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Thread: Birthday Bowl

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    NorCal, USA

    Birthday Bowl

    Today is my birthday (I’m old) so I wanted to commemorate the day by turning a bowl. Earlier I had posted about turning Tupelo, but learned today that the end grain tears out very badly, so I went down to the local Woodcraft and bought a block of walnut. This is actually the first bowl that I completed on my own. I took a bowl turning class last month, but had assistance from the instructor as he used my bowl to demonstrate on.

    The bowl is about 5 ˝” X 2 ˝”, sanded to 400 grit, then finished with lemon oil, first rubbed on, then sanded damp with 400 grit, then hand rubbed again. I will let the oil dry before I wax it with Johnson’s wax. I expanded my chuck into the foot to hold the bowl for hollowing. The foot still needs some work to finish it.

    I learned a LOT from this, most importantly why I was catching with the bowl gouge and tearing out big chinks of wood. Thus, a planned enclosed form ended up as you see it, a straight sided bowl. I am pleased with it. I think it looks good, and it feels good to me. The Bride likes it, so that is what is important. Please give me some constructive criticism, as this is the beginning of the journey, and I can use direction.

    Thanks for looking.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Very nice bowl for a first attempt. the form although simple is done very well. Next time try for thiner walls. I also like the way you finished the bottom. This is a very important detail that most beginners neglect.
    Oh and Happy Birthday ..
    Last edited by Don Baer; 08-16-2009 at 02:56 AM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Great looking first bowl. Form looks good and like the way you did the bottom. Well done. One of the harder ones to do with straight sides. The transition from the sides to the bottom can be a bear and cause a lot of catches. Also most times you will see the bottom way thicker than the sides. You did well for your first.

    Happy Birthday.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day
    and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.”

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Happy Birthday!!!!!! Gave yourself a very nice present there!!!!
    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake.

    I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place.

    Premier Bovine Scatologist


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Cornwall, England
    Looks good to me. If you were thinking of it for use then being a bit thicker isn't a problem IMHO. Personally I think we overdo the thinner walls sometimes. The foot looks neat, clean and functional. I agree with Bernie that doing a straight walled bowl isn't the easiest and yet it is what we all do when we start for some reason. You have done well. First bowl or not it's a good 'un


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Happy Birthday, looks like you had a good one!

    I like your bowl, well done, way better than my first bowl!

    That shape is very much like the typical Japanese bowl used for the hot soup that is drank in the morning, something like this...........

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ....... great first effort for sure, sign and date it, and you will enjoy looking back at it down the road, it is a milestone!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    This sure looks a lot better than my first bowl. Great job.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Great work, Chuck. Much better than my first bowl, too. I respectfully disagree with Don...your second bowl is not a great time to try going thin. The thin walls will come at their own pace. Pushing things too much at this stage of the game can lead to frustration. The intended closed form was a perfect example of that. Many turners (me included) try to make closed form bowls right off the bat, when it'd be better to work up to them as you gain experience with the tools.

    Critique-wise, I don't have a lot to offer. The form, as Stu pointed out, is pretty "Japanese". For my own bowls, I usually prefer an even curve from rim to foot instead of the straighter sides like yours, but that's just me. The form of yours looks pretty classic for that style of bowl.

    Congrats on a fine bowl, and congrats on your birthday, too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Good looking bowl Chuck. Well done.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Mason Michigan
    Happy Birthday, Chuck!

    I especially like the bottom!
    "Small Change got rained on with his own 38"

    Tom Waits

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