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
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
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
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
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.