Rough Turning a Bowl
Find step-by-step instruction for getting started in bowl making in this excerpt from Raffan's classic book 'Turning Bowls'
In this excerpt from the book Turning Bowls, you’ll get illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to turn the profile of a bowl with high-quality and consistent results.
Internationally acclaimed wood turner Richard Raffan shares tips for mounting a blank to the lathe with a faceplate or a variety of chucks, and recommends methods for turning small and large, and round or irregular blanks.
Chapter 4: Rough-Turning The Profile
I always rough out bowls in two stages. First I turn the profile (the outside form) with the face that will be the top of the bowl toward the headstock. Then I remount the partly turned bowl for hollowing, gripping it by the foot.
The transformation of a seasoned blank to the profile of a small bowl ready for sanding can take well less than a minute. Turning green wood can be even faster. Once the blank is mounted, I typically shape a 10-in. (250mm) salad bowl in a few minutes.
Consequently it is important to have simple, quick, and efficient ways of fixing a blank on the lathe and then equally simple ways of removing it. So before I discuss how to use the tools to best advantage at the roughing stage, let’s look at the options for mounting your blanks…
Richard Raffan is the author of Turning Wood, Turning Projects, Turning Bowls and Turning Boxes, all from the The Taunton Press.
Turning Bowls with Richard Raffan
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Photos: Richard Raffan; drawings: Michael Gellatly