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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Tale Of Two Bowls

I wanted to make a nice bowl for my Mom. So I glued up blanks for two bowls. Why two bowls? I have learned the hard way with laminated bowls. You glue up two. If one happens to become firewood for some reason, you have another to work with. If both become firewood in the same day, it is time to go to the house.
I am sure glad I glued up two blanks.
I usually can tell you why a bowl failed. Sometimes it's a catch. Sometimes it's an unseen knot. I don't know exactly what happened to this one though. All I can tell you for sure is that the upper two layers decided they wanted to fly. This reminds me of another lesson I've learned the hard way that I'd like to share with anyone who may turn a bowl. Especially on larger bowls, never stand in the line of fire when working on the inside. Anything can go wrong and they do hurt if something breaks off and hits you. I know this from experience. Let me say that again. It hurts.
Anyway, the way this bowl broke, I was able to part off what little was left of the damaged part and just make the bowl a little shallower than originally intended.
It is made of pecan and sapelle. It is finished with a butcher block conditioner. This has become my preferred finish for bowls until I can find something better that is also food safe.
I still had the other blank to turn though.
Everything went as planned with this bowl. Also, this was the first time I've turned a laminated bowl with the wood in this orientation. The way the grain is running, I was able to sweep my gouges from the rim to the center, as you would a regular bowl turning, or from center to rim, as you would an end grain turning. This gave me much more freedom to hog out the material whichever way I chose depending on where I was working at the moment. This made things go very quickly on it. I will definitely be playing with this type of glue up more in the future. 

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