First attempts of turning plywood

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Project by Bob Collins posted 11-09-2010 12:13 PM 4366 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Being amazed by Sam Shakouri’s work with plywood I couldn’t resist having a go. For any member who has not seen Sam’s work I recommend they take a look at his photo album.
A couple of days ago this ply wood was on a scrap heap waiting to be burnt, I was at warehouse and spotted the shipping pellets and noticed that the bottom supports were 4”x3”x 4ft length of plywood and after some quick talking I got three of them off and into the car boot. I used the table saw to salvage pieces that were solidly glues getting enough for these two seven inch bowls from one length of ply.
Photos 4,5 and 6 were the first try. 1,2 and 3 have English Elm added. Enjoyed doing these but have the tendency to rush things. Don’t laugh to loud Sam, I will never be a threat.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4389 days

#1 posted 11-09-2010 01:18 PM

Bob, these are gorgeous turnings. It is amazing what beauty lies hidden in “firewood”. I, personally, would never have dreamed that plywood could produce pieces such as this but you and Sam have definately convinced me otherwise.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3728 days

#2 posted 11-09-2010 01:44 PM

They both look good. Sam better look out. :) I really like the contrasting Elm you added. A VERY nice touch.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3893 days

#3 posted 11-09-2010 01:59 PM

Really amazing. If you have the time it would be cool if you blogged the next one. First time impressions are valuable to those of us who haven’t given it a shot yet.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3676 days

#4 posted 11-09-2010 02:47 PM

Very nice turnings Bob. I agree that the Elm gave it a nice contrast for the top. Just a couple questions here.

1. I am guessing that the plywood used is wood core plywood. I know that plywood comes in varying degrees of quality and some plywoods use an mdf core or some other material. Could you relay a little info on the plywood used?

2. Looking at yours and Sam’s work, my assumption is that turning ply is very similar to turning laminates with mixed grain direction. The concept seems similar to me. Are those your thoughts also?

3. Do you have any suggestions for those that might want to give this a go? Look for non-gap plywoods with a certain core, etc.?

Beautiful bowls Bob and it really shows a good use for those plywood scraps that may be sitting in the trash bin.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View dub560's profile


615 posts in 3481 days

#5 posted 11-09-2010 03:55 PM

astonishingly beautiful

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View DevilDogNurse's profile


67 posts in 3350 days

#6 posted 11-09-2010 04:00 PM

WOW…... Just WOW

-- Marine, Nurse, Dad.

View JoshJock's profile


94 posts in 3410 days

#7 posted 11-09-2010 08:01 PM

very nice! I think I will give it a shot this coming weekend…

-- "Does this lathe makes my butt look big?"

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 3655 days

#8 posted 11-09-2010 11:46 PM

I did lough loudly but I did not feel any threat, I felt we became much closer friends.
Really amazing try and result. congratulation, Bob.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4894 days

#9 posted 11-10-2010 03:56 AM

i like the basket weave look you gave them.
very cool turnings.

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3617 days

#10 posted 11-10-2010 04:02 AM

Not bad consideriing it is your first efforts, and it was salvaged timber, it makes the whole thing even better!
I love the elm you added to the rim and base on the first one. It really sets it off nicely.

-- Theresa,

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2730 posts in 4251 days

#11 posted 11-11-2010 12:35 PM

Thanks for the comments, I had to try turning ply wood after seeing the great projects of Sams.
Can’t answer your questions Dave as I know little about ply wood. I do know that the importer had Husqvarna Mowers delivered on these pellets, so maybe the ply wood is from over Norway or wherever the mowers come from. Maybe even CHINA like everything else. Here is a photo of some salvaged ply.
Maybe Sam can answer your questions better than anyone.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2679 posts in 1631 days

#12 posted 07-16-2015 09:00 AM

Thanks for the turn-on to Sam, Bob. I’ve just spent an hour-and-a-half in his Gallery. Now, I’m back here.

-- Mark

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