Q:

How do you turn wooden bowls?

A:

Quick Answer

To turn wooden bowls, identify the bowl blank's mid-point, determine the bowl's bottom and top sides, and use the center to draw circles on these sides. Drill on the bowl's side, attach the blank to the lathe's screw attachment, switch on the lathe to the slow setting, and round the blank. Then, flatten the bowl blank's bottom, and hollow out its inside. Finally, coat the bowl with a finish.

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Full Answer

To identify the bowl blank's mid-point, draw two perpendicular lines from its opposite corners. The point of intersection is the blank's center. Use the bowl's grain patterns and knots to determine which side should become the bottom and top.

To drill into the bowl's side, use a drill bit that is somewhat smaller than the lathe's chuck screw attachment. The hole made should accommodate this attachment. Use the bowl blank's mid-point to draw circles with a compass. The circles determine the bowl's perimeter. Remove extra wood beyond the perimeter using a band saw.

Position a screw in the lathe's chuck, lock its spindle, turn the blank on the screw counter-clockwise. When doing this, switch on the crank of the tail stock. After attaching the blank, make the tail stock tight and lock its base.

Place a tool rest about 1/8 inches from the blank's highest spot, lock and mount it. Switch on the lathe with a bowl gouge round the blank. Shift the tool rest nearer as the blank reduces in size. After shaping the bowl as desired, attach the blank to the lathe, and adjust the tool rest upwards. Then, flatten the blank's bottom with a scraper, and hollow its interiors with a bowl gouge.

When the required curve is achieved, remove the bowl from the lathe, apply a food-safe finish on it, and let the finish air-dry.

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