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Turning a Green Wood Bowl Lancaster SC

Making a functional object directly from raw material in its natural state is incredibly satisfying. Just ask any potter. For woodworkers, green woodturning captures that feeling. You literally start with a log and end up with a beautiful bowl. If you’ve never turned green wood before, you’re in for a treat.

The Home Depot
(803)286-9700
1116 Hwy 9, Bypass West
Lancaster, SC
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Fastenal- Lancaster
803-286-0374
1770 Hwy 521 By-Pass South Lancaster, SC, 29720
Lancaster, SC
 
Builders Supply Do it Best Co.
(803) 283-8481
501 S French St
Lancaster, SC
 
Mc Bride Building Splies/Hardware
(803) 285-9436
557 Hwy 9 Bypass
Lancaster, SC
 
Waxhaw Ace Hardware
(704) 843-4760
3927 Providence Rd S
Waxhaw, NC
 
Kmart 7351 / Cross Merch
(803) 285-6456
960 N Main St
Lancaster, SC
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Ace Hardware & Garden Center
(803) 283-8464
714 S Market St
Lancaster, SC
 
Lancaster - Auth Hometown
(803) 286-9997
1125 Highway 9 Bypass
Lancaster, SC
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:9-19
Tue:9-19
Wed:9-19
Thu:9-19
Fri:9-19
Sat:9-18
Sun:13.5-18.5
Store Features
Mon:9-19
Tue:9-19
Wed:9-19
Thu:9-19
Fri:9-19
Sat:9-18
Sun:13.5-18.5

Lowe's
(704) 843-8520
2508 Cuthbertson Road
Waxhaw, NC
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 9 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Unity Hardware & Supply
(803) 285-3481
3044 Shiloh Unity Rd
Lancaster, SC

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Turning a Green Wood Bowl

Turning a Green Wood Bowl

By Alan Lacer


Making a functional object directly from raw material in its natural state is incredibly satisfying. Just ask any potter. For woodworkers, green woodturning captures that feeling. You literally start with a log and end up with a beautiful bowl.  If you’ve never turned green wood before, you’re in for a treat. Green wood is easier to turn than kiln-dried wood. It cuts cleaner and produces very little dust. To top it off, the wood itself often costs nothing. 

TOOLS AND SUPPLIES: 

• 1/2” bowl gouge 

(from a 5/8” rod)

• 1-1/4 to 1 -1/2-in. 

heavy scraper  

(usually 3/8” thick)

• Jacobs style chuck 

• A 5/8” to 1” drill bit

• Double ended calipers

• Vernier style caliper

• Sanding discs and soft pads (5” and 

2” dia.)

• Flexible shaft tool or flexible shaft for a drill

• 1/8” rubber router mat material

• CA glue

MATERIAL

The process works best if the wood is wet and freshly cut. Storm-downed trees, areas being cleared for development and tree service dumping sites (often called “bone yards”) are all good sources of green wood.  For ease of handling and cutting, choose logs or limbs that are smaller in diameter than your lathe’s swing.  

Almost any species is worth trying, but here are some of my favorites: maple, walnut, butternut, ash, birch, locust, white oak, cherry, beech, Osage orange, and pear. My rule for green bowls is to try whatever is locally available—you may be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of material in your own backyard.   

SAFETY FIRST!

Wet logs weigh a lot! You don’t want one flying off the lathe. Use a faceplate that’s made from one piece of steel and is at least 3/8” thick at the screw hole flange. For bowls less than 10 inches in diameter, I use a 6-hole, 3-in.-diameter faceplate. The type of screw is also critical: Use #12 sheet metal screws. Avoid dry wall, deck and wood screws. Be sure the faceplate sits flat on the log’s surface—if it doesn’t, use a small hand plane across the grain to create the desired fit. Last but not least, be sure to wear a full-face shield—goggles are not sufficient for bowl turning. 

FINISHES

Is your bowl functional (made for food) or decorative?  If it’s decorative, choose any finish that gives the look and feel you prefer. My favorite finishes for functional bowls are mineral oil, walnut oil and pure tung oil. Mineral oil looks great on light colored wood, as it adds no color of its own. However, it never dries so it needs to be reapplied regularly, especially after washing. Walnut oil adds a little color and will dry in time. It’s available at health food stores.  I also like pure tung oil. It adds a deeper color that looks great on dark woods and...

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