- Arts and Design
Building a bowl from a board
How to build a bowl from a board
Yes, You can build a bowl from a flat board. Here I will show how to make a compound miter bowl from a flat board.
In most cases you can get more than one bowl from a board.
This is a way to use highly figured domestic and exotic hardwoods. It's much less expensive to make a bowl from a board than it is to buy a figured one piece turning blank.
This photo shows a section of a board that was laid out to show how to cut two bowls from the same board. The numbers are one bowl and the letters are another. If your board is long enough for two bowls you should use this cutting method because the grain will match better.
You don't need to actually mark out the board being cut but you do need to mark the segments after you cut them so you can keep them in order. Especially if your making 2 bowls.
The first step in designing these types of bowls is to decide on a diameter, a slope and the amount of segments you want to use.
I usually go with 12 segments because I think it looks the best.
A slope of between 30 and 45 degrees looks normal. Anything less looks flat and more looks too steep. I would suggest staying in this range.
Diameter is totally up to you. It can be anything as long as you have the correct material.
The board I used for the bowls below was 48" long, 4-3/4" wide and 1/2" thick. You can go thicker if you want.
To cut the segments I set my tablesaw blade to 9 degrees and the miter sled to 12 degrees. In this case the segment length was 2-5/16" The segment length is measured on the upper outside of each segment. I will end up with 8" diameter bowls.
Cutting calculator and software
The segments seen here for these 2 bowls were all cut from the same board using the dimensions given above.
I cut thin zebrawood dividers and glued them between the segments. Then I added a zebrawood bottom. The end result was the bowl (top left) in the Design alternatives pictures below.
This picture shows how to mark the segments. After the cut is made you flip the board, mark the length and cut again. Keep flipping and cutting until you have enough segments.
I use the first segment as a template for marking all the rest.
Once you have them all cut it's a good idea to clean up the edges. I do that by hand with a piece of sandpaper glued to a flat board. I use kitchen sink cutouts because they are very flat.
If you don't have access to a sink cutout you can buy small pieces of melamine at most all lumberyards.
This photo shows a few different ways to do compound bowls. There are lots of ways you can do these.
Top left- Curly oak with zebrawood dividers and a zebrawood bottom..
Top right - redwood burl with dyed veneer dividers and a gaboon ebony bottom.
Bottom left- claro walnut with black dyed veneer dividers and claro walnut bottom.
Bottom right- quilted maple with no dividers and quilted maple bottom.
Compound miter bowl examples
The bowl on the right is the one we built in this article. The other one is tulipwood.
Compound Mitered Zebrawood
Nested Compound Bowls
These 3 bowls were all made with the same quilted maple board. I dyed them with a water base dye then lacquered them.
If you found my article to be of any value please take the time to rate it. Bob
Tulipwood with gaboon ebony staved wood bowl.
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Woodturning,segmented woodturning and wood goblets turned by Bob Pritchard using domestic and exotic wood
- Woodturning wood goblets by Bob Pritchard
Instructions for building and turning segmented staved and one piece wood goblets.
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Segmented woodturning projects
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