As The Yarn Bowl Turns.
"A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working."
~ Author unknown
~ Author unknown
Overly aggressive use of any tool can lead to an adverse reaction and safety issues. Turning wood can be like playing golf, where a nice smooth swing with the proper club can produce a nice shot as opposed to a hard swing that goes out of control. Think of what pottery would look like if the artist tried to choke the clay with clenched hands. We all have days when we function differently because of how we are feeling, what is on our mind or just over enthusiasm.
I find that after completing the exterior of a bowl is not uncommon to become overzealous with the hollowing process especially with very hard wood like white oak. Always use the tailstock to support the piece as long as possible and keep your tool sharp so that a light touch is all that is needed. Too much pressure or an inadvertent angle change can cause the tool to CATCH causing a nasty gouge in the wood or worse, knocking the piece out of the chuck.
A heavy piece flying out of the chuck is not only dangerous but can damage the nice exterior and at the least cause the piece to be difficult or impossible to re-chuck accurately causing the bowl to be out of round as you continue. Remember you are creating a work of art not digging a ditch. If you are not comfortable, walk away and do something else or clean up the shop and come back fresh later.
When I initially turned this piece, I tossed it aside because I thought it wouldn't finish nicely. A few months later, I picked it up and decided to sand a little and see what would emerge. I was surprised to find some spalting and interesting grains inspiring me to finish this unique piece and name it after a Native American meditation.
Wood Type: Camphor
Wood Origin: Salvage Yard
Description: Navajo Style Bowl with Turquoise Inlay
Dimensions: 6 1/4" x 5 1/4"
Display pieces have been given a final coat of museum grade wax, which will resist fingerprints and staining. Over time an occasional light buffing with a quality furniture wax will maintain the beauty of the wood.
Food safe pieces have been finished with walnut oil and/or beeswax. After food service, rinse your wooden bowl or plate with mild soap and warm water. Never put in a dishwasher or microwave. Let it air dry and wipe with a coat of Butcher Block Conditioner (available at most big box stores) or walnut oil.
To find center I clamp a short section of ½ inch conduit in my bench vise and place a level along side to make sure it's straight. Now it's simply a matter of balancing the faceplate side of the rough lopsided hunk of log on the end of the pipe. I mark a ring around the conduit with a sharpie or magic marker.
Just center the faceplate on the ring or drill if using a woodworm screw. I love this method even though the wood is uneven, it always finds center and so does my tailstock.