Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Last Step: Refining the Underside of the Bowl

Hi Everyone,

Well today I'm going to briefly chat about refining the foot of bowls and platters.

Refining the foot of the bowl is typically the last step in turning. With the rest of the bowl having been turned and sanded, there is no way to flip the bowl over and re-attach it to the lathe so some enterprising soul named Cole invented the Cole Chuck or in the case of the photo below, the Cole Jaw Chuck. And this is what it looks like:

It consists of 4 wedge-shaped metal sections that are drilled to accept round, rubber plugs that screw into the surface of the jaws. The jaws in turn screw into my Nova chuck body underneath. Nova makes a set of jaws specifically for their chucks and other manufacturers have their own systems so check on the manufacturer of your particular chuck if you are considering purchasing one.

To attach it to the chuck you place the bowl face down on the jaws:

And then tighten the jaws with the chuck key:

And then screw the whole thing down to the lathe:

And this is what it looks like. Now the bowl isn't firmly attached to the jaws so you wouldn't be able to do any heavy duty cutting at this point. This is only for very light cuts to shape the foot with. Also the maximum turning speed is 500 rpm or less. Don't turn this any faster or the bowl may come off:

Here is the foot to begin with:

I took several photographs of the finished bowl but the flash on my camera is quite strong and you can't see the foot of the bowl in the photos. I'll show it to you at the end of this posting.

I had another bowl to finish and that's the catalpa bowl that I began several weeks ago. It has a rather flat, coarse looking foot on the bottom of the bowl so I attached it to the Cole Chuck jaws and began to turn. This is what it looked like to begin with:

This is the bowl after I've finished turning it and sanding it:

And here it is with a little oil:

And here are the bowls. The white bowl on the right needs to have some varnish applied to the bottom but otherwise they're finished:

Finished bowls-catalpa and linden wood.

Ok, this afternoon I'm going to cut up some one and do some laminating so stay tuned for the fruit bowl series.

Have a great rest of the day!


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