Natural Edge Bowl

I have now had my lathe for a year. When I first starting using it, my goal was to be able to make some simple things by the end of the first year. I was able to achieve this, and even start turning some basic bowls.

Last week I decided to try a more ambitious bowl – one starting from a far more raw form than the “blanks” I’ve been using, and much larger.

Enter this nice piece of cherry, which only barely fit on my lathe. This tool can handle up to 12″ round, this one clocked in at 11 1/2″. It’s also the heaviest thing I’ve tried on this machine.

It was rough starting out. I initially had the lathe set to the lowest speed in the High range, and boy did it complain. It was slow to start, quick to slow down under pressure, and had just enough vibration to make cutting a struggle.

Once I got smart and changed the belts to Low mode, things went much better and progress much quicker.

It wasn’t too long until it actually started to look like a bowl – at least on the outside.

I had every intention of making a live edge bowl – meaning the bark remains along the rim. It started out well, but eventually enough came off that I decided to strip all of it and end up with a natural edge bowl instead.

After the main portion of the bowl was complete, I made my first jam chuck and turned the bowl around (with some quilting batting from Ana) so that I could complete the bottom. 4 months ago, the thought of having to first turn a jam chuck on the lathe before using it was daunting. Now? Not so much. Progress.

After turning and applying some tung oil, the bowl was complete. There are still some tool marks in the bowls I make, and this one is no exception. I am, however, improving with each one I make. I’ve also made some great strides with regards to sharpening, which helps tremendously.

Here’s the final product! I don’t know what we’ll do with it, but it feels like a bit of a milestone I’m proud of.






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