First bowl

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Project by sgmdwk posted 12-22-2016 11:26 PM 868 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I few weeks ago I pulled the trigger on a Nova Comet II lathe on sale at Rockler. I have never used a lathe and my only “training” has come from watching YouTube videos. I picked up some mini carbide tools and a set of spindle gouges and chisels at Harbor Freight. Today, after turning some pieces of 2 X 2 fir into odd-looking spindles and a pile of chips. I decided to attack a piece of hickory in my scrap pile. I had to do a lot of experimenting to determine what worked and what didn’t. It was tough getting the recess in the bottom the right size and with the proper dovetail … But it all worked out in the end. The bowl is no work of art. It is 7 inches wide and a couple inches deep. The sides are too thick and there is no effort at any sort of decorative feature. But it is mine and I made it on my own lathe. Pretty cool. I’ll be attending a local lathe basics class in a couple weeks. After that, I should actually know the difference between a spindle gouge and a bowl gouge.

-- Dave K.

10 comments so far

View John's profile


2026 posts in 2285 days

#1 posted 12-23-2016 04:12 AM

Nice start to your turning career Dave. Very nice colours in the wood.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View MatthewG's profile


94 posts in 3795 days

#2 posted 12-23-2016 04:12 AM

That is a good looking bowl—you must be really happy with how it turned out! Congrats!

-- Matthew, from beautiful Wisconsin USA

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


6684 posts in 2403 days

#3 posted 12-23-2016 05:49 AM

Nicely done.

BTW, you didn’t mention that you had any bowl gouges. Just so you know, it is considered pretty dangerous to use spindle gouges on bowls. Hopefully you mostly used the carbide tools for that. Most spindle turning tools are designed for working with side grain and are the tang is not strong enough for the varying grain direction when shapping and hollowing bowls.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View doubleDD's profile


10163 posts in 3059 days

#4 posted 12-23-2016 02:22 PM

Nice work. The first bowl should stay with you forever.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View bushmaster's profile


4122 posts in 3298 days

#5 posted 12-23-2016 02:27 PM

A first class bowl, I like the way you curved the sides to the dovetail and then sanded it up nice. Never thought of doing that. More use out of thinner blocks. Well done.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View XquietflyX's profile


339 posts in 1976 days

#6 posted 12-23-2016 02:49 PM

that’s some really pretty wood. great job!

-- You can tell a lot about your wife by her hands, for example if they are around your throat she's prolly pissed off at you...

View Ken90712's profile


17973 posts in 4204 days

#7 posted 12-23-2016 03:02 PM

Congratulations, as a new turner last yr I can appreciate this and what your going through. The lathe is the cheap pay of turning. It’s also addicting beyond belief. If you have a local woodturners club find a mentor. My mentor has me yrs ahead of what I would be if on my own. Enjoy.

Just noticed your in Washington, Ck out Dway tools. Amazing products great guy to talk with and help you purchase what you need. Amazing turner and video’s as well. Not cheap but worth the cash.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View sgmdwk's profile


308 posts in 2888 days

#8 posted 12-23-2016 05:03 PM

Ken, I am scheduled to attend a local class for beginning wood turning. The guy putting on the workshop (3 to 5 students) is a member of the local turning club.

Nathan, I used Rockler mini-carbide tools to do most of the turning. I’ll need to buy some bowl gouges, as I move ahead.

-- Dave K.

View ravensrock's profile


513 posts in 2658 days

#9 posted 12-23-2016 05:12 PM

Looks like a good first effort. I hope to be playing on my new lathe over the Christmas break. I can only hope my first try at a bowl turns out as well as yours did.

-- Dave, York, PA, Wildside Woodworking

View ralbuck's profile


6690 posts in 3282 days

#10 posted 12-23-2016 09:24 PM

I very much like the layered look of the coloration in the wood that called out to you.

I hope when I get BRAVE enough to try a bowl it turns out that well! Yes, bad pun; but, was FUN!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

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