Thursday, September 25, 2014

birth of a bowl

This is far from complete, as I did not stop for photos of the blank in the raw. This is how I left it last night. It is a cherry bowl blank about 4" across, and about 3" tall. At this point, I have

  • Selected a chunk of 'wet' wood from my pile outside of the shop 
  • rounded out the bowl blank (first on the bandsaw, next on the lathe so that it would spin without wobbling on the lathe. 
  • following that, I cut a spigot on one end, sized to fit my 4 jaw chuck
Here you can see that I've started the hollowing process, carving out the bowl in the center. That is after perhaps 3 or 4 sweeps with the bowl gouge.
  • I've then smoothed out the curve a bit more, and evened off the end of the blank. 

Here's where things speed up quite a bit. I didn't intend to record every step  (well, nearly every step...) of the process (though I will on my next bowl, which is already on the lathe). 

At this point, I've hollowed out the rest of the bowl, leaving it a bit thicker at the bottom than the sides, which are just a shade over 1/4" thick. I stopped thinning out the walls when the tone of the bowl changed when turning it.
 As it thinned out, I could hear the pitch of the gouge on the wood go up, which told me that the walls were a) thin enough that they would move, and b) probably going to move even more as the bowl dries out completely.  I took the safer path and left it at about that thickness. 

In this case, the spigot was NOT something I wanted to keep, so I put a jam chuck (aka failed bowl attempt) in my 4 jaw chuck, and brought up the tail stock to lock it safely in place. 
I've already removed most of the spigot from the foot of the bowl in this shot,  and in fact, the next cut almost spun the bowl off of the lathe. At that point, I simply put some 80 grit on the ROS and sanded the remainder off of the bottom. 

 The 'semi' finished product... letting it air out before putting finish on it.

it has a few tool marks on it, and the curve could be better, but I feel good for getting it to this point. 

 'nuff said.

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