Natural Edge Bowl

I had a nice piece of Walnut that was dry enough to try my hand at turning a natural edge bowl. Not just a natural edge bowl, but one that wasn’t round, instead elongated which meant that I would be turning “air” as the cut was interrupted 4 times per revolution until I was deep enough to encounter solid wood. It was an interesting experience as you can tell by the following photos and I will try it again as my confidence builds.

finished natural edge bowl

Bowl with 6 coats of Wood Turner’s Finish on each side


log on screw chuck

The log is held on by a course screw that is secured in the chuck


Beginning to turn

When you first start the turning process, it is somewhat violent because the cut is interrupted 4 times per revolution


Shaping outside

You can see the bowl profile emerge as more material is removed

Completed outside profile

I’m happy with the shape so the next step is to turn a tenon on the bottom

Completed tenon

The tenon is completed which will fit in the chuck so the bowl can be hollowed

Sanding outside of bowl

This bowl doesn’t lend itself to sanding while the lathe is turning so I did it by hand

Applying finish to outside

I finished the outside with 6 coats of Wood Turner’s Finish before re-mounting to hollow the bowl

Re-chucked for hollowing

After the outside was finished, it was turned around for the hollowing process

Beginning point

Note the screw hole from the previous method of mounting

Beginning hollowing

Cut through the bark as the hollowing process proceeds

Whirling timber

If you look closely, you can see the ghost outline of the ends of the log. It’s this area that the cut is interrupted so care must be taken not to get too aggressive with the cut

Taking shape

Taking shape

Almost done

I wanted the rim to be about 1/4″ thick but settled for about 3/8″ because I was concerned that I would destroy the bowl if I went any further

Side View

Side View

Ready for finishing

Same as the outside, the inside had to be sanded by hand

Bowl with finish applied

Six layers of finish were applied to the inside