I never turn a bowl from solid dry (seasoned) wood to a finished bowl I stopped doing that about nineteen years ago about a year after I started woodturning. Instead I rough turn green or unseasoned timber to the basic shape I want the final bowl or form to be, leaving the walls thicker but even throughout. This way the timber dries quicker with less likelihood of cracking and after the bowl is re-turned once fully seasoned it is more stable and unlikely to deform with use.
Today however I’m going to turn an Ash salad bowl from unseasoned timber to its final form and let it dry slowly knowing it will end up deformed from round to oval. This is to give the bowl an aged traditional look as most bowl turned on pole lathes in year gone by were turned this way. I will start with a roughed blank which has been split from the log and chain-sawn to an octagonal.
I will use a 3/8 bowl gouge to rough the blank to shape. Below you can see the natural edge as it spins.
The Ash has been mellowed (seasoned in the round) for a year and this has left surface crack in this piece so I will be turning the natural edge away to dispose of the timber with surface cracks evident.
With the bowl close to its final shape I will hone the gouge before my final cutting pass. Note the recess in the base of the bowl for remounting to hollow the bowl.
This leaves me with a polished bevel which give me an exceptional finish strain from the gouge.
Above you can see the moisture migrating through the timber as it rotates at high speed for the final cut.
Above the final shape finished with the gouge. Below the finished bowl along with the only two hand tools used to for the entire process.
This bowl will now be given a carved finish to the exterior and three feet will be carved in to the base so once the bowl has deformed during its drying process it will still stand level on its feet.
All the best, Steve.