How to Make a Turned Wood Bowl
Use a lathe to turn out a one-of-a-kind decorative bowl.
Materials and Tools:
2-inch-thick dried milled-surfaced poplar (available at most lumber-supply stores)
turning tools: 4-jaw chuck, faceplate, bowl gouge, bedan tool
1. Set two pieces of milled-surfaced poplar on top of each other and glue them together to create a deep bowl. You can also use a piece of 2-inch or 3-inch wood stock for a smaller bowl.
3. Unclamp the dried poplar and, using a compass, draw a circle the size of the exterior of your bowl on the top surface of the poplar. Mark an "X" at the center point of the circle.
4. Carefully cut the poplar into a circle with the band saw, using the drawn lines as a guideline.
5. Center the faceplate on the top surface of the poplar and screw it down with a drill and drywall screws. Use the "X" mark as a guide for placement of the faceplate. Note: Don't use long screws that will penetrate to the other side of the poplar.
6. Mount the material on the lathe using the faceplate, and adjust the lathe's gauge to a low speed.
7. Move the tool rest close to the mounted poplar and slightly below the center axis.
8. Turn the lathe on and, using a bowl gouge, center the mounted poplar. The lathe will be a little wobbly until the material becomes balanced.
10. Once the final shape of the bottom of the bowl has been turned, move the tool rest out of the way and sand the bowl to 220-grit, starting with 80-grit or 100-grit.
11. Detach the bowl from the lathe and unscrew the drywall screws from the faceplate.
13. Once the bowl is secured and level, mount the bowl and chuck in the lathe.
14. Move the tool rest close to the poplar and slightly below the center axis.
15. Turn on the lathe and, using a bowl gouge, even off the top surface. This will be the rim of the bowl.
17. Move the tool rest out of the way and sand the inside of the bowl the same way the exterior was sanded.
18. Brush off any loose dust.
19. Mix the milk paint according to the packet directions, using equal parts paint and water. Strain.
21. Allow the paint to dry and apply another coat.
23. Carefully detach the painted bowl from the four-jaw chuck carefully. Paint the inside of the foot.
25. To seal the surface, apply thin coats of clear-coat shellac or lacquer at first and slowly build up the layers. This protects the bowl and reveals a shiny finish.