3-Point Bowl

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Project by Darell posted 09-13-2012 02:29 PM 2525 views 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw a short article on how to turn this bowl a few weeks ago. Then, at SWAT last month I attended a demo where a similar bowl was turned. I decided to try one myself when I got home. It is roughly 5 1/2” across and 4 1/4” tall by about a quarter inch thick. Turned from a chunk of Chinese Elm and finished with lacquer. The bowl demo I watched at SWAT had a 3 point base on it to act as legs. For my first attempt I decided to take the easier way out.

To turn one of these you start with a square cube, in this case I think it was just under 5”. You mount it on opposite corners, either putting the points into the headstock & tailstock or you can flatten the corners and find the centers and mount between centers as usual. Then you turn a spigot to fit your chuck on one end then mount it in the chuck. Then turn the outside shape, bottom at the chuck. Then begin hollowing the middle. Be very careful of the wings. There’s a lot of turning air there and it’s a first class knucklebuster if you happen to get to close. Fortunatly I didn’t find that out but I can imagine it quite easily. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be although it’s a bit disconcerting trying to get your cuts started when you’re looking at a shadow. I managed to do most of my sanding with a power sander, sometimes with the lathe stopped and locked when sanding the wings. I’m pleased with the way it turned out especially since it was a first attempt.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

7 comments so far

View Woodstock's profile


265 posts in 4401 days

#1 posted 09-13-2012 06:23 PM

Hi Darell,

OK. That’s it. I’ve always wanted to try one of these. Yours looks really nice. After seeing this I’ll have to move this up to the top of my to-do list.

Thanks for the push.

(Snicker) Ha! But can I do this in ply?

-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View dean2336's profile


238 posts in 4022 days

#2 posted 09-13-2012 07:21 PM

I think today might be the day ,or in a day or two to get started on that project.neat wood , one never knows what elm is going to look like.great job hope i have as good of results. thank you.

-- dean2336,nebr.

View Darell's profile


445 posts in 4707 days

#3 posted 09-13-2012 09:38 PM

Dave, I thought about trying it with plywood but I’m not sure it would hold up on the points. It might. Give it a go.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View Chefdavid's profile


255 posts in 3968 days

#4 posted 09-13-2012 10:24 PM

Wonderful Work… Thanks for sharing.

-- Become a fan on Facebook...

View RoodyJ's profile


47 posts in 3979 days

#5 posted 09-14-2012 01:07 AM

Very nice work. I may try it on some African Mahogany that I have. Thanks for the insight.

-- Jim, Maryland

View mikeeeH89UK's profile


16 posts in 3197 days

#6 posted 09-17-2012 09:19 AM

That’s a super piece top marks mate ill have to try it soon.

-- If i could live in a tree and get away with it i would :-)

View Walrusbill's profile


14 posts in 888 days

#7 posted 02-22-2020 05:17 PM!!

I decided or make some blocks from a walnut chunk and some maple scraps, interesting pattern when spun. Going try
a few different species. Did learn that the wood needs to be hard, otherwise the points go flying across the shop.

-- Pounded Thumb Creations

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