Introduction: From Log to Dough Bowl

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There's a lot of trees cut up and laying by the road. Most people don't mind if you take a couple, but always get permission. Once I collect my logs and get them home, I cut out the core, or pith, with a chain saw. Taking out the pith eliminates much of the checking/cracking that happens as a log dries.

Step 1: Bulk Removal

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Take off the bark and flatten your base. I used a bench plane and got a nice workout. (this whole project was kind of a good arm workout!) Then flip it and shape the bowl inside first for stability. I started with an adze, then remembered I had a grinder wheel designed for the job. I used a Lancelot 22 tooth wheel, and with the grinder was able to hog out a good portion of the inside. I felt like I cheated for a moment...but then remembered how much I like power tools :) and, I still had a long ways to go! SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY! that Lancelot is a very dangerous tool, use at your own risk, follow the safety instructions, and wear proper safety gear!

Step 2: After Hogging

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So, after I hogged out a lot of the bowl, I switched back to the mallet and gouges, and refined the bowl. This took a good bit of time, but was well worth it.

Step 3: The Outside

Picture of The Outside

Using a handsaw, I cut into the log ends to make a stop cut. This way my gouges would not cut into the rim I was creating. I shaped the entire exterior once the inside was complete. I then used a random orbital sander to remove the sharp edges while maintaining the nice shallow gouge marks.

Step 4: Finishing

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I used mineral oil...the kind you can find at a supermarket or corner drug store, to finish the bowl. It is a food safe oil. The bowl was then done and ready for use.

Comments

SergeE (author)2016-04-02

You mention from log to bowl, but I did not notice anything about drying the log. Did you let it dry ? How long ?

A neighbour just down a couple of large trees and I was thinking about asking for a few logs / chunks. But didn't want to have the wood sit for ages to dry before I can make something out of it.

Tops Woodworking (author)SergeE2016-04-03

Very good question, thank you. The log I used was from a tree which was felled a couple months prior to my collecting it. I stored the logs in my shop for a couple more months, after I had sliced out the pith with my chainsaw. When I chopped it into a bowl, it still had a higher moisture level which was what I wanted as it's much easier to work with. I call it done because this bowl will not be allowed to dry out completely. It will be regularly rinsed with water after use, and oiled between longer periods of non-use.

If you can get some of the logs from your neighbor's yard, I'd grab some up and at least get the pith cut out so it doesn't check/crack as much as it could. Or, paint the ends so the moisture evaps through the bark. Try working the wet wood, leave it a uniform thickness when you're done if you want it to dry completely (or even with the environment it will be stored in) and it will dry a lot quicker than in log form. It can take a couple years for a log to dry/season. Weeks or months for a formed bowl depending on what you want.

I hope this was helpful. I know other woodworkers may raise and eyebrow at me...but its working so far :) Have a great day, and thanks for looking at my project! Rod

Yonatan24 (author)2016-03-30

What a beauty! I want to make one!

Thanks! I hope you do, it's a fun workout!

OneBirdieMa (author)2016-03-30

Good God! This is great! The vid of a human being playing woodpecker! I have an oak I cut down in my back yard . . .I don't have the woodworking space and tools to do this though! But the bread I bake (and there's a lot of it) would love to rise in this rather than my old stainless bowl . . . or in the dough maker . . . I'd suggest pure tung oil (among other places, available at the Real Milk Paint company online) for finishing the bowl.

hahaha! Thank you for making me laugh! Your oak tree sounds full of potential... and good home made bread is the most comforting of comfort foods! I appreciate the tip, I'll check it out. Thanks for watching!

As a woodworker and someone who loves to cook, I have to say, this is an awesome job! well done!!

Ah, we have both interests in common! Thank you!

I'll be following on you tube as well. I'm curious though, what rig are you using for holding your camera in the video? You get some great angles and shots!

Thank you very much! It's just a simple tripod that extends to bout 66 inches tall. I also have a short desk top tripod for when I'm at the desk. Thanks for watching!

momoluv (author)2016-03-29

Great work, very unique

Tops Woodworking (author)momoluv2016-03-29

Thank you!

wold630 (author)2016-03-29

Very nicely done! Looks like it was a labor of love!

Tops Woodworking (author)wold6302016-03-29

Thanks very much!

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