Rough Turning (or Step 1 in Twice Turning)

This article is a continuation of the previous post – Harvesting a Silver Maple – Issue #68 of ‘The “Lathest” News’, in that we are turning the wood we just harvested but now we are inside the shop. There will be a follow-up article to this where I finish the second step in the Twice Turning which will be a few months away – stay tuned.

So the first stop is the bandsaw. I got this circle cutting jig from the “Tips & Jigs page of the South Auckland Woodturners Guild Inc. website. I am not sure how I found this site; I was probably directed there by one of the woodturning forums. Either way thanks to the Kiwis, although I am sure there are many variations of this jig all over the place. I drilled the wood bowl blank with a 5/16” hole about an inch deep. I use this diameter of drilled hole because it will work with the wood worm screws of wither the Oneway or Vicmarc chucks.

It also is the same diameter of the center pin of the Elio drive – more on this later. The circle cutting jig also needs a 5/16″ hole in the pivot board along the radial line. This bowl blank is about 16″ in diameter therefore I drill a 5/16″ hole in the pivot board at the 8″ mark (i.e. the radius). I use a 5/16″ diameter section of dowel as a center pin.

It is just a matter of mounting the blank in the pivot board with the dowel then swing the pivot board into the blade and rotate.

Now it is time to mount the blank onto the lathe. Here is where I would like the reader to go to my YouTube video titled “An introduction to the Elio Drive” where at the 4:00 minute mark I show how I mounted this large wet (or green) bowl blank.

Now that the bowl blank is mounted its time for some turning. Here is a series of photos showing the progression of turning the bowl.


I must say that I am not a production turner and as such I use this ‘rough’ turning session to practice good quality cutting. I always think that every cut is a practice cut until the final cut. I use the standard thickness of about 1″ for every 10-12″ in diameter, so this bowl is about 1.5 inches thick. This roughed out bowl is sitting in a large paper bag surrounded by shavings. I will take it out of this bag after a week and let it breath for a day and then put is back in. I will check it periodically to make sure it is drying properly (i.e. no mold or cracking). This is the way I dry my bowls. In about 6 months it will be ready to turn.

I do have some video of this rough turning and I will try to get some of that video edited.

I have posted this video on my Facebook page.

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