View Full Version : Question for you turners.

Don Farr
07-05-2003, 8:13 AM
Anyone that has read my recent post knows I am new to turning. I decided to try my hand at a simple bowl. I found a dead red oak stump on my property and cut a section out with the chainsaw. It started out with bark about 8 inches is diameter. I mounted it on the plate that came with the lathe and got started with the gouge. In minutes I had a nice round cylinder. Some beautiful grain also. My problem is that I don't know how to hollow it out. Everything I try seems to grab on the end grain and snatches the tool out of my hand.
What am I doing wrong? :confused: :confused:

Richard Allen
07-05-2003, 10:51 AM
Hi Don

Several things come to mind.

I would recomend that you get some hands on training. That will do more to help you with the process of making a bowl than all the vedios, books or internet forum advice combined.

Most bowls are made from a log half with the rim of the bowl coming drom the inside of the tree and the foot of the bowl comeing from the bark side of the tree. That doesn't mean that bowls can't be made from many different orentations of the wood. Indeed they can be and those bowls often exibit wonderful grain paterns.

Sharp tools can make up for a LOT of failings. Sharpening the right tool several times while hollowing an 8" bowl out of dry red oak is normal.

An endgrain bowl is cut from the middle towards the rim. It has to do with support for the wood fibers while cutting.

You need the right tools for the job at hand. For hollowing an 8" end grain bowl that would be a 1/2" spindle gouge. There are many specialty tools that work well for this task (ring tools, hook tools and the shielded ring and hook tools like the Exocet), You can also do this with a scraper and good technique.

Dry red oak isn't the easiest wood to learn to make a bowl on. Fresh cut sugar maple would be more forgiving

I hope some of this has helped. Mostly I hope you get someone to show you how to make a bowl. If you do get som,e hands on training be sure to ASK loads of guestions. Ask about what you are doing and be sure to ask about anything you have heard of.



Don Farr
07-05-2003, 12:07 PM
You were a great deal of help. I'm the kind of person that likes to figure thinks out on my own, but I may need some help on this one. We have a turner at our church. I will talk to him tomorrow.

Richard Allen
07-05-2003, 12:37 PM
You were a great deal of help. I'm the kind of person that likes to figure thinks out on my own, but I may need some help on this one. We have a turner at our church. I will talk to him tomorrow.

Good luck Don. Not with turning because when you get a little hands on help you will never be able to stop!!



Tom Sweeney
07-05-2003, 1:19 PM
As you know - I'm just starting also.

I have seen turnings made with the orientaion that you are trying - - end grain - & they look neat. I think you will do better however by splitting the log in half & mounting it in the opposite orientation - IE: like Richard said. Of course from Richards description I've done my first 2 bowls backwards :eek: I mounted the center of the log (where you cut the pith out) to the faceplate & turn from the bark in. No wonder I keep losing the natural edge that I like so much :rolleyes: I'm using maple & it turns pretty well - but you definately have to keep sharp tools or it takes forever DAMHIKT.

The one thing I have to figure out -hint hint- is how to safely rough out the round shape, without a bandsaw, once you split the log.

Bill Grumbine has a nice little article on prepping logs for turning on his web site.

<a href="http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/logcutting.html" target="_blank">http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/logcutting.html</a>

Be careful - what they say is correct - it is addicting :D

Don Farr
07-05-2003, 4:35 PM
Great wed site Tom. I will never cease to be amazed at the good info on the web.
Thanks, Don