Cracked bowl

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Project by Alin Dobra posted 10-06-2007 01:43 PM 2558 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This bowl was made from the same tree trunk as the goblet I posted earlier. Since it is deep, it was hard to gauge the thickness of the wall. At the time I was not experienced enough with measuring using the fingers and the trick with looking both inside and outside the bowl did not work for the bottom part of this bowl because of the closed shape. I do not own a measuring tool—they sale some decent ones but I never got around to buy one.

The whole bowl turned up really well, with nice thin rim at the top, interesting shape, nice texture. Because the wall thickness was not uniform (it actually goes from 3/32 to about 1/4) the bowl promptly cracked. I gave it up for a reject for a couple of months but then I found a note form a woodturner (I think it was Edric Florence that cracks are not necessarily bad and you can fix them in an artistic way. That’s when I got the inspiration to put a red lace on the bowl and highlight rather than hide the crack. I think the end result is at least interesting.

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

11 comments so far

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5051 days

#1 posted 10-06-2007 01:50 PM

You know, when most people use glue, here you find a neater way to “tie” it together! Your bowls all look very nice. Here’s a hint…saw this on TV awhile back. When turning a thin bowl shine a bright light to the inside while it’s spinning. Now the light will glow thru giving you an idea of where it’s getting thin or is still too thick. Cool huh?

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5388 days

#2 posted 10-06-2007 03:03 PM

wow, only a 1/16 differece did that?
Nice save – take it from functional art, to art. Sometimes the best way to hide a flaw it to draw attention to it.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5222 days

#3 posted 10-06-2007 03:52 PM

love it

(great idea with the light, dadoo)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5097 days

#4 posted 10-06-2007 04:16 PM

Sorta cool.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4962 days

#5 posted 10-06-2007 10:42 PM

Lovely Alin! Scott Adams, the cartoonist / creator of Dilbert said: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” And, Tom (mot) – you were, I think, a smidgeon less complimentary about my lace-up bowl! <grin>

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5127 days

#6 posted 10-07-2007 05:28 AM

Nice bowl and great save.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Karson's profile


35271 posts in 5462 days

#7 posted 10-07-2007 05:31 AM

Great recovery. Nice bowl.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4949 days

#8 posted 10-07-2007 03:31 PM

Thanks Dadoo,

The light trick surely works (I started using it some 6 months ago but this bowl is 8 months old). Using the light is not foolproof though. As you go from the outside to th inside of this bowl, the angle changes a lot. For some woods, the transparency is different depending on the fact that you look through side grain or end grain. At the bottom you have straight end-grain, at the top is almost side grain. Also, when you have a gradual change (this is th case for this bowl), the eye and the fingers get fooled. Now, when I measure with the fingers, I touch in the reference place and then touch in the place where I want to measure. If you move the hand between the two points you get fooled (this is what happened for this bowl).

Another thing about measuring of any kind (applies to the shining light if you have to put it very close) is that you have to stop the lathe. This breaks the work rhythm and slows down the speed to the point that it is not fun anymore. The best advice I have for making this type of bowls, it to allow yourself at least 6 months of complete failures; use this time jut to perfect your skills and do not be too worried that you are not producing anything. After that, you will have very few failures and turning will be pure fun.

The interesting thing about making thin wall bowls is that you have to use most of your senses, including hearing and touch (besides seeing of course). This is probably one of the few things that machines are lousy for (still).


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Dadoo's profile


1790 posts in 5051 days

#9 posted 10-08-2007 04:40 PM

One of these days I’m going to get into the “art side” of woodworking and I will remember these comments. Including Tom(mot)’s comment…I believe he thinks that if it won’t hold beer then it’s just “sorta cool”. LOL!

-- Make Woodworking Great Again!

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 4908 days

#10 posted 12-12-2007 07:30 PM

Alin, could you use salvaged copper wire for the stitches or lace? with time the wire would provide a beautiful accent as it discolored. I have used salvaged wire on projects in the past, it actually makes the crack apppear as if it were the intent and becomes the focus. A turner on Oahu has actually created a series of translucent bowls that using wire, his name is Ron Kent. I think these bowls my be considered flawed by many, but to me this is a perfect example of the passion of the craftsman

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4949 days

#11 posted 12-12-2007 07:56 PM


Thanks for the tips.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

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