© Copyright Forest of Bere Woodturners Association 2015

Forest of Bere Woodturners Association (Havant)

Turning Wet Wood Bowl Blanks


By Bill Thorne

Image 1:  300mm spalted bowl blank.

Image 1. shows the prepared bowl blank, with just the corners cut off on the band saw, avoid cutting circles with the band saw, unless you keep a blade specially for the purpose, it tends to take the set off one side of the blade (makes it difficult to cut straight in the future!)


Now decide which will be the inside of the bowl & drill a hole in the centre for an expanding pin chuck & mount on the lathe.

Image 2:  Rough turned.

Once securely mounted on the lathe with the tail stock brought up for support, rough turn the outside to your desired shape & form a spigot to suit your chuck, as image 2 above.

Image 3:  Bowl mounted on spigot.

Reverse the blank on the lathe using the spigot previously formed, bring the tail stock up for support & rough turn the inside of the bowl, leaving a wall thickness of about 25mm or so as image 4.

Image 4:  Pin chuck mounting point.

Leave the centre section in the bowl for stability as shown in image 4, this image also shows the drilled hole I used to mount the blank on my expanding pin chuck at the start, this will be used for remounting the bowl later for final turning.

Image 5:  Coating of sanding sealer.

At this stage I apply a liberal coat of sanding sealer image 5, remove the bowl from the lathe, weigh it & record the weight.

Image 6:  Stack of drying rough turned bowls.

I turn a number of bowls together & leave them in the workshop to dry, keep weighing each bowl until it is down to about 20% of the original weight then re-mount on the lathe, finish the turning, sand, seal & polish/oil as you prefer.


I find on average; the whole process takes three to four weeks to complete.