Bowl Blanks from logs - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-15-2008, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Bowl Blanks from logs

I am slowly getting back into woodturning. Up until recently, I havenít turned any bowls or plates in 16 years. When I was into turning, rarely did you ever see anyone using the pith or center of the tree. I am seeing it used more often and people are using alcohol to stabilize the wood. I havenít tried that technique yet, but I will eventually.
The way I was taught and the way I cut my bowl blanks is shown in the sketch. This reduced the chances of the bowl splitting. The theory behind it is that the center of the log is the most stable and that is where the base should be. The outer part of the log is the least stable and will warp because the walls of the bowl are thin and flexible - relatively Speaking, rather than split if it was still thick.
The warping, to me, is an added feature. I also turned the bowls to final size the first and only time on the lathe while the wood was still wet. You will have to work fast.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-15-2008, 08:55 AM
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Bowl blanks

Very nice diagram you laid out there Tony,I'm sure it will help out some folks just getting started.
Ken
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-15-2008, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Woodsman.

Just call me Rembrandt, LOL
It was way to hard to describe in words and the "1/2 Log" sketch actually goes against the natural tendency of how to make the bowl. The normal tendancy would be to make the bowl in the opposite direction and maximize the wood usage. That would leave the base of the bowl in the sapwood and will just about assuring it to crack.
Also, for those new at turning, this is how you make a bowl with a natural bark edge

DOES ANYONE IN THE SE HOUSTON AREA WANT TO SWAP SOME SERIOUS WOODWORKING/WOODTURNING TIME AND TEACH ME SKETCH-UP IN EXCHANGE?
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-17-2008, 11:20 PM
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Hey Rembrandt, I mean Tony thanks for the drawings. These kind of things help me to visualize how a bowl comes together. I was at an open house this past weekend at a woodworking store near me and there was a turner there demonstrating turning a bowl. I stuck around and asked lots of questions. I haven't done any faceplate or chuck turning at all yet so I have much to learn. He was describing to me using alcohol to dry out the wet bowls he rough turns. Sounded like an interesting way to go about it and ultimately much speedier. Thanks again.

John
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-26-2008, 12:03 AM
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Thanks for the diagrams Tony. As a beginning turner I need all the information I can get.

Tim
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-26-2008, 09:30 AM
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The diagrams are good but you don't have to put the bottom near the pith. It doesn't necessarily reduce the chance of checking. This is due to uneven loss of moisture on the wood. You have to do things to slow down the release of moisture such as coating the endgrain surfaces with something or putting the wood in a place where you have little air movement, or both. You can also turn it quite thin which helps.
All putting the base toward the pith does is change the way the wood warps as it dry's. If you put the foot too close to the pith you stand a better chance of checking because the wood tends to be thicker at the bottom due to the foot. If you cut a bowl blank this way keep is as far from the pith as you can.
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