Well in truth its been more than twenty years since I turned my first bowl and four years since I turned my first bowl on a pole lathe, but today I turned my first bowl again. My first bowl that is on my first self built pole lathe, turned using tools I forged myself in my own forge from recycled steel.
I used locally sourced beech which I have had sitting in my wood pile for nearly a year now so its nicely spalted, but this did make it hard to achieve a good finish but it’s still a beautiful bowl.
Here you can see the colours show up really nicely these are caused by spalting which is the process of airborne fungi breaking the wood down. The wood gets a little softer as this progresses which means the grain can tear out and leave a poor finish, but my hand forged take a good edge and it came out pretty good if I do say so myself.
The wood is still not fully dry so the bowl will distort a little and take on a slightly oval shape once its dry, then I will dip the the bowl in a mixture of hot food grade linseed oil and bees wax to finish it ready for use.
Below are the hand mane tools I made and used to make the bowl.
The two long hook tools are made from car coil springs, these were only used to turn the bowl. The strait gouge was forged from an old file and was used to clean up the bottom of the bowl once the turning was finished. The dog leg gouge was forged from an old shell auger, it’s meant for bowl carving and it did the clean up on the inside of the bowl admirably.
I will be adding more post on forging in the future as I make more tools for the pole lathe.