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Carving a bowl ,Making the best of a piece of wood.

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  • Carving a bowl ,Making the best of a piece of wood.

    Hi Guys
    I had a nice piece of chestnut that developed a huge crack down the middle over a couple of years drying. The 1/4 inch wide crack didn't quite go full length through the block So I cut it in half and cut blanks from the piece with the bad crack in it. Will be able to get a bowl turned from the big bit.

    One of the blanks had beautiful striations and grain pattern but also a number of flaws in the block. How to make the best of it as I didn't want to wast it ? See photo, flaws marked with an x.

    I decided to go with a design based on a rock oyster pattern and drew it up so that all but 1 flaw were removed. I left that one as it wasn't too bad and I needed to get a balance to the piece that would not be so good if I cut the flaw out.

    I then cut the outline out on the bandsaw and cut the bowl with the big gouge. I found the rubber hammer worked better on the big gouge and was way less noisy.

    Once roughed out I sanded it down through the grades to 1000 grit then buffed it with goddards silver polishing cloth until it got a shine on it. The cloth has a super fine abrasive in it that works wonders for getting a good final gloss on the wood before applying a finish.

    No finish has been applied to ther piece yet. Doing it this way I will get everything the grain and striation patterns have to offer from the wood.

    Tomorrow I will shape the outside and start on the finish.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    That’s a pretty piece of wood.


    • #3
      Beautiful wood and workmanship, Glenn, and looking forward to the completion.
      Living among knives and fire.


      • #4
        Love the grain, Glenn. Great use of the wood the way it was. How is it to carve? I don't think I've ever carved chestnut.



        • #5
          Looks great, Glenn!

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          • #6
            Hi Glenn , your Design of the Bowl was dictated by the Grain and you read the Grain just right . The Old Imagination is a Great Tool isn't it , your Skill and Talent had a Little to do with it also . You added years of Life to that Old Piece of Wood, because someone will enjoy it for a Long Time . God Job Mate Merle


            • #7
              Hi Ed, Bill, Claude, Merle, Thanks for the nice comments guys.

              Hi Bob,
              In answer to your question. I have found that it turns nicely on the woodlathe and hand carves nicely if you go with or across the grain but it doesn't like big deep cuts going against the grain. Saying that, taking smaller bites at the apple so to speak worked just fine. Taking big deep cuts was ok on the course roughing out but shallow cuts against the grain worked best with no breakouts once you get close to the required thickness.

              The rough sawn blocks look white to the eye and you could be forgiven for thinking oh year just another white wood that's a bit harder then pine.
              Not so. Once you get the wood smoothed off you begin to see the subtle colour emerge. The finer you go with the sandpaper grade the brighter the colour seems to be. It can also vary in colour quite a lot in a single block of wood which makes it very decorative.

              It also has a nice tight grain so doesn't require a lot of grain filling to look good. It is also pretty tough so you don't have to be too gentle with it.

              The wood doesn't "come alive" until you put the finish on it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you see the difference with finish on it and will soon be off looking for a chestnut tree with saw in hand . hehehe.


              • #8
                Some has been said about the grain of the wood, as well it should be. Your eye indeed captured the grain in your chosen design. I agree with Bill, will be watching for your finished efforts.
                . . .JoeB


                • #9
                  Beautyful polish you have in that.


                  • #10
                    Agree with the others Glenn. NICE WORK. Great use of the grain,
                    We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi


                    • #11
                      One of the best things I like about working with wood, its amazing the beauty of wood and its grain patterns. Your piece super shows this off. Great job.
                      . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di


                      • #12
                        Great showcase for an elegant piece of wood. Well planned.

                        Would it make any difference if you had carved the outside into a pleasing shape before doing the inside? I ruined a number of dishes doing the inside first.
                        Brian T


                        • #13
                          Hi Guys,
                          Thanks for the nice comments.

                          Hi Brian.
                          I carve the inside first as this is the hardest to remove and it gives me a solid edge to rest up against a block of wood nailed to the bench so that I can get some real pressure onto it in the carving process.

                          The outside edge I go power tool and use the edge of the blade on the saw bench and just drag the work over the side of the edge of the blade. You have to have 100% concentration when doing this and be sure the fingers are nowhere near the blade at all times. You can rip off a lot of wood very fast doing it that way and get it roughed out in a very short time and no stress is applied to the wood so one doesn't get break-outs or cracks.

                          Next I refine the shape using a angle grinder with a 40 grit flat flapper disc on it to take off the worst of the bumps.

                          Next stage is to trim the shaped sides with a super sharp flat blade chisel. Then sand down through the grades.

                          I would NOT recommend guys new to power tools use this method until they have had quite a bit of time on the tools to get used to them and safety has had a chance to be ingrained in all that you do.

                          A moments inattention WILL cost you some injury time if you catch a finger on the blade.

                          Those with a dremel could do it using the dremel saw blade. It would just take longer. That way the work could be clamped.


                          • #14
                            Hi Guys,
                            Well it is finished now and has had 3 coats of tru oil and a couple of coats of MAXWAX. What the phohtos don't show very well is that the grain patterns have produced a very nice 3D effect. It is as if you are somehow looking into the wood.

                            What I like about this piece is it looks different as you look at it from different angles which makes it kind of interesting.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Glenn Jennings; 04-03-2021, 08:09 PM.


                            • #15
                              All that needs to be done to finish your bowl is to fill it with candy or mints, Well done
                              . . .JoeB