Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Washington DC area
Router Bowl Build
Even though I am a die-hard FSU fan, marital bliss often takes priority in my household. My wife and friends are FANATICAL Virginia Tech alumni, so while at my first ever VT game I spotted a VT logo cake pan. The design inspired me to attempt to create a wood bowl for tailgates and football games. Rest assured an FSU themed bowl is in the works.
I begun the process by finding a usable image on google images of the logo. I talked a school teacher friend of my wife (former VT roomie of hers) to print the image onto a transparency and using an overhead projector, some construction paper, tape, marker, dimensions, and a flat wall (I gave maximum sizes based upon wood available to me, the teacher used some tape to create a visual reference on the wall for the size, the projector was moved back and forth until size and focus was achieved.
After I had the paper template in hand, I used a glue stik and some scrap particle board I had on hand. I used a jig saw to cut out the inside, then sanded to even my cuts.
Once the template was acceptible I used some 3M foam double sided tape I got at Lowe's to secure my template to my 1 15/16 thickness piece of mahogany and walnut I glued on top of each other.
I then used a drill-press with a forstner bit to hog out the excess material (it does waste a lot of gorgeous wood, but the Ed result is a happy wife, so the trade-off seems worth it).
After I've hogged out the waste I use a hashing router (I used a plunge router) with a bowl and tray bit, I went at a moderate pace clockwise and experienced no burning or chip-out. After I went as low as I could go, I removed the template and went deeper. I didn't need a collet extension using this method with the thickness of material. I left just over 3/8" thickness of material on the bottom to try to prevent any warping of my bowl.
I then used a students compass that locked to set a wall thickness and then cut out with a jig saw. I used a slightly smaller wood blank than I should have so I didn't get as rounded corners on two spots as I would have liked.
I then had to hand sand the inside and edges of the bowl.
I used a 'Tung oil' available at the box stores (it's the premixed version that dries in 24hrs) three coats with 48hrs between as a light OOOO grade steel wool rub down between. ( i think the finish will be good/ safe enough to place some chips in a few times a year)Wifey loves it, her friends all want one.
Things I would improve on:
Making my inside curves less tight and constrictive. (pain to sand, couldn't get the bowl and tray bit as far into the base of the 'V' as I wanted.
Using a bigger wood blank. (wood was already on hand, template ended up being a touch bigger than planned.)
Instead of making the template from particle board, I found a local plastics shop that could have made the template out of 3/8 rigid plastic (probably plexiglas or lexan-not sure) from a jpeg,gif, tif, whatever for about $40-50. (same folks produced a template to rout handles on some end grain cutting boards for $25.00). They can use a laser cutting system to cut fairly complicated designs.
Since I'm not selling these, I hope NCAA and VT don't mind me borrowing their design. I figure my wife spent enough on tuition to even out my one bowl.
Hope this gives folks some ideas of fun/ fairly simple ideas that could make a great gift..