Roughed out bowl ?

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Forum topic by Raftermonkey posted 06-28-2010 12:16 AM 1125 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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560 posts in 3183 days

06-28-2010 12:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: moisture content rough turned bowl bowl turning turning carving

Hey folks, I was just wondering if someone could elaborate on the term “roughed out/turned bowl? I’m kind of a hands on type person so visual aids would be great. I was aslo wondering what the maximum moisture content is before you would carve/turn a bowl? Thank you in advance for sharing your wealth of knowledge with me.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

4 replies so far

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4541 posts in 3345 days

#1 posted 06-28-2010 12:25 AM

For me, the phrase “roughed out bowl” refers to the turning of green wood. Let me explain.

Many turners, myself included, like to turn green wood. This is wood with a high moisture content. In general, the wood is much easier to turn when it is green. However, as it dries, the wood will move (warp and bend).

One way to deal with this is to turn the wood in 2 phases. First you rough out the bowl by turning it down to about 1 inch thick. Then you set the bowl aside and let it dry for several months. Most of us put the bowl into a paper bag with wood shavings. That will help the bowl dry out. As the bowl dries it will move.

When the bowl is dry enough (moisture content less than 10%) you do your final turning.

This is a common practice.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View a1Jim's profile


117468 posts in 3847 days

#2 posted 06-28-2010 12:27 AM

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560 posts in 3183 days

#3 posted 06-28-2010 12:50 AM

So I am assuming that you go ahead and try to get the general shape of the outside while roughing it out? The reason it is so hard to get my “roughed out” mind around this, is because my bowls are not lathe turned so my outside doesn’t always match the curvature of the inside. I’m not looking for an easy way out or anything, but could I just hollow out the inside and stick it in the bags for a few months? Thanks again folks, you are true masters of advisory, turnery, and website linkery.haha

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3802 days

#4 posted 06-28-2010 01:03 AM

One rule of thumb is rough thickness = 10% of diameter. A 10 inch bowl would rough out to 1 inch thick. This usually leaves enough material to get a round bowl from a blank that dries warped. Bowls get egg shaped when they dry.

-- My reality check bounced...

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