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JimKirkpatrick 10-27-2014 07:19 PM

My attempt at bowl turning
I bought my first lathe last year, a Powermatic 3520b. It's been fun learning and I can see why many get addicted. It's a great way of getting rid of shop scrap too. I really like turning bowls. Nothing big as of yet, just the small sort shown in my pictures. If I have an hour or two to kill and want to blow some steam it's a great outlet. My focus for that time period just what's in front of me, nothing else. It's a great escape and can be done start to finish in a short time.
These small bowls have become quite popular among friends and family. If we go over someone's house for a dinner party, my wife fills one with candy then wraps it with some nice gift cellophane, tied with a bow. It looks like a mini gift basket.
They're also nice to have around the shop to sort parts. The ash bowl pictured with snickers bars is a scrap cutoff from my roubo bench. The spalted one is sassafras and the other one is hard maple.

Wonderwino 10-27-2014 07:35 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
Those look great, Jim! A much more useful end for scrap than the stove! :thumbsup2: :goodjob:

Turning is one thing I only did once in shop class in college. Now, if you could hang on to a few dozen of those bowls, you could open a salad bar.... BIG Big Grin

Wonderwino 10-27-2014 07:37 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
BTW, that is a nice rack for your turning tools. Are those EasyWood Tools? I've seen those at WIA, but never paid close attention to the turning stuff. :scool:

JimKirkpatrick 10-27-2014 08:49 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
They are indeed Easywood tools. My brother gave them to me for my 50th. It really is like cheating. And they have disposable carbide cutters like on a helical planer head. You rotate them 4 times then toss them. I newbie can pick them up and start turning with good results right away. Purist scoff at them claiming they make scrape cuts. I dunno, I make lots of long curlies with mine. But they are great! I also have a few gouges that I'm experimenting with too. I have to still master the sharpening. Like hand planes, it's all about keeping them sharp.

If I made the rack again, I wouldn't put end caps on the bottom of the PVC but use a through bolt or some kind of dowel so that the shavings could fall right through.


Sta2lt 10-27-2014 10:04 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
Wow those are really nice, I might have to try that.

Poto 10-28-2014 05:08 AM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
Jim! Great to see you posting again! It's been a while.

Love those bowls. I can imagine that they're quite satisfying to make - and I'm sure you're a popular dinner guest.

Have you tried turning something a bit green, to see how its shape changes as it dries?

TahoeTwoBears 10-28-2014 01:14 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
You're way too modest. I bought a little Delta Midi lathe some time back and took a class at Palomar College to get myself up and running. I think you're bowls are little gems.

The Easy Wood tools are fantastic. In my class we focused on a skew and a couple of bowl gouges. I agree with you about the Easy Wood tools. They're great. A good way to get up and running and I've seen old timers use them as well. I think the take away here is keeping an open mind about the possibility of something new being okay (or even better).

Love your lathe. Future dream of mine. Unfortunately it's on my long list at this point. Thanks also for the tool rack idea. Nice implementation.


JimKirkpatrick 10-28-2014 02:36 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
Peter, I haven't turned any green yet, no. But I aspire to turning live edge bowls. I love to see a delicate bowl with bark around the edges. But I'm learning to walk before I run.
The dry wood I've been turning, especially the maple, is tough to turn. The tools heat up and then there's the tearout. I spend the same amount of time sanding as I do turning. About an hour each. I get better results with a sharp bowl gouge in terms of tearout but again, keeping it sharp is another thing. I just bought a Oneway Varigrind 2 jig, but have yet to play with it.. Also not pictured that I bought and love is the Easytools Easy Chuck. Just what I need, another expensive slippery slope to slide down on!

Mike, I love my lathe. I too took a turning course around 15 years ago at Worcester Center for Crafts but never got around to buying my own lathe until recently. I'm sorry I waited so long!

RWeber 10-29-2014 01:15 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning
Its good to see someone else catch the disease
I assume you're already familiar with Craft Supply USA
If not, there's your crack dealer ;-)

JimKirkpatrick 10-29-2014 02:36 PM

Re: My attempt at bowl turning

Originally Posted by RWeber (Post 89781)
Its good to see someone else catch the disease
I assume you're already familiar with Craft Supply USA
If not, there's your crack dealer ;-)

I think I'm what they call a VIP customer there already!

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