Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
big bowl turning

John Lucas
>I went to a show opening today and my friend Marion Randolph had several bowls there. I was talking to him about the largest one and though you all might benefit from his technique. This was a 36"(give or take a couple of inches) poplar bowl about 12 to 14" deep. Absolutely perfect in shape with no undulations of any sort in the surface. He's a good turner. It was about 1 1/2" thick with a slighly thicker lip. I asked him how he kept the wood from checking. He said he first roughed it really thick about 6 or 8" then coated it with anchor seal. Then he let it sit for a couple of weeks and remounted it and turned another 1/2" away, sealed it again and put it up. He did this until the moisture content was down to 16% and then took off a little more with each turning session. When it was down to 10% he finished turning it. This must work because the bowl was perfectly round with no tearout and great color. I'll admit that takes a patient person but the results speak for themselves. By the way it was turned on a homemade lathe.

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big bowl turning
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