Photo 1 This is a really fun project that power or hands tools can do. We have some power tools so that is what is shown here. The wood that is used is Alder but most woods would be usable. The pattern was purchased but since then we have made our own in different sizes and shapes. If you make your own pattern, ½” MDF works well.
The finished bowl is 16 ½” in diameter and 3” high so the boards were cut a minimum of 19” in length. Because several boards had to be glued together to make wide enough boards for the project each board was sanded the same thickness. (It helps a lot later on.)
Narrow boards being glued together to make wider boards. For this project we had to use 3 boards to make 1 wide one and it will take 3 wide boards, 1” thick, to make the 3” height wanted.
Sand flat all the surfaces so there are no voids when the new wide boards are stacked and glued making a thick block of wood.
Trimming the 3 wide boards to get them ready for stack gluing helps.
Spread glue as evenly as possible but make sure there is enough for some squeeze out.
After stacking the glued boards clamp together with all the clamps that will fit and tighten. Wait a few minutes then tighten the clamps again. Note: It will help if some of the glue squeeze out is wiped off before it dries. We missed this part.
Mickey trimmed the dried wood stack just to make it easier to do the next few steps.
After attaching the pattern to the wood block and tracing it with a pencil the pattern was removed and taken to the drill press for hogging out the bowl pockets.
A large Forstner bit is used to hog out the waste material in the pockets. Any size bit will do but try and use one that is not too large or too small for the pocket corners.
Hog out some wood and vacuum often to get the wood shavings out of the pockets, this helps a lot.
This is what a hogged out project looks like.
A ½” piece of plywood was attached to the bottom of the router so it would be stable as the router passes back and forth removing lots of wood. There is a hole in the bottom of the plywood for the clearance of the router bit and another hole for the vacuum during the cutting.
Replace the pattern on top off the project making sure to put it back in the same position to the pencil lines.
Make sure the screws that hold down the pattern to the project block are outside the pencil lines by at least ¾” or more and that they are counter sunk so the router does not catch on them.
Install a ½” shank bit extension and ½” shank bowl bit to the router and tighten well. The CMT Bowl Bit and Bit Extension worked well for us. We do not recommend using any ¼” shank router bits for this project.
Set the bowl bit bearing so that it rides on the inside of each pocket edge on the pattern. Take small cuts until all pockets have been routed.
With the router OFF lower the bit so that the bearing touches the previously routed wood and use it as the pattern guide for the next cut. Continue these steps until you reach the bottom depth of the bowl. On this 3” deep bowl the total routed depth should not exceed 2 ½”.
The routing completed, remove the pattern.
With pencil, draw a circle around the bowl at least ½” from the inside walls of the bowl. Saw just outside the line.
Remove the waste wood.
Sand the outside walls of the bowl squarely to the bottom surface.
You can either use a router and a round over bit or hand sand the radiuses on the upper edges and the bottom edge. Note: There is a lot of hand sanding from this point on.
Choose your favorite finish, apply, dry and display.