I set a goal of donating 100 wooden bowls to the Freiden’s Empty Bowls fund raiser for this year. I reached my goal in late July. Here are pictures of some of the bowls:
A comment to begin … this is without a doubt the hardest cherry wood I have ever turned. These bowls are “roughed out” – that means that wood will be turned away from both the inner and outer surfaces after they dry, and decoration can be added near the rim of the bowl. So, because the tool was bouncing on the surface of the bowl you may see significant chatter and ridging in the turned surface – this will be turned away when the bowl is finish-turned, several months in the future.
Today was more of the same, except we began the day with two problematic bowl blanks.
The first bowl today was problematic because of a deep pith-crack which branched down into the wood.
We chiseled a lot of it out so we could contact solid wood with the spur drive.
We shaped the back and then turned it around and cut away a lot of material until we eliminated any cracking (we hope).
I wasn’t sure we would be able to get an inner (cored) bowl from this piece but we got a nicely shaped and reasonably sized bowl from inside the larger one.
Both the shot above and the shot below suffer from a wonky camera angle. The rim (above) is not nearly this thick in relation to the diameter of the bowl, and the end of the yardstick (below) is actually even with the edge of the bowl. So, we were able to get a 12+ inch outer bowl and a 9-inch inner bowl from this blank.
The second bowl was problematic, first because it was not symmetrical – it had a large lump on one side of the center which needed to be turned away to bring the bowl into balance.
Second, the lump that needed to be turned away concealed some wild grain – almost worthy of being called a burl. However, like many burls, there were cracks in the grain.
I did not core this bowl blank because of those cracks on the exterior of the bowl. I was afraid that coring would put enough pressure on the wood to crack out the entire side.
Unfortunately, the cracks go all the way into the inside of the bowl. We won’t know whether this bowl will be viable or not until it dries down a ways. We may be able to epoxy the cracks.
The remainder of the bowls were more or less unremarkable – today we ended up with a total of eight bowls from the five remaining half-rounds.
Here are individual pictures of the roughed out bowls from today, in no particular order. Some will have no comments. The bowl below is pretty good, but we will keep an eye on the knot in the side of it.
The next bowl is the inner bowl from the one above – it too has a knot or two in the side which may affect its viability when it comes time to finish turn the bowl.
Another bowl with a couple knots in it (below).
The bowl below was the core from a larger bowl – it has a spot on the rim that we hope does not lead to a crack as it dries.
The bowl below looks good with not evident flaws and some nice grain patterns.
The bowl below is the core from the bowl above – a bit smaller than some of the other cores, but a nice little bowl with no obvious flaws.
The last bowl I turned this afternoon I did not core – I turned away a lot of rotting sap wood and it ended up much smaller than the original bowl blank.
The last two picture show the pile of shavings behind and below the lathe. About one-fourth of these were there before I started this project.
A lady who had seen some of my work contacted me to see if I could make some bowls from a cherry tree they had taken down about four years ago. I went and looked at it today and was able to get four nice log-rounds out of it.
I brought it home and cut the rounds into half-rounds. I got seven half-rounds out of the four logs as there was one where the pith crack branched off and extended so far into the half-round that I could not use it for a bowl blank. I will be able to get one or two spindle blanks.
The next step is to cut a bowl blank from the half-round on the band saw.
Then, I carry the bowl blank across the shop to the lathe. I begin by mounting the bowl blank between a spur center in the headstock and a live center in the tail stock.
After making sure everything is secure, we then begin to shape the back of the bowl.
After the back of the bowl was shaped, then we turn a “tenon” on the back of the bowl blank so we can mount it in a scroll chuck. We then turn the bowl around and grasp it with the scroll chuck.
We begin the process of hollowing out the bowl by “coring” the bowl to get a smaller bowl blank out of the large bowl blank.
After the inner blank is cored out, we use a bowl gouge to shape the inside of the bowl. We leave the thickness of the bowl a little over an inch so that we enough material to true any warpage out of the bowl when we final turn it in about a year.
At the end of the first day we have four bowls rough turned, and five half rounds remaining to process.
The four bowls are sealed to prevent them from cracking as they dry and are temporarily set on top of a pile of bowls waiting to be turned into charity bowls for 2023 “Empty Bowls” charity in the Milwaukee area. Later they will be stored on a shelf in the drying room.
About a year ago a couple that lives about an half hour south of me contacted me to see if I would be interested in making some bowls for them from a black walnut tree that they had cut down.
The bowls are shown below. There is a mix of natural edge bowls and conventional bowls. The NE bowls have a wipe-on polyurethane finish and the conventional bowls have a “food-friendly” walnut oil finish.
I won’t comment on every bowl but will let them speak for themselves. I may comment on some of the larger bowls. A number of the bowls had cracks or knots which were repaired with epoxy with mica pearl powders used for color.
The first two bowls I completed were a pair of natural edge bowls that came from the crotch area of the first branch of the main trunk of the tree. These bowls are approximately 14 inches across. They were delivered to the customer back in May of this year.
The remaining bowls were just completed in late October/early November. They range from 5 inches to
Five more (smaller) natural edge bowls – the largest of these is about 10 inches across (I never actually measured it).
Milwaukee Empty Bowls has closed its doors but Frieden’s Food Pantry Network is taking over the fundraiser. There will be an event in the Milwaukee area in October, so I have made some “Empty Bowls” to turn in. Here are the first 40 or so.
When I first started this very sporadic blog many years ago, Sassy was a young puppy. She is now ten years old, plus a couple months. She is part of the family, and we don’t know what we would do without her.
The grandkids love her, and for the most part, she loves them in return.
When she hears the packing tape coming off the roll, she knows I have sold something on Etsy. She will go and hang out by the front door because to her, that simply means we will be taking a walk out to put something in the mailbox.
Otherwise, she spends most of her life sleeping – this time of year, she sleeps in front of the fireplace. If she gets too warm in front of the fire, she just moves a few feet away from it, but not too far.
Recently, I have been carving heart shaped pendants. This began when a customer requested a pendant that was not round, After I made a couple samples, she selected a couple that she liked.
I then began to try to shape the pendants into a heart shape. Here are the results so far.
After making a number of carved pendants from mountain ash, I then moved on to other woods.