Mesquite bowls

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Project by Paul Mayer posted 10-28-2021 03:29 PM 367 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A friend in Arizona sent me a large chunk of mesquite (approx. 150 lbs) and I turned these two bowls from it. I’ve posted a video on my YouTube channel if you want to check it out.



-- Paul Mayer,

11 comments so far

View pottz's profile


21281 posts in 2266 days

#1 posted 10-28-2021 03:30 PM

beautiful paul,i hope to do some that well,someday-lol.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View oldrivers's profile


2787 posts in 2848 days

#2 posted 10-28-2021 04:01 PM

Might fine work Paul. The bowls are beautiful.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View pintodeluxe's profile


6497 posts in 4095 days

#3 posted 10-28-2021 04:03 PM

Nice work Paul!


-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View NoWhiskeyWoodworking's profile


305 posts in 81 days

#4 posted 10-28-2021 06:48 PM

Great bowls!

-- Van "If you're looking for perfection, don't look here."

View swirt's profile


6798 posts in 4254 days

#5 posted 10-29-2021 12:42 AM

Beautiful work on those.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1173 posts in 4347 days

#6 posted 10-29-2021 11:58 AM

Thanks for the nice feedback everyone!

-- Paul Mayer,

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4859 days

#7 posted 10-29-2021 05:06 PM

Hi Paul, Very cool-looking bowls, great job. Great video(Isubscibed) . You mention a bowl bottom gouge, I haven’t heard of that before? Also, you’re using a vacuum chuck I’m impressed you can hold a bowl that size with it, are you using a vacuum generator or a pump?


View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1173 posts in 4347 days

#8 posted 10-29-2021 06:00 PM

Hi Jim, thank you for the nice words, and for subbing on youtube. A bowl bottom gouge is simply a bowl gouge that is ground with a flatter grind, and it allows you to get a nice smooth surface on the bottom because it allows a more direct approach angle. My favorite one is from Ashley Harwood: Hers is a long, heavy design that is made by Thompson. The one that I used in this video was actually a Sorby gouge that I got from a friend and just ground the nose appropriate for the task, and I installed it in a Thompson handle. Before I had a good bowl bottom gouge I would often use an Easy Wood smoother for the bottom. I can’t quite get it as nice that way as I can with a traditional tool, but pretty good anyway.

I use this setup from Frugal: . It works great as long as there are no cracks in the bowl and the wood is not too porous. Even with porous wood such as white oak I get a good enough grab on the bowl to clean up a bowl bottom, but if I push it a bit it to hard it might pop off.

-- Paul Mayer,

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4859 days

#9 posted 10-29-2021 08:35 PM

Thanks for all the info Paul I already have some bowl gouges, do they need to be bigger and stronger than a standard bowl gouge? I don’t have the budget for a $180 gouge and handle. I’m also wondering what angle a bottom gouge is ? I already have a vacuum generator and if I’m not satisfied with that I also have a vacuum pump I use on a vacuum bag, but I’ve heard the frugal vacuum set is a good setup


View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1173 posts in 4347 days

#10 posted 10-30-2021 12:46 AM

Hi Jim,

No, any bowl gouge will do. Both of mine are 3/4” diameter bars which I believe is ideal if you are doing deep bowls. That said, a 5/8” gouge would work fine for anything that I’ve ever turned. The bigger sweep is nice for better cut quality, and the thicker bar holds up better when it is extended farther than you’d like from your tool rest. And I would say that a bowl bottom gouge is a great place to go cheap. The cheapest 3/4” bowl gouge would probably make a great bottom gouge. You are only using it for a minute or two, so sharpening once per project is more than enough. Experiment with the angle. Mine are pretty flat nosed, although I don’t know what the angle is. Google and you’ll probably find some suggestions pretty easily. You’ll want to grind the the bottom of the gouge behind the bevel, removing enough material so that you can take a slight approach angle without bottoming out the gouge.

-- Paul Mayer,

View John's profile


2110 posts in 2552 days

#11 posted 11-04-2021 12:05 AM

The colours in the natural edge bowl are fantastic and I love the shape, beautiful work Paul!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

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