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1st bowl attempt (Read 767 times)
 
Kevin Campbell
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1st bowl attempt
Jul 2nd, 2016 at 10:55am
 
I had a cheap piece of hemlock, that was 2" x 3 15/16, so I cut a piece off for a small bowl. I screwed the faceplate to it, and started roughing it out. Got it round with no problems. I got the bottom and curve to the side ok. I was going to keep it pretty flat bottomed, and more of a cylinder on the sides, without too much trouble. I messed up cutting for the chuck on the bottom. I had a great dovetail, but it was inside, not outside hold. It still was good and solid in the chuck. This is where the problems began. I hollowed out the bottom with a small spindle gouge. When I used the bowl gouge to widen the bottom and cut down the thickness of the sides, it went not too well. I had a couple catches, and broke the side of the bowl out in a few places. I really loved doing it, and it probably hooked me, but I need some work on my process.
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Dave Gill
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #1 - Jul 2nd, 2016 at 11:14am
 
Hey Kevin - we have probably all been there so don't feel like the lone ranger.

Take a look at the video section on this site to find several excellent videos that I am sure will help you along.

Most of all - have fun and Stay Safe!
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Chris Gunsolley
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #2 - Jul 2nd, 2016 at 12:18pm
 
On your next attempt, use your bowl gouge to form the entire bowl, inside and outside, other than when forming the recess. Do not use the spindle gouge at any point when making a bowl.
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Don Stephan
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #3 - Jul 2nd, 2016 at 5:35pm
 
I would suggest a spindle ROUGHING gouge should not be used in bowl making process.  Richard Raffan has made probably many thousand bowls using a spindle gouge, sometimes in conjunction with bowl gouge, ON THE OUTSIDE.  His books and videos, I think best used together, are wonderful for education and for inspiration.
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Kevin Campbell
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #4 - Jul 2nd, 2016 at 7:52pm
 
I think it was Richard Raffan in a video, that said something about using the spindle gouge on the bottom of a bowl. I got a couple bowl blanks today from Rockler. I'll be turning on the 4th for sure. Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement.
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Bert Delisle
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #5 - Jul 2nd, 2016 at 8:25pm
 
Kevin Campbell wrote on Jul 2nd, 2016 at 7:52pm:
I think it was Richard Raffan in a video, that said something about using the spindle gouge on the bottom of a bowl.

I have participated in a couple of week long work shops with Richard Raffin, in his hands the 1/2" spindle gouge is very effective on the outside of the bowl and is superior to a bowl gouge for shaping the tenon.
He always stated that spindle gouge and a Spindle Roughing gouge are not to be confused, and Roughing gouges were dangerous for bowl blanks.
Richard grinds his gouges to allow him to safely execute cuts on the project at hand. Since working with him again this year the biggest take away from his tutilage is an increased confidence in sharpening, using only a platform and freehand, light touch on the CBN often, and cutting is much more enjoyable with razor sharp gouge.
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Glenn Matthies
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #6 - Jul 5th, 2016 at 1:46pm
 
First off, I am glad you had fun.  That's what is REALLY about.  Secondly, as with anything worth doing in life, there is learning curve.  Sounds like you learned a few things while turning.  IMO, the above is more important than making a nice bowl your first time out.  There will be other days.  There will be other bowls. 

Now get back on the lathe and turn another one!  Thumbs Up Grin
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Don Stephan
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #7 - Jul 5th, 2016 at 7:00pm
 
For me, it was a mistake to try to make "keeper" bowls on my first tries. Someone trying to learn to cook doesn't make a meal for the in-laws on their first time in the kitchen. Kids trying to learn a new sport aren't thrown into a game before hours of practice.

I'd suggest you get practice wood and make ten practice bowls that are meant to be learning opportunities, not "keeper" bowls. Ideal practice wood is green if you know an arborist, have a cooperative public service department in your neighborhood, or find decent sized trimmings along power lines. But this requires that you have and are proficient with a chain saw and have some idea how to orient bowl blanks in a log or large branch. Option 2 is someone in your area with a band saw mill that cuts logs into slabs and will sell you one, hopefully green. Option 3 is a 3" or 4" thick poplar slab from a hardwood lumber dealer in your area. Option 4 is an untreated cedar 4x4 or southern yellow pine (syp) 2x6 from a lumber yard or big box store.

The first 3 or 4 bowls are just to get some confidence and muscle memory moving the tools and sharpening.  For the remainder, try to identify some design before beginning and try to produce it, but don't worry if it doesn't turn out exactly as intended, or the design has to be modified during turning.  Happens to me regularly.
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« Last Edit: Jul 5th, 2016 at 7:04pm by Don Stephan »  
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Kevin Campbell
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Re: 1st bowl attempt
Reply #8 - Jul 5th, 2016 at 8:32pm
 
Thanks, Don. I watched an AAW video, today, that suggested the same thing. It makes sense.
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