 1801 days

#4 posted 12-11-2013 08:05 PM

Naptown, I will certainly start sifting through all the great resources on this site to learn about how to prevent future cracks. Big chunks of wood are so rare, they must be cared for! :)

-- Here to learn

View LesB's profile


1838 posts in 3616 days

#5 posted 12-11-2013 10:16 PM

We all started somewhere. Yours looks better than most; who do not even post their results.
You can really reduce your learning curve by taking a couple of classes or getting someone with experience to work with you a little.
There are ways of working with “wet” wood and one of my favorites is to partially turn the piece and heat it up inside a brown shopping bag in the microwave. You can fine more info on that technique on the internet. Just Google “microwaving wood” or similar phrases.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Thuzmund's profile


151 posts in 1801 days

#6 posted 12-15-2013 03:06 AM

Les, thanks for that tip. I just heard about a local woodworking club that looks to me my next stop!

-- Here to learn

View TannerTurnings's profile


146 posts in 1600 days

#7 posted 11-18-2014 03:16 AM

Nicely done piece. When you manage to get a Bowl Gouge you’ll be away! One small thing to be aware of with a Bowl Gouge though, is the heal of the bevel. When you sharpen it, you can get a small burr right on the heal, that will leave marks on the inside of your bowl at the transition between the walls and base. Just check the heal after sharpening, & remove any burr you may find. ;-)

-- Keith, Norfolk England. Why Burn it when you can Turn it??!!

View Thuzmund's profile


151 posts in 1801 days

#8 posted 11-18-2014 06:34 AM

Thanks Keith. I have since joined a local club (though I could go more often) and will take your advice to heart. I still get a lot of those pesky lines, though they are less obnoxious as I gain more experience. :D

-- Here to learn

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