Footed Ogee Bowl archive

Thursday 25 September 2008

Mark Baker turns this delicate bowl


Natural-edge work is something that most turners will try, if only to see what can be made from an odd log that has sat in the corner of the workshop for ages. Natural-edge pieces do not have to be made from whole logs, where the grain is running parallel to the rotational axis of the lathe, as with spindles. They can also be made from wood that has the grain running at 90 degrees to the axial rotation, as with most bowls.

This little project is an excellent introduction. Using a log of apple, we are going to make a small natural-edged bowl, and in this case the grain is running as in a spindle.

This is an unseasoned log, so we can explore the techniques of turning wet or green wood. Apple cuts well when dry, but, like most woods, it cuts exceptionally well when wet. Finishing, however, is less easy; we will look at techniques to overcome this.

Instead of using a roughing gouge followed by a spindle gouge, we will use a bowl gouge. The log is very out of true, and the toolrest may be a long way from where we need to work, so the extra blade thickness comes in very handy to reduce vibration. A spindle gouge will also be used, but only on the foot. The foot does not follow the convention of being between 1/3 and 1/2 of the overall diameter; instead, it is small and delicate, in keeping with the overall form.

David Preece

Tagged In:

Mark Baker , Bowl , Footed Ogee Bowl

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"This is an unseasoned log, so we can explore the techniques of turning wet or green wood"

The view from above emphasizes the irregularity of the log

Top Tips

- The technique of shining light through the wood to reveal the wall thickness can be used on all forms of wet turning. With natural-edge work I find it easier to apply the finish once the piece is off the lathe
- If the piece were larger than this, you would not be able to make the finishing cuts from top to bottom. Instead, after removing most of the waste, work down in 1–2in (25–50mm) sections, finishing off each section before going on to the next. Working in this way, you will be able to achieve a uniform wall thickness without being hampered by flexing or distortion of the walls
- When cutting the bark edge, the gouge will not be in contact all the time. Do not apply too much pressure, and do not alter the initial angle of cut: you will soon be back into solid wood and have full bevel contact again

Diagrams Click an image to enlarge