Keys, snacks, fruits. What do they all have in common? You probably have bowls for them around the house. There’s definitely something magical in carving a bowl that you can actually use, and surprisingly, they’re super easy to create and take less time than you may think. So get your creative juices flowing, find some scrap wood and follow us on a journey from log to bowl.
The design and the wood
We found a tree branch (6”, 150mm in diameter) which dictated the size of the bowl and ended up as a small decorative bowl. We wanted something a little less conventional so we decided to go with an oval shape for the bowl… also because it worked well with the shape of the branch. Finally we decided to add a few little extra design elements so opted for a black textured band and little feet.
Using the TURBO Plane, plane the top and bottom level to create two flat surfaces, it’s pretty straight forward.
Mark the oval shape for the outline of the top of the bowl to suit the width of the log or branch. With the TUBRO Plane shape the outline of the bowl creating an elliptical cylinder. This requires a bit of patience and a light touch. Gentle gentle here are you don’t want to cut any large chunks that will impact the symmetry of the bowl.
Don’t worry about shaping the rounded curves at the bottom just yet.
Mark the inside of the bowl that you intend to hollow out.
Make sure to leave the wall thick enough for additional shaping from the outside to later create the 3D textured band.
Using the Ball Gouge on a 45 degree angle to start, hollow out the inside of the bowl, being careful not to be too aggressive as you need to leave room for adding the feet at the bottom as well as recessing on the outside of the bowl to create the raised black band.
When you are happy with the general shape of the bowl, it’s time for the first sand. Sand the inside as well as around the outside of the bowl. We used the Contour Sander, because it’s really quick at sanding curves but you can use any type of sander.
Don’t worry about being too thorough as the most important part at this stage to sand is where you wish to position the textured band.
Creating the textured band
It’s time to create your textured band. Once you know what pattern you want, mark out the width of the band around the outside of the bowl. Using the Ball Gouge lightly create a ripple texture making sure to cover the entire area where you marked the band as well as on the lines, as they will be cut back later.
Before you start texturing your bowl make sure you have a little practice on a scrap piece of wood until you perfect your pattern.
Add fire to your Bowl!
We used a propane torch (or you could use a Creme Brulee kitchen torch) to give the ripple texture a nice charcoal colour which really brought out the pattern the Ball Gouge made.
This part was a lot of fun!
Creating the raised band
Lightly pencil the the width of the band. Then using the TURBO Plane carefully and lightly start start removing above and below the pencilled marks. This bit can be a bit tricky. You will eventually have a complete raised textured band.
Don’t worry if it’s not even, it all adds to the character of the bowl.
Curving the bottom of the bowl
Once you are happy with the band turn the bowl over and lightly curve the edges to round the bottom leaving enough wood to carve the feet.
Sanding and oiling
Last steps, which really brings out the beautiful grain and colour of the wood. Gently sand the bowl being careful with the little feet and avoiding the band. Dust off your creation and it’s ready to oil.