Four Part Bowl
Friday 17 October 2008
Tracy Owen turns four bowls that can fit together like a jigsaw
Over the past several years I have been making off-centre pieces of work - turning more than one bowl form out of the same piece of wood. These have mainly been two bowls, but have been as many as four, which usually run into one another. This type of work is normally made from very irregular shaped pieces of wood.
The piece of ash (Fraxinus sp) for this project had been kicking around for five or six years and because of its unusual shape I had been unsure how to cut it, let alone what to make from it so it was put on one side until I could find the best use for it. Recently I decided it was about time I got the saw to it. With it being such an unusual shape it had to be cut using my chainsaw rather than the bandsaw. It was cut it into four slices, the smallest of which had some splits and cracks in it and went straight into the fire pile.
I chose the centre slab of the remaining three for this project, as it was the best overall shaped piece for it. My first thought was to make this as one piece with four bowls forms. Then I had the idea of cutting it into four separate pieces so that it fit together like a jigsaw. It could then be used together or as individual bowls.
Glossary Rollover a term to view its definition
- Bowl Gouge
A cutting tool with a deep flute and a heavy cross-section. These are normally made from round bars and the flute is milled out. The round bar fits into the handle thus giving the tool a great deal of strength to enable it to overhang the toolrest a long way in order to hollow out deep bowls. Its primary function is for faceplate - or bowl turning - but it can also be used in spindle work. The bevel angle is ground to suit the user but is anything between 40 degrees and 80 degrees. Traditionally, bowl gouges are ground straight across, but many turners prefer to grind the wings back. There are many terms for a swept back bowl gouge - fingernail grind, O'Donnell grind, Irish grind, Ellsworth grind, lady's finger - to name a few. There may be subtle differences in these grinds, but generically they are all bowl gouge grinds where the wings have been ground back.
- Spindle Gouge
Modern day spindle gouges are made in the same way as bowl gouges - from a round bar of M2 high speed steel with the flute milled out. The flute is shallower and more open than that of a bowl gouge. Traditionally spindles gouges were forged from a flat, rectangular sectioned bar and some manufacturers have started making a modern day version of this, commonly known as the Continental Style spindle gouge.
Like their name suggests, spindle gouges are used to cut details such as beads, coves and fillets on spindle work.
The unusual ash growth cut into slabs, the smallest one having already been scrapped. For this project I used the middle piece of the remaining three
The top face of the previously mentioned piece of ash
When I removed the bark some of it was damaged in places so it all had to be removed. Had it been intact I might have been tempted to leave it on the finished piece. I took care not to damage the wood directly under the bark so that it would only need a light sandblasting
Diagrams Click an image to enlarge