This is what happens when a joiner makes hewn bowls. I have read of, and seen, many benches and methods for holding this sort of bowl for the finish cuts made with a wide sharp gouge. Robin Wood, Dave Fisher and Drew Langsner all have made or adapted effective benches for this work. BUT I don’t make these enough to warrant a dedicated bench. Come to find out, the holdfast grabs the bowl well enough to do the job.
This bowl I started about three weeks ago, it’s from catalpa. (sometimes called “catawba”) a medium-soft hardwood. Ring porous, it feels a bit like chestnut in working it. The part I did today was great fun. I took a very sharp wide gouge, quite shallow, and made paring cuts to smooth off the work I did with a curved adze and gouge back when the wood was very green. Today I was getting nice burnished surfaces.
It doesn’t look like it, but this is very physical work. My left hand is appyling pressure downwards on the shank of the gouge, as well as providing the pivot with my left thumb…it’s hooked over the edge of the bowl, and limits the amount of travel of the gouge.
It’s great fun. This is the sort of stuff I learned (again) from Jogge Sundqvist this past summer at Country Workshops. There, I started two smaller bowls from a crooked section of birch. these are coming along slowly; but for them today I used the workbench with a vise – couldn’t grab their weird shape with the holdfast.
These are going to be chip-carved and painted…but maybe not til next month. I have one more, a larger birch bowl that I started while waiting for the catalpa bowl to dry some…now it’s waiting while I finish the others…then I’ll stop. Unless some good wood falls in my lap, as these did.
so, the links – here’s one of Robin Wood’s posts about the bowls he teaches…