You can start to carve a bowl when you are equipped with a block of wood, a high quality natural decking oil and an imagination of how you want your carved bowl to look. Here I’m going to share the steps:
- Select your wood – This is the most important step. You must go for high-quality strong wood, such as Black Japan. Also, go for some new wood as there is a chance for the bowl to crack.
- Secure your wood – Use clamps to hold the width of your block and alter positions of the wood to carve it to the desired shape. Wear your safety gear before you start. A full-face visor is advisable as pieces of wood can hit your face while carving. Make sure to read all the safety instructions of the power tools that are being used.
- Select your blade – To carve larger bowls use two 14 tooth Lancelots placed on a 4-1/2″(115mm) angle grinder as 1/2″ wide large cut teeth are the finest combination to cut the wood effortlessly.
- Mark wall thickness – Shape the sides by marking the dimensions using a pencil. Mark lines about an inch apart around the top of the wood, which is the initial thickness of the sides. This way you’ll have plenty of room in case of an error in cutting. The thickness can be measured using callipers. Once the bowl starts taking shape, mark new lines on the sidewalls to alter the thickness. Keep in mind that the thickness will decrease as you keep carving, so marking repeatedly will aid to avoid inaccuracy.
- Mark top – Using a pencil mark around the outside close to the top at the desired level. Carve the top when the centre is gutted out. Now carve the bowl with suitable cuts according to the design and features like bolts and burls
- Carve and shape inside of Bowls – Use continuous plunge and short straight cut by carving from the middle of the wood and pulling the blades towards you. Do not push away from your body. Stop plunge cutting the wood about 1/4″ from the inner pencil line as you approach the sides. Continue carving the inside of the bowl until necessary.
- Carve and level top rim – Once the bowl is hollowed carve the top. Horizontal cut the bowl in the process. Use the grinder to cut through to the side and around the edge of the bowl, somewhat above the pencil mark.
- Mark and curve the base – In this step, make a base following the size of the bowl to support it. Size the base slightly larger than necessary as you may need more wood layers for shaping. The base can be of any shape like a rectangle, triangle, circle or irregular. Locate the approximate centre on the bottom of the wooden bowl using measurements. You can carve a flat base or a hollow centre one.
- Carve and shape the outside – Start to carve with short straight strokes or plunge cuts to rough out the outside being cautious of the depth of the cut as you move close to the edges and outline of the base. Gently use the raker cuts to level the surface. Once the outside starts to take shape, be alert not to make errors. Finally, when the bowl has taken shape, you can use barks, burls and knots to make the bowl look more appealing.
These bowls can be used in a day to day household as it is biodegradable and has numerous benefits. If you’re interested in wood craftsmanship, you can join a club such as the Victorian Woodworkers Association.