Turning Archive 2005

Re: Can't have too many salad bowl posts.

Mike Schwing from Md.
>David, congrats!

I would suggest asking her what size she considers to be a good salad bowl, after all, she's the customer. There are only two people in my home, so the right size for us is different than that for a large family. A 2 person salad in a big bowl looks sadly lacking.

Hopefully you agreed on a price beforehand. Did you tell her how long it takes to make a salad bowl from a green piece of wood? Unless you're segmented turning, quite a while, unless you're an alcohol drying proponent.

Species? I made my first bowls out of poplar. Not many would think the best choice, but Mrs. Schwingding scarfed them up out of the burn pile and insists they're her favorite bowls (but they give me nightmares). Mostly I use whatever species I find locally. I believe that Russ thinks walnut is a poor choice for salad bowls due to the color, but I find it attractive against bright red tomatoes and fresh greens. I make a lot of cherry and maple salad bowls. Use whatever you can get your hands on cheaply, unless you're being paid for very fancy figured bowls or something specific. Cherry and maple are my favorites for this, I think.

Finish? Don't go too nuts, any finish you apply will become dull, damaged, and wear off through use. Watco followed by buffing is a favorite choice around here. I've stopped using that finishing regimen on salad bowls because my customers are too disappointed when the nice bright sheen is destroyed by use. Instead I now use nothing other than wax finishes. They're easy to reapply, look nice, and are harmless, and the appearance change with use isn't so dramatic. They take a lot less time to apply, too.

Good luck!

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