Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Priscilla's Bowl-Hollowing out the bowl

Hi Everyone,

Well the temperature is rising and the snow is melting fast and so this is a good day to go out and work on the bowl some more. Here's today's photos:

I began hollowing out the bowl yesterday and I probably cut away about half the inside of the blank. My goal today was to finish hollowing it out and hollowing a bowl presents a number of challenges.  People place things inside of bowls so the volume of the bowl is one concern. Another is the thickness of the walls and the bottom-you want to wind up with a sturdy bowl that won't break if it's dropped but doesn't look clunky. And the inside needs to approximately match the outside in terms of the shapes matching up.

Here is the first photo. I've deepened the floor of the bowl and I've begun creating the sides of the bowl. Note the position of the tool rest-it needs to sit inside of the bowl and as close to the surface as possible. This allows me to get the tip of the turning chisel into the wood without causing a lot of vibration in the tool:

 Here is the bowl several minutes later. It's deeper and the sides are beginning to shape up. Note the raised section in the center. I like to leave cutting the center until well into the turning. It gives me a visual cue as to how much wood I've removed without having to stop and measure the depth:

One of the problems that turners encounter when making a bowl is vibration, particularly at the rim. This can lead to the tip of the chisel skipping across the surface of the wood as it spins. I like to keep the sides and bottom a uniform thickness as I turn. That really helps to counter that.

Here is a photo of the rim. I want to have the rim and the width of the ribbon match up. I think this will look good and I'm just about there in the photograph:

At this point I put the camera down and finished hollowing the bowl out. Another concern, and this happens with every project, is to know when it's time to stop cutting something. Don't cut enough and you wind up with essentially an unfinished bowl. Cut too much and risk cutting through the bottom or ruining the design. How thin to make  the walls and how thick to leave the bottom are also questions to be answered.

I elected to leave the walls about 1/2" thick and the bottom about 1" thick. This last measurement includes the foot of the bowl. I think these are good measurements to stop with and I don't mine leaving this bowl, or any bowl for that matter, a little bottom heavy. It keeps the bowl from easily tipping over.

Here are the last two photos for this session:

The bowl at this points seems a little heavy to me so I'm going to stop and sleep on it and return to the bowl tomorrow.

See you Thursday,


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