Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Natural edge bowl out of western red cedar and an owie

Hi Everyone,
Well, we've finally got some snow yesterday and today and it's high time we did! The prospect of a brown Christmas absolutely fills me with dread:

Let's hope we get more.

And bad news: Bob the Shop Squirrel seems to have disappeared. As he was with me for about 3 years, I suspect he has, well, lets just say he's moved on to greener pastures...

Now for the project

A friend of mine in Northfield brought me a large section of a tree trunk with the request that a bowl be made out of it and Critter and I split the log last month in preparation. The log in question was supposed to be box elder but a test bowl last week revealed it to actually be wester red cedar. Never fear! We can make a bowl out of this too! Onward and forward.

Here's are the photos to date:

Here is a photo of the section of the tree trunk. In looking at this section of wood, I decided to try to make a natural edge bowl. Even though the bark was removed, the sap wood on the tree is intact  and could be preserved through out the turning. Doing this is a matter of orienting the shape of the bowl correctly. This rough cut surface is going to be the bottom of the bowl and the rounded underside will be the top of the bowl:

And so I cut out a turning blank out of this section and on the bandsaw and mounted the blank on the lathe.  Here you can see it mounted between centers and the bottom of the bowl beginning to take on a round shape:

As I was turning, the roughness of the underside of the bowl began to be removed with the exception of a large chunked out area:

Here you can see it more clearly:

And so I began to remove and re-shape the bottom of the bowl in the hope of cutting away enough wood to remove that area but no so much as to make the bowl appreciably smaller than it is:

As I was turning I decided to flatten the bottom and create a foot. This made reshaping the bottom easier and visually the results will look fine:

After about 10 minutes of turning I had the bottom shaped and the big chunk removed. This resulted in a narrow foot but it is stable enough so I'm going to proceed with the bowl. And you can see that the sapwood area has been preserved and is easily visible:

This is the outside of the log without it's bark. You can see that the surface is irregular and as I'm going to try to preserve the sapwood of the tree this irregular shape will result in an irregularly shaped rim:

Time to hollow out the bowl. I always cut from the center and towards the rim and that's what I'm doing here:

This is the blank about 10 minutes later. You can see how the walls of the bowl are not the same thickness at the point. That will lessen as I hollow out the bowl:

Here is the bowl about an hour later. There is a lot of cross grain tearing inside of the bowl that will have to be dealt with:

Side photo. The sapwood layer is intact all the way around the bowl:

And while I was working with the bowl on the lathe my hand brushed up against one of the pointed ends of the rim and you can see the results-Owww!

And here are several more photos of the bowl from different angles. Looks different than the usual round bowl:

Ok, the inside of the bowl will need a lot of attention in the form of sanding and smoothing it. I'm confident it can be finished satisfactorily and I'll use a food safe varnish for the finish to protect it.

I'll send photos of the finished bowl in a couple of days.

Time for a bandaid,

1 comment:

  1. Outch! That looks painful. I hope you're ok! But the bowl is so beautiful! :)