3-14 Conclusion

You’ve done it! You have completed the Bowl Gouge Mastery Course! Congratulations! Completing this course is excellent, and I really want you to master the bowl gouge. Have you seen progress between Exercises 1 and 3? Use the lessons here as references. Return to them whenever you need, and be sure to post comments if […]

3-12 Heel Rubbing

The heel of the bevel can cause issues at times. But not to worry, there are easy corrections available. When we work the exterior of a bowl, and our body is not rotating or shifting our weight at the same rate as the cutting head, the heel will lag and rub the wood. As discussed […]

3-11 Rim Details

Once the bowl’s exterior is formed and the blank is turned around on the lathe, it’s best to address the rim first. Use the bowl gouge to define the angle and overall shape of the rim before removing too much material from the interior. The rim is well supported by leaving mass in the bowl […]

3-10 Bowl Interior

The inside of a bowl can be somewhat tricky. And the inside curve can be the most troublesome area, especially for beginners. We need to talk about design briefly before we proceed. It would help if you decided how you want your bowl to appear. Look at bowls you like and decide what you like […]

3-09 Ripples/Waves – Angled Surface

You may have noticed an occasional ripped surface on the bowl’s exterior that looks like waves. This pattern is similar to the surface grooves in the previous lesson. However, it has high and low spots and usually makes an odd, oscillating pattern around the bowl. These grooves or waves can be frustrating because, once formed, […]

3-08 Broken Lines – Connecting the Dots

We naturally want to make perfect start-to-finish passes with the bowl gouge, especially when we first start turning bowls. After all, we’ve seen other turners do it. Why shouldn’t we? You don’t need to make long continuous passes with the bowl gouge. Instead, focus on creating your desired overall shape on your finished bowl. Getting […]

3-07 Surface Grooves

Vinyl records are nostalgic and highly collectible, but we don’t want our bowls’ finish to share that same grooved surface. We want nice smooth surfaces on our bowls. Why do grooves form? Grooves on your wood bowl surface are created based on a combination of lathe speed and cutting pace. You may see grooves if […]

3-06 Bowl Gouge Kick Backs

Have you had this happen? You’re starting a cut along the face of a bowl blank, maybe to establish the rim, and the gouge tip gets kicked out to the side. What happened? It’s a great question. When turning, we must know the grain direction and how it will affect our cuts. With a side-grain […]

3-05 Tailstock in the Way

Depending on the size and design of your lathe, the tailstock can feel in the way at times. I know this personally when I first got my 16” lathe. The tailstock size and location took me some time to adjust to. There is a M2 to M2 tailstock extension that can add a little extra […]

3-04 Stop Getting Beaten Up by Rough Blank

If you are preparing and using your own bowl blanks, congratulations. Nothing is more satisfying than processing a tree and turning it into a bowl. This process has many steps, and we cover those in the Tree to Bowl – Understanding Green Wood. [link] However, turning a prepared yet unbalanced blank can be frustrating at […]

3-03 Carbide to Traditional Transition Issues

If you have used a carbide scraper and are now learning to use the traditional bowl gouge, there are some essential things to know that will affect your skill development. When using a carbide scraper, we simply cut with the tip on the centerline and keep the tool on that centerline at all times. It […]

3-02 Catches — How To Avoid

The top, number one issue that WILL occur while using a bowl gouge is catching. A catch can be scary and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be once you understand what is happening. What causes a catch is the bowl gouge becoming overwhelmed with too much material too quickly, and the cutting edge grabs […]

3-01 Troubleshooting

No matter what instrument or skill we attempt to learn, we will always have some issues or setbacks. Troubles are simply part of the learning process. From each “trouble,” we have the opportunity to unlock a new skill. However, before that skill can be unlocked, we need to understand what happened and correct it in […]

3-13 Exercise Three

Now that you have completed the lessons and know how to cut with a bowl gouge and where you might run into issues, it’s an excellent time to evaluate. Mount a piece of scrap side-grain oriented wood to the lathe and practice the edge, face, and curve cuts. Turn an entire bowl if you’d like. […]

2-20 Exercise Two

Now that we have thoroughly covered the steps needed to make all the bowl gouge cuts and detailed how to perform them, it’s an excellent time to evaluate where you are. Mount a piece of scrap side-grain oriented wood to the lathe and practice the edge, face, and curve cuts. Take your time and answer […]

2-19 Muscle Memory

Throughout our lives, we have learned many unique and particular muscle memories. Muscle memory is not a genetic skill, it is a result of doing a specific task or skill. Using a bowl gouge will require you to move your body and sense different conditions, unlike anything else. You WILL acquire muscle memory as you […]

2-18 Body Mechanics – How To Move

How we move our body when we turn is absolutely critical and probably the most important aspect to master. If we think about our body, we have many joints and the ability to move in almost any direction. All this movement should be ideal for working with a bowl gouge and making anything we want […]

2-17 Left-Handed?

I do get the occasional question about being left-handed. I’m right-handed and can’t fully understand the struggle of turning and being left-handed, but I’ll attempt to help. Here are two options if you are left-handed. Number one, consider holding the tool as we do throughout these lessons. Yes, I know everything is being presented from […]

2-16 Left hand, Right Hand

What do we do with our hands? We want to do as little as possible with our hands whenever possible. Ergonomics dictate how we use our hands. When the bevel of the bowl gouge is riding the surface, and the tool handle is near our side, we ALWAYS want to anchor the handle against our […]

2-15 When To Resharpen

There’s a woodturner saying, “If you think your tool needs sharpening, you should have sharpened it ten minutes ago.” Every good joke contains a kernel of truth. We have to sharpen our tools frequently. How frequently, well, that depends on several factors. Dense, dry wood might require a dozen or more resharpening just to rough […]