Small chokecherry bowl, top view

This is a smaller chokecherry bowl, turned from the other half of the trunk that made the larger bowl.

Rough turned in early January, I finished it the second week in February 2024. Bowls seem to go very quickly, but then I think of the time I spent fussing over the finish on this one, and suddenly they’re not as quick any more.

#bowl #project #woodturning

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Yesterday I decided I wanted to make a bowl, so I went digging through the wood horde and found a chunk of elm that looked as though it might want to be a bowl.

Elm bowl, sitting on a slab of apple wood

I rough-turned it yesterday and soaked it pretty well with linseed oil. This morning, the oil had firmed up the spots in the grain that were giving me trouble (likely because I haven’t sharpened my bowl gouges in a while) and I got the bowl cleaned up and finished. I really like the way ulmiform grain looks when everything goes right.

side view of the elm bowl

I think it came out fairly well. Finished by sanding to 400 grit, then a coat of linseed oil, a couple coats of shellac, and finally a coat of paste wax.

bottom of elm bowl

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A bowl turned from birch.

This is the third bowl I turned, and the second made of birch. I managed to get the sides a little thinner, and the bottom thinner as well. I almost avoided tear-out on the end-grain sides of the bowl, only using the bowl gouge, but there was a little, so I sanded to clean things up.

The bottom of my third turned bowl

Turned this one in a single session in the shop. Maybe three hours total, including cutting it octagonal on the bandsaw, mounting it on the plate, cutting it free, and using the belt-sander to take off the last nubbin on the bottom.

It’s a little over 5 inches in diameter, and about 1-¼ inches tall.

Side view of my third turned bowl

Six coats of shellac, with some light sanding with 400 grit between the fourth and fifth coats. I’m trying to decide if I should pull out my French polishing kit and try to really put a nice finish on it, or whether this is good enough.

Thanks for looking!

#woodworking #woodturning #bowl

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