Introduction: Tyre Bowl- Basic Bowl Turning

About: I am a 22 year old woodturner from Sydney. I have been wood turning for about 6.5 years and have completed my apprenticeship in cabinetmaking. I left my full time work to try and make it as a wood turner

This instructables will cover basics in bowl turning as well as some extra in colouring and texturing with pyrography. Ive been experimenting with textures on simple bowls to make them unique. This one is for the rev heads :)

Step 1: Shaping the Outside of the Bowl

I start with all of my blanks cut round on the band saw. This piece is fixed to the lathe on a screw chuck which I think is the most efficient method for small bowls like this. Using a bowl gouge I take most of the corner off as it needs to be removed anyway. This is done with a few quick heavy push cuts. I then true up the remain edge to keep it balanced. Mark the foot diameter of your bowl. With the chuck fully closed, I add 2mm to make sure you have the strongest hold possible.

Shaping the bowl, you want to focus on the shape and try to prevent high points for an even curve. You want to be looking at the top edge of the bowl rather that where the tool is in contact with the timber to ensure this. For the final cut I use a small sharp gouge with a push cut. This often gets me the best results (pic 7). Its only got a small bit of tear out. I cleaned this up with a shear cut. This is done with the tool handle down and tool rolled over, cutting fairly upright. You should get the shavings like in picture 8. A shear cut will also give you a good finish and clean edge at the foot.

For this job I wanted to add some extra details for the design. I rounded over the top edge working from the face using a pull cut. The other detail I added was the grooves. That was done with a small parting tool with tap on the tool as a depth gauge. With the clean cut I then sanded from 180 grit to 400.

Step 2: Shaping the Inside of the Bowl

Finish shaping the rim working down the grain. I had already marked the edge of the rim with a v cut.

You can practice your cuts on the inside of the bowl. Start with the tool rolled over on the side. After starting the cut in about 1-2mm then you can roll over the to a more open cut that will remove more timber. Keep the bevel rubbing to have a controlled cut.
When under cutting, do the same process but push the tool across on an angle rather that straight in. You want to have a nice flowing curve on the inside. Move your body as you make the cut for more control. Once again, work through the grits and sand the bowl.

Step 3: Controlling Stain

Timber is a porous material so a stain can come through to the inside of the bowl. Its like a bunch of straws. This happens to the end grain more than the rest of it (straws are shorter at this point). There are a few ways of controlling it. You can air brush it on in thin coats. You can keep bowls thick. You can use less porous timber. The method I used was blocking it from the inside with lacquer. The lacquer is also sucked into the pores and stops it from going though.
The over spray of the lacquer would affect the finish of the stain. So I stain the top edge with the india ink. With the lathe on a very slow speed I applied the stain off a rag. This should get a crisp edge at the rim. I only stained the top edge because there was still more work to be done on the sides. I then sprayed 2 coats of lacquer on the inside of the bowl.
Using cole jaws, jam chuck or large jaws like I have, blend the tenon into the bowl. Work from the bottom out like the standard shaping of a bowl.

Step 4: Burning the Design

Burning makes for an effective carving tool providing you dont mind the black or are going to colour it. The wire actually cuts the fibers with no tear out because of the heat. I drew my simple design using a pencil with the spacing done with the indexing on the lathe.

The trick to effective burning is consistent heat, pressure and movement. With these all equal, you should have even lines. It may be a bit different in end grain compared to side. I used a straight cutter for the straight lines for control and the point of it for the curves

Step 5: Finishing It

From this point I was able to easily finish the stain. I used a brush first to get into the groves and burnt lines. I tried not to get any drips running round as you dont want it pooling in those hard to get spots. For the rest of it I used a rag for an even finish. Its easier to control but harder to get those tough spots. After it dried, I sprayed on 4 coats of lacquer, cutting back with 600 grit paper after the 3rd. Be careful not to cut back too much through the stain.

Step 6: Finished

All done. Im fairly happy with the design of this bowl. The shape I think I did well, creating a curve where there is not one on a tyre but suits the bowl design well. Im really happy with the shape in the rim. The one think that I would work on is the design in the burning. Hopefully it finds a home with someone that loves their cars. Happy turning

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017