Wooden bowls are beautiful and easy to make because they come straight from a log. There isn't any cutting or gluing, so the natural beauty of the wood can shine. Once you figure out how to use the lathe tools properly, it's really satisfying to watch the shavings pile up by your feet.
First, you need to find a good-sized log. After cutting it into a blank you mount it on the lathe and rough it out. Slowly, you shape it until it vaguely resembles a bowl. On your first try, anything that looks like a bowl is an accomplishment. With practice, you will be able to complete a bowl in a short afternoon by reducing sanding time and learning to hog out the inside quickly.

They also make great gifts, and luckily they're practically free to make. You just have to find a log!

WARNING: woodturning is addicting. You see, the spinning chunks of wood create a vortex that sucks money into it. You may be tempted to spend hours in the workshop, neglecting to eat or do homework.
With all that said, eating and doing homework are not nearly as fun as woodturning :)
And you can find deals on craigslist, too.

Step 1: Whatcha Gonna Need?

A lathe, quite obviously. (discussed on next page)

A faceplate to attach the rough chunk of wood

A chuck to do the inside of the bowl

A chunk of wood to put in the chuck

A bowl gouge

A drill for screwing in the face plate

And finally a good live center to put in the tailstock.

Other gouges are very useful but not completely necessary, although an inexpensive, small skew used as a scraper can be useful for the chucking up the bowl.

And you need either a bandsaw or a handsaw that can handle your log. You're going to need to cut it up a lot.

A finish for your bowl-I use the same finish i use on my cutting boards-its a mix of wax and mineral oil. I love this finish, but any moisture will leave spots.

A face shield or at the very least a pair of large safety glasses. You don't want to break your nose if a chunk comes flying off or if your bowl breaks. (See step 8)

A dust mask, preferably a respirator since sanding makes a ton of dust.

Than you need miscellaneous stuff like a broom and fan for the shavings :)
How beautiful bowls!
Aw, thank you :) The wood is pretty amazing. <br>Muchas gracias. La madera muy brillante tambien.
Very complete instructions about turning, thanks for them. I will try green wood, you convinced me. <br> <br>For food-safe finishing, I use egg white (albumen). When dry, the light hardens it and turns it insoluble. You must do 6 or 7 coats to get a semi-gloss finish. Fine sanding between coats. A coat dries in 2 to 4 hours depending environmental humidity and heat. <br> <br>You can save the albumen 2 or 3 days in a closed jar without problems.
Hey that's a great pearl to share, thank you!
I must say that I don't think I have ever heard of that method. <br>The egg whites never spoil or cloud up? That's really interesting. When I get back home I'll have to try that one. <br>Thanks :)
<a href="https://www.google.com.ar/search?q=egg+albumen+as+varnish&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:es-ES:official&client=firefox-a" rel="nofollow">Here you can find</a> some about the matter.<br> <br> I have some photos, but here in comments the uploader does not work.
<p>Great bowl! I've made a few bowls, and I was envious of how thin your walls were--until one broke! You did a great job of recovering it, though. I need to get my courage up and try that. Nice work!</p><p>I'm sure you're not short on blanks, but if you ever run low, your local dump probably has a place for logs and yard waste. Mine does, and you're allowed to take anything you want, no charge! We have a lot of cedar and hackberry here, and we sometimes get osage orange. You should check it out if you get a chance!</p>
<p>Nice bowl. You know it would be a lot easier to cut the blank into a round at the bandsaw? If you do that then it wouldn't be so out of balance and you can start turning at around 600 revs. Works for me!</p>
Actually, I didn't own a bandsaw when I made this instructables/this bowl. <br>Since then, I've purchased one. It definitely makes cutting the blanks a lot easier! I actually have an excess of blanks now that I haven't had time to turn. Oops!

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