Monday, 6 January 2014

Bowl number 1

Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. I had a great time, but haven't had much time to do any woodwork. I made a few Christmas presents, a leather wallet for my Dad (sorry  no pics) and this little tool I made for Laura.

It's a button hole chisel for dressmaking and it works a treat if I do say so myself.

One thing I'd really like to do more of in 2014 is bowl turning. I reckon I've turned just over 20 bowls so far over the last three years and having followed Richard's 52 spoons challenge I realise that i'm really just beginning and if I want to get better then I've got to do more. So I'm going to go for a 52 bowls challenge and possibly even more. I reckon that if I' m going to be successful in achieving this then I need to try and be as efficient as possible. It's going to help that my mate Nick is now getting into it and is very proficient with a chainsaw, so he may be able to help me out as getting the log into a blank ready to mount can be quite time consuming. I know that I should probably get a chainsaw myself, but aside from the cost, I don't really like the things, so getting Nick to do my dirty work for me could help. I also ant to spend a bit more time with a pen and paper rather than my usual approach of just seeing how it will turn out.

So for bowl number one I decided to do a few sketches first to give me a better idea of what I wanted to  achieve. This was my first go at turning apple, what a fantastic wood. It was also very fresh (cut that morning). Unfortunately I made a bit of a mistake and failed to clean my tools properly after Nick borrowed them to turn some oak, so the horrible black mess from the reaction of the steel to the tannin in the oak ended up transferring from the tool to my fingers and then on to the bowl. Oh well, it's all part of the learning process.

So that's bowl number one, made from apple and measuring 10.5 inches in diameter. It looks quite chunky in these pictures, the actual wall thickness is about 7mm, which seems about right of a bowl of this size. I think that next time I do one like this I'd really like to make the beads a bit more defined and also smaller.
 Only 51 to go, I just hope I can get enough wood.


  1. Nice job! How do you dry it, to avoid cracks? I can' wait to see the other 51!
    Good luck!

  2. Best of luck with the other 51, you've made a fantastic start with this one.

  3. I usually just leave it in the wet shavings for a few weeks. This seems to work for me as I've not had one crack yet. This particular bowl is really wet though, so I take it out of the shavings for a bit each day. I've also wrapped them in paper bags in the past.

    1. Thank You for this informations.
      I usually dry small bowls and spoons in the microwave. It worked very well in 95 - 97 % of cases. I prefer this method because is more faster. Eugen.

  4. The microwave scares me. One bad experience was one too many.