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Thread: Turning a bowl/vesssel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana

    Turning a bowl/vesssel

    Okay, it might be a bowl when it comes off of the lathe for now let's just call it a vessel! Anyway, only have made about hmmmmmmm 3 bowl type vessels. My question is, what tool do you use for the bottom on the inside to get a reasonably decent surface to sand? And if my small gouge (the smallest U shaped cutting tool) grabs and runs to the outside consistently, is it ground wrong? (Surely I am not holding or presenting it wrong!! ) Help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Central Iowa
    Are you cutting from the the outside to the center when hollowing? The only time I had the problem you are describing was when I was working on my first bowl. One of the guys in my turning club said that you have to turn "downhill". He said that when you tune the outside of a bowl you want to turn from the small diameter to the larger. When doing the inside go from the larger to the smaller. Since I made the change, I haven't had this problem. I only have 1 bowl gouge and I used it to do the sides and follow around on the bottom. Be sure to stop at the center or it will want to whip around. Best of luck


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    I use a 1/2" or 3/8" bowl gouge with a Ellsworth grind. I start from the rim and go down to the bottom. You have to stop right at the center of the bottom. You go past and it will catch and skate your gouge around. For the finial cuts I use my P & N either 3/8" or 1/2" bowl gouge with the conventional grind. I watch Mike Mahoney use these and then bought his video From The Tree To The Table. He shows how to use these at a closer angle. If I have some tear out I put a little mineral oil on it and then make my last couple of passes. If you don't stop when you start a cut you can almost start sanding at 180 or 220.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    To add to what Doug and Bernie have mentioned, I will sometimes use a round-nosed scraper (the heavier the better), and take very light cuts (gossamer curls) to get rid of tool marks in the bottom of a bowl or vessel. I've learned I need to be very careful and's a bad time to get a catch. (On punky woods, scrapers can create a mess for me, though.)

    Like Bernie said, if I'm careful with the bowl gouge and get nice even finishing cuts, it's ready for 180 or 220 grit without the need for the scraper. At my skill level, I still use the scrapers a lot.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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