Routed Bowls

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Project by Mr M's Woodshop posted 10-05-2013 05:25 AM 3369 views 13 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are my first routed bowls. This is round one … round two is still in the shop, and round 3 is in the design phase. These started as Christmas presents, and they continue to evolve….

I was surprised how many tools I needed to use to complete these simple bowls. I used my table saw, planer, drill press, clamps, band saw, hand-held router, router table, random orbital sander, hand sander, drill sander … yes, there’s a lot of sanding.

For these pieces I primarily used red oak and walnut. Some hard maple, purpleheart and even koa makes appearances. Finish is simply walnut oil.

A few lessons that I’ve learned so far:

1. Square up every board obsessively. When you’re building blanks for glue up, any edges that aren’t at 90* and machined with straight edges will be a problem. I threw away too much hard maple because that bowl couldn’t be saved.

2. Use a lot of glue. You can’t scrimp with the glue.

3. Have fun with layers of different kinds of wood. I’m getting more creative in round 2, and look forward to seeing more wood variety as I move forward.

4. Some of the patterns allowed for a LOT of waste around the edges, which is bad. I cut out some 3” circles and ovals to make some smaller bowls, and those were popular with the family, too. My daughter specifically requested more of those … and not more of the larger bowls. Just goes to show you that you can make what you want … but they’ll want what THEY want.

5. The family insists I brand every project with my name, as you can see on the last bowl. I always think that’s a bit ostentatious … but if the family insists, then I’ve got to do it, right?

6. The bowls in phase 2 have more wood variety in the pieces … which led the family to comment that they need cutting boards just like that.

Guess what my next project is?

I’ve posted a step-by-step pictorial on making the snowman bowl on my blog,, here.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

9 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30459 posts in 2878 days

#1 posted 10-05-2013 09:48 AM

I really like your work on these. Very well done.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View GerardoArg1's profile


1003 posts in 2533 days

#2 posted 10-05-2013 01:26 PM

Beatiful. Really a good job

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View HuckD's profile


311 posts in 2254 days

#3 posted 10-05-2013 01:41 PM

Nice! Please post pics of round 2 and 3.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View Tooch's profile


2012 posts in 2416 days

#4 posted 10-05-2013 09:24 PM

Very well done- I like your choices with layering the wood.

I am working on some myself, I have the capability of cutting templates out with a laser engraver so the sky is the limit… well that and time…

Can’t wait to see what else you have coming!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View hoss12992's profile


4157 posts in 2432 days

#5 posted 10-06-2013 03:07 AM

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3501 days

#6 posted 10-06-2013 06:18 PM

Very nice bowls and nice contrast with the wood. Yes, brand or mark them so future generations can identify the crafter. Would love to see a video or slideshow showing the steps in making routed bowls. Just thought- check youtube.

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

422 posts in 3607 days

#7 posted 10-07-2013 12:23 AM

I’ve got two resources for you, Knothead62.

I bought the basic template & bit kit from Peachtree … their illustrated instructions are online.

My blog post, Making A Snowman, shows a step-by-step making that piece. Check it out, here.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Ivan's profile


15204 posts in 3407 days

#8 posted 10-07-2013 06:52 AM

Great looking patterns,nice bowls

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2715 days

#9 posted 10-08-2013 01:52 PM

They all look great, beautiful shapes and wood combo. Like most the one with four partitions. Great work!

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