How to make a bowl

Each wooden bowl starts the same, with a tree. Whether it be a tree coming down due to nature or someone wants to trim/take down a tree. So far I have been very fortunate in the tree department, we have a friend who owns a local tree business. The guys from our local woodturners group also share wood.  


First step is going out to watch Tree Amigo’s cut down a tree and then wait for them to be done cutting it down. Once they are done we can start loading the wood into my trailer, it use to be into the back of my suburban.

Second step is taking a chainsaw and cutting the logs in half then smaller more manageable chunks.

Once they are cut in half or quarters I can put them on the band saw to round them out. Some times if I don’t have access to a large enough band saw I will just attach it to the lathe a bit early and rough the shape out that way. (It’s a longer process doing it this way) Once they’ve been rounded I can attach them to the lathe with a a tool called a face plate. While using the face plate I rough out the shape and add a tenon to each bowl. Once the rough shape has been carved and the tenon has been made I can take it off the face plate and flip it around and put it into a chuck. 

From here I can begin the hollowing process, depending on the size and type of wood this can be a fast process or a very long and drawn out process. Once the bowl has been hollowed out I can start the finishing process. I start with sanding the inside and outside of the bowl and once I’ve gotten a nice smooth surface I can use two different grains of Yorkshire grit. Finally I’ll add a sealer to both the inside and outside. 

The final step now is to take off the tenon, I take it off the chuck and use either a jam chuck or put it in cole jaws to take off the tenon. Once the tenon is removed I begin the finish process again for the bottom. After the bowl is done I can wood burn my initials, the type of wood and the year I made the bowl onto the bottom of the bowl. The bowl is finally done and I can start another!