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...

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Richard Raffan is the author of Turning Wood, Turning Projects, Turning Bowls and Turning Boxes, all from the The Taunton Press.

Excerpted From:

Turning Bowls with Richard Raffan
An experienced master reveals the secrets to turning great bowls

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Photos: Richard Raffan; drawings: Michael Gellatly