Slightly seasoned amateur
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Cedar foot fun
Got lucky twice today. Working on some eastern red cedar I picked up a month or so back. I've done a couple of natural-edge bowls from it, but fear and inexperience kept me at close to 1/2-inch thickness. It's lovely wood but requires an oh-so-gentle touch.
Today I went for a real piece from a half-log that was showing some cracks. Rough turning went well after some bandsaw prep, and this time I left the bark-end for the bottom so I could get much more of the pinkish pith into the bowl and leave only a small bit of the outer yellow for contrast. Had a few cracks show up, but I applied thin CA to all of them as I moved along.
Then some trouble....
First, the tenon foot on my 8"x5" cedar bowl sheered off within seconds of starting to hollow. The early photos show this extra tenon extending beyond the intended foot. Dovetail cut for my Nova chuck jaws.
Luckily I had barely broken the screw-chuck hole so I was able to remount on the screw and cut a new dovetail recess within my intended foot. This time, I started with a much more gentle approach but it took another 30 seconds before my new foot started to crack. I froze just in time to save it from splitting and throwing the bowl. Some thin CA and I was able to reseal the tiny crack and save the foot.
Lesson learned, though, and I brought in the tailstock to secure the blank through most of the hollowing. Having the tailstock there made it nearly impossible for good straight-in technique, but I managed to clear my way down leaving the center column until I was 3/4 through the bowl.
Amazingly, I was able to swing the headstock out and finish the hollowing down to about 1/4 inch on that glued-up foot without further issue. The other photos show the new foot and my finishing touches on the bowl bottom. I laser-etched my initials and the year into some coin-sized wooden discs a while back and add them to my bottoms. My handwriting is awful, so I don't want to ink my own bowls.
Learned several things today, not the least of which was to count my blessings and keep that CA supply handy.