Bowl adze question

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Forum topic by groy87 posted 06-26-2013 06:04 AM 2492 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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136 posts in 2806 days

06-26-2013 06:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question adze

I recently saw a video of David Fischer using an adze to carve large bowls and to say the least I was intrigued. Being limited by the size of my mini lathe I’ve always wanted to find a way to make large bowls without having to buy a larger lathe. Which isn’t an option living in an apt. The question I have is has anyone ever used one before? If so how do you like it? Is it worth investing in?

5 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2300 posts in 2101 days

#1 posted 06-26-2013 12:06 PM

No! Making bowls that way reminds me of that dreaded four letter word WORK!

By the time you pick up an assortment of adz’s, chisels, scrapers to make bowls will have a serious investment unless come across deals at flea markets or make your own tools.

Lathe, chucks, turning tools pickup truck, chain saws, homemade wood shed while not cheap still require that dreaded four letter word too!

Good luck with it!

-- Bill

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 2375 days

#2 posted 06-26-2013 04:58 PM

It is a bit of work but it is woodworking and it is fun. I have made a few bowls this way for my wife and once I was taught to use the adze correctly it became much easier. It is not really a multi purpose tool unless you intend to build boats too. Mine came in handy when shaping a large deadwood but other than that I haven’t found many other uses for it but others my know of some.
If you do decide to invest in one please treat yourself to a fine tool and but one from Don Dillon in Colfax N C. He makes absolutely the nicest adzes Ive ever seen. A recent instructor of mine who is a professional shipwright trained in England and has built many large ships there and here, is an accomplished furniture maker as well as a bowl maker tried many times to relieve me of my two Dillon adzes. He said they were the nicest ones he had ever used.
Don hand forges them from D1 I think but he may use others too, mine are D1 drill rod stock and I have never been able to dull either of them.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View waho6o9's profile


8165 posts in 2543 days

#3 posted 06-26-2013 05:07 PM

Now that’s a serious workbench.

View Tim's profile


3783 posts in 1928 days

#4 posted 06-26-2013 05:19 PM

Haven’t done it but it does look fun. It would only be work if you didn’t enjoy it I guess. Here’s another good video on the process. While it would be best to have high quality tools if you do this a lot, I would think it’s probably best to try an adze out for a bit before you commit a lot of money to it and a vintage one can be a great way to do that. Depends on whether it’s worth your time to go looking for one and cleaning it up and sharpening it though too. It can be a time vs money tradeoff.

View Boatman53's profile


1051 posts in 2163 days

#5 posted 06-27-2013 02:53 AM

Search out Kestrel tools. They make carving tools used by the northwest coast natives for totem carving. I don’t own any but they sure look good. Even have kits and steel blanks for making your own.
A ships adze is just too big in my mind.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

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