Hollowed out bowl, finishing the edge detail

Working in the round…

Bowl blanks waiting to be turned
Bowl blanks waiting to be turned

Yesterday I had a rare day off and some time to work in my shop. With the holidays and cold weather fast approaching I am trying to get through my mile long TODO list. One of the items on my list was to make good use of some turning blanks I had on hand. (Last weekend I cleaned up the basement and organized my wood rack so now things are nice and neat)

Mallet blank
Mallet blank

Before tearing into a bowl blank I wanted to warm up with a spindle project and I’ve had a nice mallet blank sitting in my tool rack for the last year (literally).

Turning the mallet
Turning the mallet

You may recognize this style mallet from an earlier post I made last year on my blog here. The handle is made from cherry and the striking face is quarter-sawn hard maple. The concept here is that a mallet made from a single piece of wood usually loses some of the long grain sections that come flying off over its service life. By using quarter-sawn wood on all 4 sides you are not exposing any of the grain that is likely going to fly off. This also assumes that the Titebond glue joint is stronger than any movement in the handle.  We’ll see how well this one lasts in my own shop. (The first one was a gift for a friend)

Finished Mallet
Finished Mallet

A few changes I made in the design is I made the top a tiny bit concave so I can stand the mallet on its end and I simplified the handle a bit as it will likely have a hard life in the shop. I do however really like how the bead makes a pattern with the contrasting wood species.

Turning tools in the rack
Turning tools in the rack

Now that the tools are all warmed up, it’s time to start making some bowls.

Bowl blank mounted on a face plate
Bowl blank mounted on a face plate

After roughing the blanks round on the band saw I secure the blank to a faceplate using good quality wood screws. (The screw holes disappear as that wood is removed from the inside of the bowl)

Bowl blank ready for turning
Bowl blank ready for turning

The first step is to turn the bottom of the bowl. I elected to make a chunky Asian feeling bowl from a small walnut blank I had on hand.

Turning the bottom and making a foot for the bowl chuck to grab onto
Turning the bottom and making a foot for the bowl chuck to grab onto

The bowl chuck grabs onto the foot (or base) of the bowl and allows me to hollow out the inside of the bowl.

Hollowing the bowl, knee deep in shavings
Hollowing the bowl, ankle deep in shavings

You know it’s a good day at the lathe when you are completely covered in shavings and standing ankle deep in shavings.

Hollowed out bowl, finishing the edge detail
Hollowed out bowl, finishing the edge detail

Once I got the wall thickness and profile into a form I liked, I apply the finish right on the lathe. This allows for easier buffing etc.

Finished bowl
Finished bowl

I liked the figure of this piece and how it came out.

Underside of bowl
Underside of bowl

The bowl is finished with Tung Oil and Wax and likely will be a place for my wife to put her keys or watch or similar items at the end of a day.

Turned walnut bowl. Finished with tung oil and wax
Turned walnut bowl. Finished with tung oil and wax

On a cold day like today, I hope that you will get out to the workshop and make something new.  Time for me to get back into the shop myself….

Take care,
-Bill

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