First Bowl

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Project by scopemonkey posted 08-10-2010 01:51 AM 1777 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Now that my last big project is done, I thought I would get back to playing on the lathe and learning to turn. I had this spalted hackberry bowl blank and thought it would be fun to try making a bowl. I sharpened up the bowl gouge and went to work. I need to work on ways to chuck the bowl up. I started off screwing the blank to a faceplate and trued it up. I then cut a dovetailed recess in the bottom to accommodate my chuck jaws and turned it the rest of the way with the chuck. But now the bottom has a recessed hole in it. I guess I could have turned a tenon for the chuck to hold onto and later saw it off. I should take a lesson or two. Who looks at the bottom of bowls anyhow?

I applied a simple wax finish after sanding to 600 grit.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

10 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27800 posts in 4597 days

#1 posted 08-10-2010 02:09 AM

Wow, that is a very nice bowl for your first one. It is always nice to leave about 3/4” extra and turn a spiggot on the bottom for chucking. If the piece is not tall enough, glue on a pices of scrap before you start and make the spiggot out of that. Then turn it away when you turn the bowl around to finish the bottom.
Very pretty grain in that wood.
Real nice job. Thanks for sharing!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 4695 days

#2 posted 08-10-2010 02:12 AM

Very nice first bowl. You could have fooled me – it looks great. Nice choice of wood, too. It is a beautiful vessel – however, it is empty. Shouldn’t you pour some beer in there???

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 4405 days

#3 posted 08-10-2010 02:29 AM

That is one sweet bowl. Great job.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View scopemonkey's profile


193 posts in 5656 days

#4 posted 08-10-2010 02:41 AM

Thanks for the advice, Jim. I have lots of scrap wood to play with and will give it a go. I need to look at some more examples of how to hold bowl bottoms to the lathe to allow for finishing without leaving a trace of the lathe. I have seen some you-tube videos out there as well as v-blogs on LJ’s. Need to study some more.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 4405 days

#5 posted 08-10-2010 03:23 AM

1st bowl? Wow! That is just Great.
Looks Fanastic! Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 5018 days

#6 posted 08-10-2010 05:58 AM

For a first bowl its a bute! Good job!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4556 days

#7 posted 08-10-2010 11:01 AM

Great looking first bowl. Brave also to use a great looking piece of wood, for your first one. My first one I made was cherry it messed up bad. The grain is fanstastic.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4508 days

#8 posted 08-10-2010 12:52 PM

who looks at bowl bottoms? Seems everyone. At shows people look constantly. I have wondered too..I think they think it shows they “know” sniffing a wine cork? :-) :-) But it does show good skill to have no chucking evidence on the bottom. Some choose tenons, & I prefer an inset..I decorate it & put an insert with my name/wood etc. If I ever need to rechuck the bowl I can. Personal choice…this is a nifty first..keep sharing your progress

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5739 days

#9 posted 08-10-2010 05:59 PM

Great first turning, I don’t think any of us produce a piccasso on our first, but yours is close. I love the spalting left over, it gives it character and finish, looks great, keep up the great work.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View woodcrafter47's profile


353 posts in 4597 days

#10 posted 08-11-2010 03:12 PM

Hey ,that’s a good looking bowl for first turning,practice makes perfect,I am still learning .Keep up the great work.

-- In His service ,Richard

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