Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Turning a Box Elder Bowl

Here's the basic process in turning a bowl - in this case a fairly large bowl from a beautiful chunk of box elder. In the first picture the block of wood has been mounted on a faceplate, and because of its size, also supported by the tailstock.

In the second picture the blank has been turned round, but has not yet been shaped. Subsequent to taking this picture I turned the outside shape of the bowl and turned a tenon on the base so that I could reverse the blank and grab the tenon with my chuck. But I forgot to photograph this step!

Here the blank has been reversed, and is held by its base in a 4-jaw chuck. Since it hasn't been hollowed out yet it is still very heavy - so I'll bring the tail stock up again to support the blank while I start turning the inside of the bowl.

I'm now turning the inside of the bowl. When I've finished it can be re-mounted the other way around so that I can shape the outside of the bottom of the bowl.

I've finished turning the inside of the bowl. Now I'll re-mount it to turn the bottom.

The bowl has now been re-mounted with its rim held in the chuck-mounted Cole jaws (which have adjustable rubber buttons to grip the rim). I've also taped it down with duct tape so that it can't fly off the chuck. This can happen all too easily, I've discovered. Now I'll turn away the tenon and shape the base. The tailstock will be taken away after the tenon has been turned down to a small diameter.

Here is the finished bowl. Box elder often has some beautiful color, as this piece shows. This particular bowl was purchased by a neighbor.