Live edged Ash bowls

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Project by AcetolaOfRocknRolla posted 12-14-2017 10:56 PM 1030 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After a move and my first experience at being laidoff, I finally have had some time to get out to the shop and do some woodworking. I’m still not fully configured to resume making cutting boards, but I did acquire a Grizzly wood lathe in the past years, so I decided to fill my shop with shavings using that.
We had a few days of really high winds in my area, and my lovely wife found some City guys working on clearing out an Ash tree that had fallen nearby. She talked to them and was able to acquire a 3-4 foot, 8” log for me. I lopped off maybe a foot long segment, band sawed it in half, and have turned these into 2 small live edge bowls. This is my first experience with this, and the techniques needed to hold the blanks on the lathe for tooling.
The first picture shows the 2 bowls, finished with [Howard’s] mineral oil and beeswax.
The second and third pics show bowl#1 in an unfinished state, top and bottom.
I’m a novice woodturner, and used a set of carbide lathe chisels to take the projects from halved logs, through to final detailing.

-- Reach my personal page at, and The Sawdust Factory [my online "shop"] at

8 comments so far

View Dave Smith's profile

Dave Smith

86 posts in 1102 days

#1 posted 12-14-2017 11:26 PM

Amazing for a first attempt! They look great. You have given me some hope. I too find myself laid off (not for the first time) and back in the shop and have recently become interested in wood bowl turning on a newly acquired lathe. My first try didn’t turn out so well. Cracked right in two. If I may ask, where did you learn the steps required to turn bowls?

-- Dave Smith - If our phones fall, we panic. If our friends fall, we laugh.

View AcetolaOfRocknRolla's profile


52 posts in 3058 days

#2 posted 12-14-2017 11:45 PM

Hi Dave,
Thanks for the nice comments! So sorry to hear you were laidoff, I’m finding it to be an unpleasant experience, after working continuously since I was of age to get a job [yikes, 35 years I am realizing!].
I had made some previous attempts at bowls which were glued up kiln-dried woods, and found them to be very tough to work with, and never got them completely finished. Part of my problem was that I didn’t own a chuck, so was using some other methods of holding the blank, which weren’t really working for me.
The fresh wood is SO much easier to work with. I just hope I got the wall thickness consistent enough to prevent cracking, and we’ll see if they warp or not.
What I am using currently to learn turning techniques is YouTube, believe it or not. Gwinnett Woodworkers Association has some great videos online, as do some individuals like Mike Peace.
If you were using wet wood for your attempt which cracked, I wonder if maybe a stress fracture developed. I’ll bet that was an exciting event, if it was still on the lathe at the time it failed.
Please feel free to chat with me about any future attempts or projects. Though I am definitely a novice at best, I’d be more than happy to help out if I can.
All the best!

-- Reach my personal page at, and The Sawdust Factory [my online "shop"] at

View Dave Smith's profile

Dave Smith

86 posts in 1102 days

#3 posted 12-15-2017 12:17 AM

Thanks for the reply and info Wayne. I am actually quite enjoying being laid off. Time to hunt fish and work in the shop. The enjoyment will end when the money runs out though. LOL. I worked for 25 years as a land surveyor, really liked that. That came to an end in 08 with the financial crisis. Have since only found mind numbingly monotonous factory jobs, welding mostly. Have hated every minute of it, so I’m kind of glad not to have to do that. Yes it was exciting when the bowl came apart while turning. Had a tool catch. Yes the wood was green, was going to rough it out and pack it away to dry. No damage to the lathe or me. YouTube is where I have acquired what little I have learned. And I purchased a Nova Chuck. I am new to turning. I do know that I have to come up with some method of sharpening my lathe tools. Thanks again.

-- Dave Smith - If our phones fall, we panic. If our friends fall, we laugh.

View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3670 days

#4 posted 12-15-2017 03:39 AM

Very Nice!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View bushmaster's profile


3794 posts in 2920 days

#5 posted 12-15-2017 04:11 AM

Great bowls, you did a fine job.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View muesli's profile


489 posts in 2146 days

#6 posted 12-15-2017 09:36 AM

These bowls look fantastic! Love them!

-- Uwe from Germany.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3504 days

#7 posted 12-15-2017 01:22 PM

These bowls turned out beautifully and they have a lot of nice character.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View John's profile


1626 posts in 1908 days

#8 posted 12-16-2017 03:23 AM

Good job, nice to see the bark stay on!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

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