Turning a Wavy Ash Bowl in Quebec

In Tutorial by jackmanworks@gmail.com0 Comments

I visited Pat Lap (from the Le PicBois channel) in Québec last month and we got to spend some time in his shop! I turned this live edge bowl/hat out of a piece of ash that was the other half of a log from the video he did with Sterokroma. I can’t believe I got to work on the Frankenslathe!! Hope you enjoy all the sites and sound of Québec – Montreal axe throwing, the Paulcast Patcast Podcast at the sugar shack, Le Château Frontenac, and the St. Lawrence River.

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Notable Materials:

> Ash log
> Abrasive Paste and Finishing Wax

Notable Tools:

> Compass
> Hammer
> Bandsaw
> Lathe Faceplate
> Lathe Chuck
> Double ended caliper
> Chisel
> Sandpaper

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MUSIC
■ Alon Barak – A Free Man
https://soundcloud.com/alonbarakmusic
■ Low Commotion – Place I know
https://soundcloud.com/lowcommotionband

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Build Details:

I start with this chunk of an Ash log that is the other half of a log he used when he shot a video with Stereokroma.

A compass is used to determine what kind of diameter I can get out of this bowl.

I scribe out a circle on a piece of cardboard and cut it out to use it as a template. This is temporarily nailed in place in the center of the log.

The log is put on the band saw with the flat side down and I cut it down to a rough circular shape before we pop it on the lathe.

For the rough shaping I use a faceplate and mount this to the log with some screws.



I screw this onto the headstock and bring the tailstock in to help support the log until I take some of the weight off.

First turn up of the lathe, stand back! This lathe has a history of having things fly off of it 🙂

I bring the piece down round.

Then it’s a matter of shaping the bottom to size by rounding it out.

Once I get it to the shape I want I form a tenon on the bottom of the bowl so I can flip it around on the lathe and hollow out the inside of the bowl. Safety first!!

The tailstock is then pulled away from the bowl and the chuck is fastened into place by squeezing onto the tenon.



I can then take it off the lathe, remove the faceplate, and attach it back onto the lathe using the chuck.

The tailstock is brought up to the log again to help support it and it’s time to start hollowing. Let the chips fly!

It’s important to stay concentrated.

Every so often I’ll tighten up on the tenon to make sure the bowl is in there tight. Even though I was doing this we still had it fly off the lathe once… unfortunately we didn’t get that on camera.

Once I get it mostly hollowed out I can pull the tailstock away and break off the center bit. Then it’s just a matter of checking the thickness along the bowl until I get it down to about a half inch.

Taking some of the final cuts cleaning out the bottom of the bowl. We’re almost there.

It’s at this point the bowl is down to the final shape but I want it to have a little more visual interest to it so I go back to shaping the outside a bit more.



I decide to add some indents on the outside of the bowl to make it look kind of like the bowl is melting or is squished down from top to bottom.

I’d call that a success, now it’s just time for the best part.

Sanding!

Since I left the bark on the bowl I need to clean it up a bit on the edge and also pull off any loose pieces of bark.

For final sanding and to start the finishing process I use the abrasive paste. It goes on the fine sandpaper and helps keep the dust down while also working the first coat of finish.

I then finish the outside (being careful out on the wings of the bowl).

And then the inside of the bowl is finished.

Now it’s just a test fit… the bowl fits!



Now it’s just a matter of taking off the tenon from the bottom of the bowl. To do this I put some rags in the bottom of the inside of the bowl and position this against the chuck while I bring the tailstock up to the bottom of the bowl.

Then it’s just a matter of carefully cleaning up the tenon until there is just a little nub left in the center.

I add a few details lines on the bottom for some visual interest and then sand and finish the bottom of the bowl before popping it off the lathe.

The last bit is then to remove the nub with a chisel, sand this spot and apply some finish.

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