From Logs to Bowls

The basics of my process…

First I find local trees that I can use to make my bowls and other items.  After finding logs I can use I seal them with Anchor Seal and prepare them for cutting on my cutting table…

Using a chain saw, I cut the logs to the desired size.  Then I trim the end to remove any checking that may have occurred between the time of acquiring the log and cutting it into bowl blanks.  This also gives me insight into what will be the best utilization of the log to maximize it’s potential.  As you can see this Maple is nicely spalted!

I slice the log to remove the “pith” of the log and use a marker to visualize the bowls dimensions.  Removing the “pith”, or center of the log, helps prevent cracking.

Once I have the size drawn I cut the log into a bowl blank…

I then install a “spur “drive to mount the blank on my wood lathe…

Here’s what it looks like mounted on the lathe.  It is now ready to be turned into a bowl…

This what it looks like while spinning on the lathe.  Notice the “blurry” area at the edge of the blank.  That is the area we call “turning air” because of the air gaps created on the edges of the blank due to it’s irregular shape…

The blank is now ready to turn a “spigot” so I can reverse it on the lathe and turn the inside…

The bowl is now ready to season.  If you look carefully at the base of the bowl you can see the “spigot”…

This is how my shop looks after a couple hours of turning.  As you may be able to tell, this day I was turning Redwood.  Time to clean up!

If you would like to see videos of bowls being turned please click here:  My Videos Page