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Forum topic by Mark posted 100 days ago 573 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


393 posts in 600 days

100 days ago

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


3721 posts in 2289 days

#1 posted 100 days ago

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 Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3861 posts in 1006 days

#2 posted 100 days ago

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

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View REO's profile


596 posts in 700 days

#3 posted 100 days ago

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

View Wildwood's profile


988 posts in 760 days

#4 posted 99 days ago

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


393 posts in 600 days

#5 posted 99 days ago

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


1004 posts in 743 days

#6 posted 97 days ago

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

1516 posts in 860 days

#7 posted 81 days ago

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

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