Recall my previous attempt at a bowl on my pole lathe
back in early July. A comedy of errors, truly one of
those "learning experiences" one hears about. Fast
forward a few weeks, and I've had time to think about
what I did right and wrong, and to make a new tool. That's right, he's blaming the tool, folks. Turning
is like that I guess.
A short time (that's Galoot time, not SWMBO time) ago
fellow Galoot Ed Paik dropped off a hunk of freshly cut
maple he had scavenged from his neighbor. I roughed out
a couple of bowl blanks from this rapidly drying maple,
slathered them with wax emulsion, and put them in a
plastic bag to keep them wet enough to work. Time
passed, and my summer holidays approached, and the bowl
blanks grew moldy and ugly.
When I finally got to the cottage (where my pole
lathe lives) the weather was not conducive to spending a
lot of time outside at an activity like operating a pole
lathe. Sitting on the beach drinking cold beverages was
a more proper occupation when the temp ran over 35 C. So I set up the lathe in the "basement" (more
correctly termed a crawlspace in this instance, but tall
enough for a short guy like me) and mounted the Bodger's
Muddle in the rafters above. The basement was a bit
cooler than the Great Outdoors, so I could actually work
on the lathe without expiring from heat exhaustion.
I used the mandrel I made in July (scavenged birch from the firewood pile). A 1 inch hole bored in
the face of the bowl blank would accept the end of the
Note the mould growing on
my bowl blank... turners love this kind of thing, they call it "spalting". With my luck, it'll end up being just plain ugly.
It's just a friction fit, driven with a mallet. This
whole arrangement is then set into the lathe, with the
drive rope around the mandrel. The outside of the bowl
gets rounded off first, using a roughing gouge and a Sorby bowl gouge.
I dunno if the Old Guys used anything
like a bowl gouge, but it worked great on the pole lathe
for me. This is where I was stymied last time.
Now that the outside was round, it was time to start
And here's the fun part: you can't get too close to
the centre because you need the strength there to drive
the bowl, and if it gets too thin, then that hammered-in
tenon will split that mortise. That's one of those
"lessons" I mentioned earlier...