Barnwood Oak Square Bowl

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Project by NaptownWood posted 11-12-2013 06:06 PM 1163 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m posting this to get some pointers more than anything.

This wood is more like barnyard wood. It was an oak tree milled on my grandfathers farm about 30 years ago. I was lucky to have gotten some big pieces. One turned in a mantle and the others have been waiting.

This wood is as hard and as heavy as steel. I just flat out couldnt manage to remove the tool marks. I may buy a detail sander to battle this in the future.

This piece is 12” from diagonal corner to corner and 1.5” thick.

Only skinned one knuckle in the process, which I assume is around average for a first square bowl.
I frankly think that was part of my problem. Tool rest position is difficult for one of these. Well, stock tool rest anyway.

Also, is there a tutorial or blog or anything dealing with properly re-chucking a piece and getting it perfectly centered once you flip it around? Seems like whenever I do this, I’m having to re turn the back or front because its a tad off center, hence some tool marks on the curves. I used a scraper after the gouges, and this helped a bit.

-- Witty signature line still pending

2 comments so far

View LesB's profile


2216 posts in 3976 days

#1 posted 11-12-2013 06:41 PM

It looks like you had a good start. From the pictures the only thing I see is the need for some additional sanding. Either by hand or with an orbital sander to remove the tool marks. Some pieces need more sanding than others and cutting across the grain in oak is often one of them.

Chucking and rechucking. A method that works well for me is to use a router, dovetailed bit, with a template guide made from ½” plywood with the guide hole cut in it and sized to fit the diameter of my lathe chuck. I then clamp the template so the hole is over the center of the blank I’m turning (the template is made long enough to span the blank so clamps can be used to hold it down across a corner of a work bench). I then route a recess 3/16” to ¼” in what will eventually become the top of the piece when it is finished. Now the blank can be mounted on the lathe and the bottom turned and sanded to the final shape, in the process creating a new recess for “rechucking” the piece so I can turn the inside shape. When finished I usually leave the recess in the bottom and often decorate it with concentric beads in the center, leaving just enough open space around the perimeter for the chuck jaws to fit into. I have never had a problem with the work getting off center this way (unless it is green wood that I foolishly let dry out to much during the turning process). I hope that is clear enough. It is harder to explain it than to do it.
While I never do it you could also leave a “spigot” when turning the bottom for rechucking and cut or sand it off when done.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Richard's profile


11307 posts in 3566 days

#2 posted 11-13-2013 12:08 AM

Very Nice Piece of Work! Thanks For Sharing!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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