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Turning a Green Wood Bowl Van Wert OH

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.

Fastenal- Van Wert
419-232-4350
529 Bonnewitz Avenue Van Wert, OH, 45891
Van Wert, OH
 
Van Wert - Auth Hometown
(419) 232-4900
1159 S Shannon St
Van Wert, OH
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:8.5-18
Tue:8.5-18
Wed:8.5-18
Thu:8.5-18
Fri:8.5-18
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16
Store Features
Mon:8.5-18
Tue:8.5-18
Wed:8.5-18
Thu:8.5-18
Fri:8.5-18
Sat:9-18
Sun:11-16

Ottoville Do it center
(419) 453-3338
145 W 3rd Street
Ottoville, OH
 
Tri County Do it center
(419) 692-6936
833 N Main St
Delphos, OH
 
Kmart 3664 / Cross Merch
(260) 728-2010
804 S 13Th St
Decatur, IN
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

Lee's Ace Hardware
(419) 238-1546
647 W Ervin Rd
Van Wert, OH
 
Hall Do it Best Lumber
(419) 749-2119
122 S Main St
Convoy, OH
 
Delphos Ace
(419) 692-0921
242 N Main St
Delphos, OH
 
Decatur Ace Hardware
(260) 724-3700
1220 S 13th St, Located on US 27, Across from Baymont Inn
Decatur, IN
 
Fastenal- Decatur
260-724-7093
1701 Patterson Street Decatur, IN, 46733
Decatur, IN
 

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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