First Bowl with a Lid

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Project by BarbS posted 02-19-2011 05:08 AM 1560 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I sent this in a private message to a friend, but got to thinking it looks so funny some of you turners might enjoy my folly, too. Here’s what I did today:

I’ve just come in from the garage and am laughing at myself. In the last few days I’ve turned my very first bowl with a lid. The bowl is a wide-mouth hollow form about 4” tall that I was proud of hollowing the inside to match the outside, without ruining it. It’s lightly stained on the inside and the outside oiled to a warm, golden sheen.

Today I attempted the lid, without knowing what I was doing. Figured out an adaptable jam-chuck and hollowed the inside, reversed over the jam chuck and began shaping the top with a knob at the crest of a wide arc. My tool work was phenomenal, my measurements perfect, and the knob just as I wanted it. I parted it off and tested it for a satisfying pressure-fit over the little bowl, and held it up to see it in the light, and… and… it is too big.

It makes the bowl look like a double scoop of ice cream. I burst out laughing and brought it in the house to sit on the mantle so I can look at it for a while, and appreciate it. Jeesh, my hands did not in any way bring into being the vision I had in my head! Working the lid, independently on the lathe, while the bowl sits somewhere else, is just darn Tricky.

I didn’t bother to sand and oil the lid. It isn’t staying.
Oh, well. It was good practice. I’ll have to prepare another blank and try again later. Onward!


16 comments so far

View Mytoya's profile


212 posts in 3720 days

#1 posted 02-19-2011 05:42 AM

That is Awesome!
I have yet to complete a bowl on my own. Keep posting. I plan on trying to turn something when my schedule opens up in June.

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4906 days

#2 posted 02-19-2011 07:19 AM

Barb: An “A” for effort and I’m sure that there is an Ice Cream store that will buy it. Just paint the top a Cherry red.

-- 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 peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3328 days

#3 posted 02-19-2011 08:34 AM

Hey Barbs, why not keep the lid & turn a bowl / vessel to fit the lid, think “save”, like the bowl a lot :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View manzanitaman's profile


35 posts in 3171 days

#4 posted 02-19-2011 10:26 AM

like your piece. lids are tough but you will get it . good luck on next attempt. what type of wood was that. and what is your favorite type of wood. take care from oregon, manzanitaman

-- Chad Manzanitaman

View michelletwo's profile


2783 posts in 3521 days

#5 posted 02-19-2011 01:13 PM

:-0 :-) Thanks for the giggle. Remember tho, you are not the only one to do this. At my latest count I have done it 374 times, or close to that :-) The lesson, obviously is to keep the 2 parts in the same neighborhood!!! Thanks for the woodworking funny!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23364 posts in 3611 days

#6 posted 02-19-2011 01:39 PM

We all do things like that. Get yourself a digital caliper . I like to measure the bowl accurately and then plan the lid to that size taking small cuts to get the fit perfect to the inside or outside, whichever I plan to fit and make that dimension first and then finish the shape.
Keep at it and it will be a natural process after a few…........keep on turning….......Jim

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4485 days

#7 posted 02-19-2011 01:48 PM

Hi Barb;

Both are nice, so as suggested, make a bowl for one, and a lid for the other.

Nice turning.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3425 days

#8 posted 02-19-2011 06:25 PM

I’m with Lee! Why not? That is a great idea. Funny thing is when I first looked at the picture, I thought it looked fine. :) I suppose that I am not a turner. After reading I thought perhaps it could be a little smaller, but it doesn’t look that bad. I suppose it depends the type of look you are going for. :D

It is still really nice!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4591 days

#9 posted 02-19-2011 06:41 PM

Thanks all. I like the little pot, too, and may just use it alone. I have company coming for a week and that interrupts my creative time-line (oooh, ahhh, how artistically sensitive) on this piece, but Sheila, that lid really is an abomination. I’ll comply to the challenge later in lids, but it was a wake-up learning experience that made me laugh. I am a relatively inexperienced turner, and I get so intent on avoiding tool marks and developing pleasing lines to my eye, that I can’t seem to hold everything in my head as to what I need to do. My main error in doing this lid was in first hollowing the inside of the lid too deeply, causing the outside dimension to be too high. And I was determined to cut a top knob out of the existing wood, instead of adding a tenoned knob or a high finial. I don’t know why, it is just what I intended to do. That made reverse-turning problematic because of the protrusion (which ‘turned’ out to be not as high as I’d thought) so I was in all kinds of quandry over this thing. The ‘fit’ though, was perfect, with a quiet snap and air pressure on the bowl, of which I was disproportionately proud. Until I held it up to view. Then it went something like, “well, you dumb so-and-so” or something similar, and it just amused the heck out of me.
Thanks for all your comments. I’ll just keep learning, and eventually hope to come up with a piece I’m entirely proud of, ‘all the way around.’


View mmh's profile (online now)


3679 posts in 4228 days

#10 posted 02-19-2011 10:18 PM

Well, I can see why you are thinking the top is too large, but I rather like it! I think after you sand and polish it down to a slightly thinner dimension, it will be quite compatible with the bottom. So, DONT throw it away!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 3166 days

#11 posted 02-19-2011 10:24 PM

Cute little pot Barb. I think saving the lid for another piece is a good idea too.

-- Barbara

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4387 days

#12 posted 02-20-2011 04:37 PM

Thanks for the smile on a Sunday morning, Barb.
You always give me a giggle,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4591 days

#13 posted 03-11-2011 04:42 AM

Added another photo above to show the re-cutting of the same fat lid. It didn’t work as I’d wanted it to, but is an improvement! Opinions welcome.


View Cher's profile


962 posts in 3599 days

#14 posted 05-06-2011 09:56 AM

Hi Barb, turning a bowl with a lid is challenging, I have come to realise that patience is important.
I took another look at the picture, I would sand and oil the lid, it may not be perfect to you
but I think it looks lovely.

Thanks for sharing your project and humour Barb.

-- When you know better you do better.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4591 days

#15 posted 05-06-2011 03:10 PM

Hello Cher. Thank you! I did make an attempt to re-cut this lid later. Here is the link:

And, an update: the little lidded pot Sold on my website. ...just amazing.


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