Thursday, May 29, 2014

Scrap Wood Project-Fruit Platters-hollowing out the bowl and finishing it

Hi Everyone,

Well, I got up at the crack of dawn today and it was just lovely outside-bright and sunny, clear skies, warm temps-perfect turning weather!

I finished the platter and here is what it looks like at the moment. I haven't applied a finish yet but it still looks nice:

Laminated bowls and platters have some advantages over solid wood items-the wood is already dried so shrinkage and distortion of the platter isn't an issue. And you don't have to turn the platter in stages to allow for drying-it's already dry so you can complete a project very quickly. You also don't have all the work involved in cutting up a tree trunk into bowl blanks. The only thing you have to do here is cut up the scrap wood to uniform lengths and widths and then glue it up into a block. And your scrap pile just got a little smaller-what's not to like about that. So this is a good project and I might add, a simple one that results in beautiful bowls and platters.

Ok, let's look at the photos:

I put the platter blank back on the lathe and got out my fingernail gouge and smoothed the surface of the underside of the platter:

If you use your fingernail gouge for smoothing you should get very fine shavings from it. I like using a fingernail gouge before sanding as it really smooths the surface and if it's really sharp can eliminate or minimize a lot of end grain tearing and pitting. It also smooths away any bumps or valley's on the surface and really shortens sanding time:

And here is the completed underside of the platter. I've sanded it to 220 grit and then gave it a final polishing with the wood shavings. This is a really nice way to finish off the surface as the shavings will polish the surface but not cut into it. If you happen to be turning a naturally oily or waxy wood, this step really makes the wood shine right before your eyes:

I then flipped the platter over and proceeded to hollow it out. I used a roughing gouge to remove most of the interior wood and then refined it with a 1/2 bowl gouge and finished the surface with the fingernail gouge again. Since the bowl is comprised mostly of white oak, the shop smells very sweet. I love the scent of wood:

Next I sanded the interior of the bowl. One of the sanding papers I use are New Wave star discs. These have velcro on the back and attach to a sanding head that has velcro on the surface and is foam backed so you can easily smooth the interior of bowl, plates, platters, etc. The sanding head will fit on a standard hand drill or drill press and is great for sanding and smoothing the interiors of spoon bowls:

And here is the finished platter:

And here it is off the lathe. The top of the platter:

The underside of the platter:

 And here it is with some fruit so you can see the depth of the platter:

So we've gone from this:

To that:

Not bad. This is a simple project that is very functional and I think you will find it to be a very satisfying one. 

I'm going to be making several more of these with different scrap wood this week and clear out my wood pile some. I will also be working on my old dining room table and giving it a re-do so stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by the wood shop-see you soon.


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