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Forum topic by Mark posted 05-13-2014 11:24 PM 1184 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


912 posts in 1974 days

05-13-2014 11:24 PM

Afternoon all. I have 3 bowls I rough turned in Nov. I think. I put them away in the garage in paper bags for drying. I took them out today to find they have developed those “interesting shapes” everyone keeps mentioning. So the 1st question is how do I finish turning an egg shaped bowl? They used to be 5 1/2 to 7” in dia. The wall thickness ranges from 3/8”+ on the smaller 2 and 1/2”+ on the larger one. Next question. I watched a youtube vid from Robbie the wood turner ( He was turning a green log bowl. After he roughed it out he submerged it in a dish washing soap solution for 2 days, air dried for 2 days, then finished turning the bowl. I thought that was way more gooder than than 6 months in a paper bag and getting a bunch of eggs for my trouble, Whatcha think?

-- Mark

7 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3663 days

#1 posted 05-14-2014 01:58 AM

This ain’t what you want to hear, but I don’t think there is much you can do.

Green/wet wood needs to have much thicker walls from the rough turning … usually the wall needs to be about a consistent 10% of the diameter of the rough-turned bowl. That will ordinarily give you enough wall thickness that you can re-chuck the rough-turned piece, bring it to round and finish it.

I haven;t trued Robbie’s washing liquid trick … might give it a shot one of these days.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2380 days

#2 posted 05-14-2014 02:13 AM

Don’t worry about it. Everyone can do round but you can do oval.

-- Rick M,

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2074 days

#3 posted 05-14-2014 02:25 AM

finish them off by sanding is about the only way. you will still have unique shapes.

View Wildwood's profile


2306 posts in 2134 days

#4 posted 05-14-2014 01:20 PM

I would sand & finish what you have now and reverse turn the base, sand and finish that section off lathe.

You need to leave bowl blanks little thicker, so can remount on the lathe for final turning. I shoot for a uniform thickness between ¾” to 1 ¼” depending upon species. If like oval bowls turn to uniform 1/4” to 3/8” sand and finish at the same time.

Not sure how old that video you watched but soap procedure pretty much proven not reliable. If go here will find articles using soap method to dry wood no longer there

JMHO, using, alcohol, boiling, liquid soap methods & procedures to dry your bowls busy work. Time, equipment, cost of supplies and learning curve not worth my time.

-- Bill

View Mark's profile


912 posts in 1974 days

#5 posted 05-14-2014 03:07 PM

Thanks for the response and tips gents. There’s that 90° learning curve again. Thank you for the link Wildwood. Very informative.

-- Mark

View TerryDowning's profile


1077 posts in 2117 days

#6 posted 05-16-2014 03:52 PM

On the plus side, You will have some beautiful bowls if you finish them up nicely.

Some turners do their final turning on the wet wood and let them warp and crack for a more artsy presentation.

It’s very hard to beat Mother Nature from a design perspective.

-- - Terry

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4007 posts in 2234 days

#7 posted 06-01-2014 06:40 PM

Here is an osage orange (hedge) bowl turned two days ago green. The misc stuff around it is experimental router mill work. Working this very dense hard wood took out a tool rest, bent one tool 45°, and dulled several others. It’s all good though, and the end is a smooth bowl with very little sanding. It’s not end grain as you can see. It’s going to Rhode Island, where they just might use it for a kayak…

If you know anything about carving, you can imagine the difficulty of carving on the INSIDE BOTTOM of this deep bowl.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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