Natural edge Bowl

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Project by Schwieb posted 11-04-2013 12:53 AM 1525 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Oh how easy it is to get distracted from what we set out to do. I really need to clean-up the shop and garage and prepare for an event that my wife and I are hosting on Nov. 23. It’s a big deal for my wife and inevitably people wander around and check out Ken’s workshop. I just wouldn’t do to have a messy shop. Hopefully some will even buy something for themselves or a gift. We do have a little store we are trying to develop. Anyway, sweeping and putting things away is one thing, but there are stacks and piles of wood collected for turning that are piled everywhere and I was trying to sort through them and cut them down into blanks for pens, pepper mills, bowls, whatever, to get them off the floor. I had this piece of spalted sycamore that just called to me. I almost threw it in bin to be burned but I just couldn’t do it. There had to be something I could make out of it.

My LJ friend Mads happened to friend me on Facebook recently and I know he has been without a shop. I wondered, What would Mads do?” I don’t know if he has a lathe, but I know he loves a nice piece of wood. It was an odd slice of sycamore about 18” x 16” and about 3 1/2” thick that I collected from a big tree that had to come down in my hometown. I have a bunch more of it hopefully spalting right now. I wondered if I could make a platter out of this piece and just had to start right away, forget cleaning the shop, you know?. This is like 6:30 AM Saturday. I love turning, especially since I got my Robust American Beauty. I played around with this piece for several hours and came up with this natural edge dish. I try to listen to what the piece of wood tells me it wants to be, you know? I wanted to make the most of the piece of wood and this is what it told me.

The wood was very dry, and I was able to turn it down to about 3/16”. I tried a variation on the typical natural edge bowls I have seen and turned myself and flared the upper edges out. Maintaining the thickness and natural edge was a bit challenging, but fun to do. I realized that it was partly the larger diameter of the piece of wood that allowed me to do that.

I finished it with numerous coats of rattle can lacquer, lots of sanding, and buffing with 000 steel wool. The finished dimensions are 16” tip to tip and about 3” deep. By the way the last picture is courtesy of my wife and her new Epilog laser engraver.

This one is for you Mads.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

11 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1917 posts in 3490 days

#1 posted 11-04-2013 01:11 AM

Nice Platter.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2609 days

#2 posted 11-04-2013 03:53 AM

BEEEAUUUUUUTIFUL! That is super work on your part and I’m so glad you listened to what the wood told you it want to be.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View CFrye's profile


10735 posts in 2316 days

#3 posted 11-04-2013 04:32 AM

Beautiful spalting and turning Ken. Nice engraving as well. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3780 days

#4 posted 11-04-2013 04:44 AM

im glad you listened to the wood, you did a fantastic job, and i know mads would be so happy you made it into a lovely bowl….you better get back to work though dr ken, you have a party coming…lol

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 4075 days

#5 posted 11-04-2013 12:07 PM

Doc, Your work is always so accomplished and this one is no different! Perfect shape, and finish just outstanding! Now I think you should get back into the shop and do as your told and clean the shop…..........I need to do that myself!! Tell the Mrs. her engraving is over the top as well, nicely done!!!

Have a great party and hope you sell lots of your work as well.

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Richard's profile


11296 posts in 3509 days

#6 posted 11-05-2013 01:09 AM

Very Nice Project and Well Done! Thanks For Posting.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View stefang's profile


16712 posts in 3811 days

#7 posted 11-05-2013 12:43 PM

Beautifully turned Ken and nice wood. Your wife’s engraving looked great too. It was good to hear that I’m not the only one with a shop to clean. At least you have some good motivation with visitors coming.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4456 days

#8 posted 11-05-2013 02:44 PM

Great job, Ken.



-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Cousinwill's profile


131 posts in 3367 days

#9 posted 11-05-2013 06:48 PM

Great Job !!

-- William from the oldest town in Texas

View mafe's profile


12096 posts in 3566 days

#10 posted 11-05-2013 08:58 PM

Dear Ken,
I have a tear in my eye now, thank you.
It is completely amazing!
The wood the shape and the finish – I love it.
Wish I could visit your shop also.
The wood, yes you really listened and that paid of, the wood talks back.
Thank you a lot my friend to think of me, I have a big wonderful smile here.
(I do have a lathe, but not at all where you are using it).
Best thoughts to you and the family,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Xyloid_Curt's profile


131 posts in 2563 days

#11 posted 11-06-2013 02:40 PM

Great job. A very unique bowl!

-- Xyloid Curt "Exposing the hidden beauty in wood"

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