From log to bowl

A simple (perhaps) look at how a log becomes a bowl


The log is held securely on the lathe by a faceplate and several long, strong screws. This will eventually be the top of the bowl.

The whole block is turned into a cylinder, a tenon shaped at the bottom of the bowl so that it can fit securely into a chuck, then shaping begins.

The outside shape is completed, with the exception of the foot of the bowl, which is kept quite chunky for now, then the bowl is turned around and set into a chuck.

Hollowing commences, cutting down into the bowl and achieving the thinnest wall possible.

Getting deeper and deeper, careful measurements are taken all the time to avoid cutting too deep, which would be a disaster!

The inside is then scraped clean and abraded. I used a mesh abrasive, lubricated with lemon oil for this bowl.

At this point, all the abrading is finished, the bowl is removed from the chuck and then reversed. This involves placing a large piece of waste-wood into the chuck and shaping it such that the bowl slips over it and is pinned into place by the tail-stock, ready for the next step.

The big chucking point at the foot of the bowl is then very carefully reduced in size to give an attractive foot, which is hollowed out.

…and there it is, a green-turned ash bowl with a natural edge. In this picture it is still freshly cut and quite wet, so it stood for a couple of weeks to dry out, was then lightly abraded and finally sealed and waxed.