First Big Bowl - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-20-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
Splinter Cushion
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First Big Bowl

This is my first sizable bowl. It was a bit nerve wracking getting it balanced; it made me want a more solid lathe. But it was worth the trouble, I think.

First Big Bowl-imag0812.jpg

Neighbor's walnut, 11" diameter, 6" deep. There is a knothole, and the center of the log was bug-eaten, that's the chunk missing from the rim. The pic doesn't do it justice, but the wavy grain near the knot is amazing.

The log had been anchorsealed, and has been sitting outside, uncovered for nearly a year. The moisture meter said 32% before I turned it, and 23% after. I'm interested to see how much this bowl will distort or crack over the next few days / weeks.

Last edited by b00kemdano; 02-20-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-20-2011, 12:08 PM
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One word: Chatoyance! That's eye candy Dano & I really like that shape.

23% is below the FSP (fiber saturation point) so most if not all of the free water has left. This means shrinking has just begun to occur starting at ~ 25 to 30%, so you still have a lot of shrinking yet to occur as the bound water is forced out. I would wrap it in newspaper and then in a heavy paper bag so it will dry very slowly. That might help minimize cracking but you have a lot of busy grain and a knot right in the midst so you should expect some cracking IMO. I don't know if you should have finished it yet but more experienced turners can tell you that.

What finish is that? You really brought that figure out well. Looks like chocolate.

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post #3 of 7 Old 02-20-2011, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks TT! :)

I thought about putting it in a paper bag for a couple weeks before I finished it, but I figured I'd give it a shot and see how it comes out.

I blew the dust out of all the knooks and crannies, and rubbed it down really well with a couple coats of gloss lacquer.

I had to google chatoyance, I like it!
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-20-2011, 01:13 PM
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First Big Bowl

OUCH,that is some purty grain there,but You shouldn't have finished it yet,shoud have left it a bit thicker,usualy 10% wall thickness,then sealed it and then wrapped it in paper and let it set where its cool for a mo or so,then returned it to the lathe and finished it then,but I wouldn't loose sleep over it,just let it do what its gonna do and if it gets a few cracks in it or warps a tad,then just stick it in some high enf gallery and call it character

God Bless all
Ken Ward
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-20-2011, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Do you guys think that the lacquer will slow the drying process?

I can still put it in a bag. :)

I have problems re-chucking things. I've thought about trying the "rough it out and finish turning it later" method, but whenever I try to rechuck something, it always ends up way off center. I can't imagine dealing with warpage on top of that.

I saw a video recently of a fella who took a log that had only been cut from the tree about a month prior, he cut it down, turned it, finished it, and put it right on the table with no additional drying time, and no mention of "it might crack or warp." So, having less patience than most, I thought I'd try it.

Last edited by b00kemdano; 02-20-2011 at 02:52 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-20-2011, 03:52 PM
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Boy, that's a nice chunk of wood, nicely turned.

You can never have too much pepperoni on your pizza or own too many clamps.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-20-2011, 04:02 PM
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So long as your walls are relatively even in thickness, it shouldn't crack or warp too much. I kind of like it when I get a little the bowl character. How have you tried re-chucking? If you put a pad over your chuck (piece of no-skid shelf liner) and then push the live center up to your old foot, you can wiggle it around and get it close enough so a quick turn and it's back in round. (no offense if you've tried this already).

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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