Rural Life in the UP of Michigan Some stories about life on 160 rural acres in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

May 6, 2013

My First Bowl

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin0 @ 9:35 pm

bowlLast fall, I cleared some land for an expanded garden space. Among the trees I dozed were several good sized wild apple trees. Apple has very interesting grains, and I had dreams of making some bowls from the salvaged apple wood. I watched some youtube videos like THIS ONE. It looked deceptively easy.

So I purchased some enhancements for my small wood lathe. I got a chuck, a new tail stock, some bowl turning chisels, and some sharpening jigs for the chisels. As I’ve so often learned in the past, it is much easier to buy the equipment than it is to use it.

After a very busy spring with maple syrup and Shiitake mushrooms, I finally had a small break in the projects today. I took the chainsaw out to the cleared land, and cut several pieces of apple wood, which I piled in the wheelbarrow and took to the shop.

***Here is an idea for an inventor. Design a wheelbarrow wheel that announces to the world that the tire is low and the axle needs grease when the wheelbarrow is empty, instead of waltzing effortlessly out to the job site, only to squeak and strain all the way home with a load.***

I chose one of the pieces of apple wood, split it in half, and mounted it on the lathe. The first part of the turning went pretty well. The shape of the outer part of the bowl went well for a first attempt. Then I spun it around and started removing the inside of the bowl. That didn’t go so well. I had trouble controlling the gouge. Several times, chunks of the bowl came loose when I became to aggressive with the tool. After a particularly wild cut, I turned the lathe off and went inside. My first bowl looks like something I made with a splitting sledge. But if I know myself, I learned more on this bowl than I will from any other bowl I’ll ever make. I hope to show a picture of a more successful bowl sometime soon.

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