Project Tutorials

Turning a Simple Bowl

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Bevel of gouge relieved

The long bevel on this gouge interferes in the cut by rubbing on the bowl wall so I ground part of the lower bevel away until I could get the edge in the cutting position I wanted with no bevel interference.

Inside cut surface

The finish cut surface on this section of the bowl. Check to make sure there are no torn grain areas and then continue to hollow further toward the center. Do not allow the trailing bevel of the gouge to leave burnished ring marks in the wood either. Try for a uniform clean-cut look to the wood surface. Sanding and applying finish will go much easier if you do.

Hollowing bowl bottom

Deeper in the bowl now I reverse the lathe rotation back to normal so the tool handle comes back to the front of the lathe near my body for more comfort while turning.

Removal of the cone of wood left in the center.

Hollowing cut at center

The center of the bowl spins at slower feet per minute speed than the outer edge. Slow the advance of the gouge to compensate for the change.

More hollowing cuts

Take your time and remove the center. The curve on the inside should be continuous from side to side without bumps and flat spots. Use your fingers to feel for flat areas and if found take light cuts to remove them.

Inside bowl surface

The surface finish of the wood straight from the gouge.

Power sanding

Slow the lathe speed and power sand the bowl. If you have some areas that need special attention, sand them with the lathe stopped and then turn the lathe back on and continue power sanding the whole surface. Do not push hard on the wood or keep sanding with a clogged piece of paper. The sandpaper needs to cut the surface not burnish it. You do not want to generate a lot of heat the wood may either warp or crack.

outside surface sanded

The outer surface of the bowl after power sanding through 320 grit.

Inside surface sanded

The interior of the bowl sanded to 320 grit. Any further sanding with finer grit paper I will do by hand.