Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Whether learning to turn bowls or spindle projects on the lathe time it takes should not matter. Learning the procedures, how to hold and manipulate tools, moving your body and feet, and why should be your goal.
Rough out wet bowl:
Often rough out a bowl between centers using a two-prong center in headstock and revolving center in tailstock. If really wet wood and two prong center starts spinning, will drill a hole in bowl, screw in my “Screw Center,” and mount in chuck bring tailstock up for support. My goal is to start defining out-side of the bowl and turn a tenon or recess for mounting in my chuck.
Once get recess or tenon mount in the chuck, bring up the tailstock for support, continue defining outside of bowl. Satisfied with the out-side of the bowl re-position the tool rest and start hogging out wood from the inside of the bowl leaving the tailstock in place. Starting at the rim of the bowl will hog as deep as can working toward the center leaving core of wood, which will turn away once moved tailstock out of the way. Then will remove blank from chuck and set aside to dry in the shop.
If roughing out a shallow bowl, do not use tailstock support. Simply follow procedure outlined above. Mount in chuck square up face of bowl, and start hollowing center. May not always drill center.
I try to work from largest to smallest diameter on both outside and inside bowl so am always cutting down hill. On small end grain bowls, will start in center and work my way outwards. May take me as little as six months to couple years to complete a bowl.