Over the last two weekends I made this bowl.
It’s made from a maple crotch, so there’s a big bark inclusion going right down the middle, and you can see the center rings from both forks, one on each side of the bowl.
It’s been a while since I did any turning, and I had to re-learn the right feel of how to present the tool on the work, especially with the bowl gouge when working the inside.
Here’s how it ended up after last Saturday. There were several rings and gouges that I wasn’t really happy with, but it was getting late and I wasn’t getting any better.
I left it on the faceplate though, so that I could put it back on the lathe later if I felt more motivated.
Well, the weekend passed and I decided that I wasn’t going to be satisfied with how thick the walls were, or the big gouge marks, so I put it back on the lathe and started thinning things down.
I did have several more catches which ruined the rim and I had to make the bowl shorter to clean them up. You can see that the bark inclusion is now all the way through the rim, where there had been solid wood on the rim before.
Unfortunately this meant that the bowl was much weaker. I actually tightly wrapped the bowl in masking tape while turning the insides so it wouldn’t fly apart. The base was screwed to the faceplate too, so there was enough support.
In fact, once I took the tape off, I could grab both sides of the bowl and make pull them apart a little bit. To compensate for the weakness I drilled two holes on each side of the crack on each side of the bowl, and made these walnut handles from a log I had sitting around. The handles have pegs that fit into the holes in the bowl. I put some watered-thinned wood glue in the crack, and then glued the handle pegs into the holes.
After that, I did one more pass with 1200 grit sandpaper and wiped it all down with a mix of mineral oil and beezwax.
The handles are slightly offset, but I still like it. It was great to get back to turning. I’m glad the weather is getting warmer!